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12/08/2015 - 4:06 PM

Putting up with Mom!

Putting up with Mom!Really gorgeous.

I would suggest you take a look at colour balance; its tending to be a little too red, - but leave it if you like it that way.

Using the colour balance adjustment, try putting the cyan/red slider about to 10 cyan; the magenta/green slider 10 towards green; and the yellow/blue slider towards yellow by 5. You can play around with it of course, - I found approx those figures looked good for me.

A shot to be proud of.


Lindesay and Ernest on a Winter Morning, Mt Barney National ParkWe cant really judge a lot based on one image.

I looked at your original colour Bob, and assume that it has has NO sharpening applied, even when re-sized for here, or is that wrong?

Ive uploaded a mod1, with 30% sharpening applied, which would be a general starting point for a RAW image (I know this is not actually RAW); then further post processing in LR or PS would result in further sharpening for uploading, so mod2 tries to emulate that. Both are quite a bit sharper than the mono images.

So you have to think about sharpness as starting with the light; the lens ability to resolve fine detail (acutance); the sensor ability to record it; the post processing.

In general, its quite difficult to sharpen an image that is not intrinsically sharp enough to resolve at least medium detail. So you lens is likely not bad, but my not be great. The journey to a very dark and heavy mono, with layers of colour will all conspire to reduce apparent sharpness, unless close attention is paint to how each step impacts how the image looks in this respect.

I am attaching a Photozone performance test of your lens, at 16Mp, on a K body. It indicates its an extremely poor performer, to such an extent, they send the lens back to the manufacturer as they thought it was faulty; it was within specs. So to me, you are likely to be in extremely poor lens performance territory at f/14, and from the test, anything smaller than f/8. Try the les yourself at f/8 and see if it performs better.


So a mix of everything I think, suspect poor lens performance especially at this aperture; processing, and sharpening.

Hope this helps.


10/08/2015 - 6:47 PM


sceneryIts nice. Youve done a lot of work on this, so not a ,lot to critique.

perhaps a bit more contrast, and some more water at the bottom, less sky as in the mod.

08/08/2015 - 7:00 PM

toneless afternoon

toneless afternoonI like it. Better if you could have placed her more to the right of the frame, - which I played with in a mod.
Lindesay and Ernest on a Winter Morning, Mt Barney National ParkYes, original would be good.

I think it needs a bit of sharpening here, - and perhaps your original is sharper.

I would suggest a 16 X 9 crop, much less contrast (on my monitor anyway) and sharpening. Mod uploaded.


07/08/2015 - 12:04 PM

The Music Man

The Music ManIt is indeed an accordion, a staple of Gaelic music.

It seems quite a bit underexposed; Im guessing it was the presence of a very white.bright and large accordion in fron that caused exposure to be low, especially with reflected flash; and in post processing you are trying to protect the bright bits os the instrument.

Hes an intense character, and a god subject.

Both mods are brighter and I learned something about Adam Smith too!


06/08/2015 - 3:58 PM


WatchingIts a good shot either way.

The 21mm lens, in vertical format, exaggerates the length of the trailing leg, so it looks a little awkward, and the crop "fixes" that optical aberration by suggesting the image is wider than longer.

So a longer lens may have looked quite different with this. I did a little surgery in the mods to see if it altered that extra long leg appearance, and a mono version.

I like the colour best, and the vertical.


05/08/2015 - 10:00 PM

Under A Dark Sky

Under A Dark SkyA nice scene and well composed.

Can do with a CW rotation, about 0.5 degrees.

04/08/2015 - 9:32 PM

flower vendor

flower vendorIts a good eyes for a shot, though holding the camera flat, in landscape mode would have been better, and included the other seller; you has a zoom lens, so even with the camera as held, why not zoom in closer to the man on the left?

Your processing again uses the wrong approach where you want to get the overexposed (naturally overexposed, not a fault) window exposed correctly, while doing this destroys the rest of the image.

Though I do not have the raw file, I have tried in mod4 to emulate something closer to your original exposure, with the window very bright, and its clearly an important light source; it also illuminates the men below much, much more that your own processing shows, so it comes out looking less that natural. The window as stated will attract the eye for sure, BUT much less so if the illumination of the scene is clearly as a result of that window light.

Mod2 is a crop, and mod3 is a mono, and I would prefer the mono as it hides many "sins"


01/08/2015 - 3:00 PM


CloudsVery strong clouds in this.

However, you have processed the image to accentuate the clouds entirely at the expense of the city portion which for me does not work well.

You dont have to process for one, OR the other; you can use the RAW file to process for the clouds, and save it as a jpeg; then go back to the RAW file, and adjust it for a realistic appearance of the city, ignoring the sky; save this as a JPEG.

