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11/11/2013 - 1:03 PM

Lights at the Lake

Lights at the LakeI've seen a few pictures of this particular event and they look spectacular. You've done a great job here and the refections really make the picture. I would be tempted the crop the bottom third of the image to turn it into a panoramic and strengthen the picture further.

21/03/2013 - 1:47 PM

Another Place 04

Another Place 04Wow, that's really strange, must be Wallasey! Excellent image! Would three statues be better than two.

06/03/2013 - 1:57 PM

Albert Dock, Liverpool

Albert Dock, LiverpoolGreat attempt at a local scene. To improve it I would take it at twilight so that the deep blue cool sky contrasts with the the warm orange of the Salthouse Dock Buildings. Secondly I would choose a slightly different viewpoint to avoid including the floating pontoon to the right, as it really doesn't add to the photograph at all.

18/02/2013 - 1:48 PM

Night Bus

Night BusNight shots are not best taken at night, but at twilight, usually around 15-25 minutes after sunset is ideal, slightly later if you are shooting towards where the sun has set.

There is more ambient light around and you basically will acheive more detail in your shadows. The sky will appear as a very deep blue (very attractive indeed) and more appealing than ink black. If it's been a decent sunset, you'll have reds and oranges in your sky too.

When it's completely dark, you do suffer with highlights burning out and it's not great and can only be rescued with HD. Of course I don't need to tell you that a tripod (or good support) is essential, and stick to ISO 100.

Check out some of my twilight photos and let me know what you think.
The Twilight Zone!

I hope this helps anyway.

07/06/2012 - 1:50 PM

Bus Buster

Bus BusterExcellent shot just taken at the right time - I hate black skies in night pics, they do nothing for me;

I would have left my shutter speed for another second (and stopped down) to get the whole bus light trail in; whether it would improve the picture I don't know, but it would be worth trying next time; another 15 minutes for the next bus no doubt!

31/05/2012 - 1:29 PM

Natalie 3

Natalie 3Another great portrait Anthony, I like this a lot. It does however have some minor problems; and they are only minor. I can't keep my eyes of that shadow on the right side of her nose, with a reflector or a little fill in flash, this could have easily be eliminated (or subdued at least).

The background is also a problem; Choose your background carefully, they shouldn't distract from the portrait at all. There is a large white band (reflections from a river?) which is actually brighter than her dress; had the background been darker it would have allowed the white dress to stand out more. What may help (in the short-term) is to photograph the background separately as a stand alone image and see if there are any distractions, then recompose the shot with model insitu. Backgrounds really can make or break a photo.

And Finally, her skin. She is a very attractive model (you've chosen well) but she has a number of freckles and even a blemish on her left arm (to the right of the photo). You may both be happy with this but may wish to consider removing the freckles (or at least making them less obvious), it's your call. Most models in professional photography have flawless skin and how you treat your model's skin is your personal choice but something you should consider in future.

I hope this helps. Your portrait photography is superb so don't be put off by my minor niggles (I'm quite fussy anyway).

Best of luck and I look forward to meeting up on Wednesday (6 June!)

16/05/2012 - 1:45 PM

This Is Anfield.

This Is Anfield.Any photograph of Liverpool gets my vote! I would use the lead in lines to full effect and ensure that the lines go precisely to the very corners, this will take the image more into the realms of graphic art.

BTW I'm friends with Jimmy Case on Facebook LOL!

09/04/2012 - 2:39 PM

Mr Britton

Mr Britton
Quote: A superb portrait, the detail is excellent. Love his self assured stare. The only tiny thing that bothers me from perfection is the right side of his hat is missing. It's funny the top doesn't bother me at all, so I have no idea why the side does. Just silly me probably.............Sandy

Sandy you're, right, the right of his hat should be showing and I think Phil, you could've been braver and as you have cropped the top of his hat off, you could've taken even more off and that would have bought his eyes nearer to the top third, at the moment they are just above the halfway point. Despite my minor niggles this is mono portrait photography at its very best - he wouldn't look out of place in a Lord of the Rings Movie - he has a slight Gandalf (Ian McKellan) look about him!

Best of luck with it.

18/04/2011 - 7:15 PM

Anyone For Tennis?

Anyone For Tennis?The image you are talking about, I believe was rejected many times before eventually being accepted as a poster. Fiona Butler (aged 18) was the tennis player and Martin Elliot was the photographer. He sadly died a year ago this month with Cancer, he was 63.

To emulate the original the light needs to be stronger, the original had rim lighting (contre jour lighting) around her hair and legs (not than anyone noticed the lighting of course!). The lighting here is far too flat. You really need a sunny day. Your balls are certainly well placed.

A good attempt all the same!

01/04/2011 - 12:46 PM

Light Traffic ?

Light Traffic ?Light trails or traffic trails are really fun to do and this is a good attempt. A tripod is always a good idea (I know they are a pain to carry round) but do ensure firm support for the long exposure that this type of photography requires. You do have some camera shake which has spoilt this image a little. It woul be well worth having another go (if you are in the area). When it has just been raining is a good time as you get some great reflections off the surface of the road.

