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The birds

By lynam  
The photo was taken in howth in dublin . It is my attempt at the ageless image of someone watching the gulls at the harbor as so many people do.

Tags: Photography Nature Birds General Color Ireland Dublin Black and white Howth Wildlife and nature

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tonyguitar 9 77 37 Canada
21 Jul 2015 3:35AM
Alfred Hitchcock would certainly approve, Especially with your very perfect choice of lighting and in mono. TG
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
21 Jul 2015 7:50AM
Hi, Richard -

You've been a member of Ephotozine for several years, but I don't think I've seen you in the Critique Gallery before. Welcome.

How well do you think this works? Are there any particular aspects that work well, or on which you especially want constructive critique?
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2015 9:42AM
A warm welcome from me too. I hope you will find the Critique Gallery useful.

Thank you for giving a very precise account of what you set out to achieve - as John says, the next question for you is Do you think it works? Always try to view your own work objectively...

I think you have succeeded because of the structure of the image. The man creates a solid, stable L-shape anchoring the bottom left corner down, and then we have three complete gulls (plus a cut-off bird) looking in our direction and with strong dynamic angles in their wings.

The problem with gulls circling is that you always risk those cut-off bits of wing - as top right in your composition. It's worth using the clone tool or spot healing brush to tidy them away...

I wanted to make two changes here - to lift shadows and lighten the image slightly in order to give a better 3-dimensional feel; and to crop tighter. If we are looking at the relationship between man and birds we do not need so much sky. Concentrate on what matters.

I am working on a square crop (people who know me will not be surprised by that... ) for a more intimate, contained feel; to include the three main gulls, get rid of a bit of cut-off wing, get rid of a lot of sky, and just keep a strip of foreground boat as the baseline. Modification to follow. Check under the Modifications button below your upload, click on the thumbnail...

One other thought, I don't think you needed to go up to ISO 320, 1/1000 second would have frozen the birds and indeed a hint of motion blur in the wing tips would add a sense of life, energy. But the D7100 will easily cope with much higher ISO than that!
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2015 3:59PM
There is quite a lot of clutter distracting the viewer from person and birds, but I would have stayed with colour. You are also a stop under exposed. I suspectthat is because you have spot metering set with an auto function.

You must use spot metering correctly. What tone did you meter from? If you do not use manual or exposure lock to meter from a tone equating to 18% grey then recompose, the exposure is likely to be wrong, as here.

I think you have suffered from interference from the sky.

The subject? Get in closer with the figure in the foreground and look up at the birds removing the eyecatching clutter.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
21 Jul 2015 8:10PM
I had to look very hard to see the person. Their tone is so similar to the boat hull and their head gets lost amongst the railings.
If a candid type shot you can't do too much, though if we saw the colour version it would help. Depending on your conversion technique it may be possible to make him more visible. But really he needs to be more prominent in order to satisfy your intention.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4264 Canada
22 Jul 2015 1:40AM
Nicely composed. A little brighter, shadows lifted do help show the man with the ice cream cone a little better. Not easy to do in camera, but a quick post processing tweak.


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