Place one image as a layer on top of the other, and blend the better exposed city into the better cloud image for a more balanced, less obviously processed image.

I uploaded a mod that a mono, which is the only way I could get any balance between the two. Mono will often work well too for angry clouds such as this.


01/08/2015 - 2:42 PM


RachelHer head seems not in focus at all in this shot, its that soft. This contrast quite a bit with the fact that every tiny detail on the skin of her arms and shoulders is visible.

I wonder if it was an early effort at skin softening that was applied to her head, without removing it from her eyes, mouth, hair?


30/07/2015 - 5:09 PM

Colourful and colourless

Colourful and colourlessThis is another very well observed shot.

The supervisor standing higher than the labourers is also an important factor in the image, suggesting authority.

I would suggest a square crop, and also to desaturate the labourers a bit more. Add a bit at the bottom to complete the shadow of the umbrella if you can.

I uploaded 2 mods. One retains your original colour tone, but has the umbrella more saturated, and the rest in mono; the other has the warmer colour temp, and again colour is restricted to the supervisor.

An excellent image.


Shell Mex House, 80 The Strand, Savoy Place,Victoria Embankment, London WC2.Youve achieved your objective well James.

Ian has mentioned some geometry correction which I have also done. as well as a small rotation to get the opposite pillar bottoms level in the lower part of the image.- its small but does look better.

The exposure for the whites has been determined by the opening at the end, and if the whites are lifted inside the archway a little, leaving the opening as-is, you do get a "livelier" image I think.


27/07/2015 - 2:39 PM


RefectionTheres no doubt you have the eye of a natural photographer.

This is well seen, and nicely timed.

One important adjustment is to the vertical and it needs a rotation; you can judge this by making sure his reflection, the reflection of his head for example, is in line with his head so its all nicely level.

Ive dne that in the mods, and have a mono as well as the colour. I reduced the saturation of red of the shirt as its glowing a little.

Well done.


26/07/2015 - 11:01 PM


ZoeIts very good Robert. I like the overall"style" and for me the prominent and bold lipstick works well less the mascara, but Im a man, and stand to be cirrected.

Theres is one thing that "sticks out" that looks odd to me, and thats her forefinger; the forward angle its at suggests an optical illusion that its a shorter finger than the rest, and that might be that it needs a shadow, or something to suggest depth. Or next time keep it in mind and have her bend it so its clearly not foreshortened.

Ill upload a mod to show what I mean if mods are enabled. Easier to see than explain.

Otherwise well done.

25/07/2015 - 9:17 PM

Bearded Dragon

Bearded DragonIts a very nice shot.

Not a whole lot to say that would improve it other than a little more contrast; if you open levele in PS, drag the left slider inwards to the right and watch the image as the black level improves.

Mod is mainly this, with a slight crop


25/07/2015 - 9:06 PM

Rain Drops

Rain DropsYou did well, - this is nice.

The blue/purple tone suits this.

The mod has some geometry alterations, a is brighter, less blue. A different mood from the same shot, so you can see the scope you have to play with.


25/07/2015 - 4:22 PM


GuldowdiWelcome from me too.

You can get quite close with the 55mm end of the kit lens, so it should make you quite happy for a while. Be aware that the cloer you get, the higher the shutter speed you will need, and VR is not effective at close range.

Try looking in the used lens market, - and you dont have to buy Nikon; the Sigma 105mm and the Tamron 90mm are both highly regarded lenses for macro photography, and you could also find a used Nikon.

Extension tubes let you get the lens closer to the subject, and can be used for that reason, - closer; macro will however render the subject, at its closest focus distance as a 1:1 size, meaning the size of the subject on the sensor will be the size of the image on the screen, - nothing else would be seen only the subject; the tubes wont do that, but if you can get some cheap, get them and practice.

Free editing software is available, - GIMP is decent, but Photoshop Elements, or Corel Paintshop are the better products.

You can also look for used hard copies of these that are not the very latest, and you might find a bargain.

Enjoy the site, - Ive also loaded a quick mod.


24/07/2015 - 8:49 PM


EyesAmazing eyes, - so very big.

She seems a little afraid too maybe, but youve timed this very well.

Its great as it is; the mod I did just has the ISO noise reduced, and a slight diffuse glow applied, and a square crop.

Nice shot,


23/07/2015 - 4:21 PM

Water Drops

Water DropsThis is indeed beautiful, and a great sharp result at a high ISO.

I would crop this quite a bit tighter, and give it a touch more colour.

Your approach in raw, as before is biased towards the blacks, anf you can get better highlights, and sparkling water drops if you start first with exposure, rather than using the whites adjustment for brightness.

Either way, a lovely image.