On a presentation note, I would avoid adding your name to the image. It does spoil it. Maybe try a border and add your name into the border. Names on the image just spoil a good shot.

12/03/2011 - 2:00 PM

Still Too Difficult!

Still Too Difficult!I suppose it would help if I commented on the image as well Smile

The composition is spot on, my only minor change would have been to put the white side on top to contrast more with the black background, and maybe a slight crop off the left to put the cube off centre, although it's fine as it is.

26/02/2011 - 6:29 PM

Liver Building

Liver BuildingI take your point, some people don't mind converging verticals, some people can't abide them. I've always been taught (by camera club judges) to straighten your verticals.

As an architectural shot it falls down as buildings are usually built vertical, as a record of the pier head and its architecture it's superb.

I, personally, think it will be worth the effort to straighten up the shot but at the end of the day it's your image and if you are happy with it then leave it as it is. I enjoy using the transform tool although you can end up by correcting one half of the image distorting the other. It's all a learning curve I suppose - or should that be a leaning curve!!!

01/02/2011 - 1:39 PM

East Float Mill

East Float MillThis is a very familiar scene and one I pass every day as I go to work. It is usually preferable to shoot night scenes just after sunset (usually about 15-30 minutes) when there is still some light left in the sky, this will shorten your exposure and will therefore stop your highlights from burning out (they just appear as white with no detail). This time of day is called crossover light and is when the ambient light and artificial light reflect the same amount of light. Your sky will display much more interesting colours, reds, yellows, blues and oranges and the roofs of buildings won't blend into the sky (dark skies and dark roofs tend to blend into each other).

I have an album of Twilight photographs in my portfolio that illustrate the above points.

Good luck with your photography. I took my very first night photograph from Tower Road (The Four Bridges) way back in 1990!

10/11/2010 - 1:27 PM

Another part of Mdina

Another part of MdinaSuperb shot, I was there in May this year, a fascinating place to visit. The weather hasn't been too kind to you and the sky is looking a little bland. It may be worth selecting it and either making it a light grey or a pale blue. Your eye will always go to the brightest part of the image, which is the sky in this case, unfortunately it's the least interesting!

I had the same problem with an Image I had taken in M'dina. I used the grad tool and picked a couple of colours to make the sky look more eerie. ***link***
14/10/2010 - 1:36 PM

Echo Arena & Wheel

Echo Arena & WheelGreat effort, I've not photographed the Echo Wheel myself but have been tempted a couple of times. I'm from "the other side!"

You've just left it a little late, with night time photography (or strictly twilight) the best time is usually 15-25 minutes after sunset, you have a little longer if you are shooting towards the sunset, this way you have more colours in the sky, oranges, reds, yellows and deep blues and even clouds. It also means your highlights don't burn out, as with the extra light a shorter exposure time will be required.

Try it again if you are in the area and you'll see the difference.

Here's a couple of my efforts from a while ago which illustrate my points:-

***link*** Salthouse Dock

***link*** Blackpool Pier

I hope this helps.

20/09/2010 - 1:25 PM

Harley Davidson

Harley DavidsonA Harley isn't a motorbike, it's a work of Art, I remember seeing one up close and was just amazed at how fantastic they looked, I'm not even into motorbikes. Just be careful with your background, I know there was little you could do (like pick it up and move it!) but you really need a studio to do a subject like this justice! It still gets my vote!

26/08/2010 - 6:49 PM


CenturionVery original indeed, superb work. Just needs a little more room around the image to allow it to 'breathe' and maybe a darker base for the bust to 'sit on' otherwise something quite different.

A good effort.

25/08/2010 - 1:24 PM

Little shy elf

Little shy elfHi key portraits are difficult to get right as many of them just look as though they have been drastically overexposed and burnt out. The key to high key is to maintain detail even though most of the image is almost white. You chosen your model well here and the eyes are clearly magic!

I would just remove the mark below her left eye and just below the left of her lip. Even though they are natural, as the image is not an accurate representation it is acceptable to remove minor blemishes.

An excellent shot.

26/07/2010 - 6:46 PM

Daniella Kent

Daniella KentAn intriguing portrait - try and avoid "shooting up her nose", as it's not the most flattering of angles. You've handled the shadows cast by the flash very well.

17/07/2010 - 1:21 AM

Life Outside

Life OutsideI love this a lot. I only visit the Tate once or twice a year but I am often drawn to the windows and the views that they offer. I love this image especially as in the distance you can see the coast of Wallasey - My home town for the last 41 years! It's Egremont and the start of New Brighton (Vale Park) that you can see.

I agree with the comments already made, It's quite difficult to get the natural light and ambient light levels spot on. This is a good effort. Worth trying just a very small amount of fill-in flash to add a little detail to the silhouette (which will stop it becoming a silhouette!), but it's certainly fine as it is.

You do have black spaces either side of the window, it may be worth cropping some of the black space out and presenting it more as a square format - or even in portrait format. It does need some black, but not quite that much.