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Background Annoying or Creative?No, it doesnt work at all. The fact you ask also means your not happy with it, and perhaps youre not sure why?

The reason it doesn't, for me, is that the far boat is connected to the chain on the near boat, and it looks way better if its further away, Its still there, but that small distance makes a very big difference. When you see the comparison, it makes sense. You can likely do a better job with more time at moving the boat; you could also make it a little smaller also.

So, when shooting, you could have changed position to give the separation if you had been aware.

In addition, the image is quite a bit underexposed, and that also seems to improve the shot for me.


06/07/2015 - 1:51 PM

Books Knowledge world

Books Knowledge worldThe image is very good.

I would like to see the old man brighter, - easily done in post processing, - Ive done it in the mod. The darkness may be due to how you converted the colour version to mono.

I did correct lens distortion so you can compare, - you dont have to do the verticals as I did, but you should correct a significant barrel distortion.


05/07/2015 - 4:40 PM


VendorI like this shot, Youve done very well at a high ISO.

I noticed your RAW adjustments in the exif. I an see that you reduced exposure, reduced highlights, darkened shadows, and increased contrast; all of these changes work together to make the main character, the seller, darker, whereas it can be better if he is brighter. You did this to control the highlights on the top of the sacks, and the light itself, and in some cases, its best to ignore blown highlights. especially when they are very minor, and addressing them works against the overall shot.

The mods have the RAW changes cancelled, and the image a little brighter. Colour balance very slightly warmer, with a reduced green tone. I would crop only a small amount from the right, mainly to remove that white plastic container, as I like to see the colourful items he is selling.

Hope you find this helpful.


04/07/2015 - 3:08 PM

Howth Harbour Lighthouse

Howth Harbour LighthouseYoure in my home town now Ade!

I hope you took pics of the other lighthouse on Howth Head, which is the much more photographed location.

The original is a good shot. The changes you did give it a totally different look, - which is maybe what you wanted. For me, the darks have been lifted a little too much, and the natural brights toned down, along with what could be a little too much sharpening.

The original does need a boost, its a little flat; it looks like the time of day had the Sun shining quite directly on the front of the house? But overall exposure is quite good.

The major tweaks I would do are with contrast on the building itself, contrast is fine in the sea, but can be better with the house, - due to the very direct sunlight. The house, in addition to a contrast boost, is also a little underexposed. I removed the gull and the two people, also, and increased saturation a little. Sharpening was applied, but a small amount.

The exif here shows f/11, but in the file I see its f/13? With the lens you have, I would imagine f/11 would be as small as you should go and f/13 might be a little less sharp/contrasty?

See what you think.


03/07/2015 - 10:36 PM

A Muslim Woman In A Mosque

A Muslim Woman In A MosqueNot an easy shot to get, - but I think it depends on where you are in the world.

For me, though I understand the desire to have a dark, contrasty silhouette, its too contrasty and dark overall. If this was restricted to the woman it could be better.

In addition with the large amount of busy, detailed space on the right, she looks quite lost in the frame.

So I would suggest lighter contrast, less saturation (which increases with contrast) and a crop that isolates the woman while retaining the sense of location.

Mod uploaded,


02/07/2015 - 2:47 PM

Dawn, Cemetery Beach, Narooma

Dawn, Cemetery Beach, NaroomaHi Hob.

Its a lovely location. You have done well to discover the risks of using stacked filters; its a common occurrence, and as far as I know, you either use one filter with more stopping power, or, as Ive seen in some cases, very high quality filters from one of the manufacturers such as Lee may help. I will rely on someone else commenting with more experience on filters to confirm. The colour cast I usually see with stacked filters (Grads) is magenta/purple, - likely what you experienced?

You would usually use white balance to remove a cast in the RAW image, though if the cast is severe, the extent to which it can be removed may be limited.

Youve done a lot of post processing, so you have got the image according to you taste, so a mod such as mine may not suit what you wanted. It does straighten the horizon, removes more magenta, lifts shadows, and is sharpened.

I would suggest not going smaller than f/16 in most cases simply to improve your chances of a sharper image. Diffraction does cause a loss of sharpness below f/11 in most cases.

Presumably you used a very solid tripod or support, with either a remote shutter release, or the self timer release to prevent any camera shake? The slight softness here may well also be down to stacked filters.


01/07/2015 - 2:39 PM


FamilyA lovely shot Gary. Certainly does show the bond between them.

Exposed nicely, with good detail.

I would brighten the mothers face a little as Paul suggests, - the baby is shading her to some extent.

Mod uploaded with this done. I used both an exposure increase and the shadow tool for this.


30/06/2015 - 1:52 PM


ShagThis is the general approach I used.

The white balance in the original is good as it is, the altered version to warm (you dad will be surprised I said that!)

In RAW, my changes to the original file, leaving WB as-is: exposure -0.4; highlights +8; shadows 0; whites +17; blacks -69; everything else at zero.

In PS, locate and se the black point, either using curves or leaves and the ALT key, or a threshold adjustment; the stat of black is even lower than the RAW adjustment btw. The centre of the eye is what I used that worked well for me. This puts some of the neck dark that your original, but I think looks more natural.

In PS, locate and set the white point, which is the tip of the bill. These changes affect contrast and fine tune white balance.

Some sharpening applied, and additional sharpening on the eye. Used the burn tool on the bill-beak to tone down highlight; removed a wisp of something from the beak.



Brightened the light reflections in the eye.
25/06/2015 - 10:29 PM

Fisherman on lake

Fisherman on lakeThis is a really beautiful shot Juan.

Theres really not a great deal to suggest. I would crop this to a 16 X 9 format, as in the mod, and perhaps a little more contrast in the distant hills.

Perfection would have the fisherman more to the right, coming into the open area, but this is very close.


25/06/2015 - 4:27 PM

Purple daysi

Purple daysiThe shutter speed of 1/10th is not capable of a sharp image using a 200mm focal length, even a VR lens. This is why the image is soft.

You used shutter priority, so you selected that speed intentionally for some reason I dont understand. Much better to choose a shutter speed closer to that required for a non-vr lens used hand-held. For this camera and lens combination, you would need 1/300th for this shot, and with VR you may have been able to get away as low as 1/125th, - bit not 1/10th.

Assume the VR will allow 3 stops slower if its really exceptional; then with non VR you meed 1/300th, so three stops = 1/50th roughly. If the camera is relatively close, you need to consider 2 stops, closer to 1/125th. This would have given you an aperture of f/5.6 roughly and might have needed ISO 400.


25/06/2015 - 3:05 PM


EgiptianYou did well to get good detail with a slow shutter. Im sure the VR lens helped.

The bright shiny parts are probably unavoidable in a location such as this.

The main tweak I would suggest is to the overall colour tone, or white balance. It seems to be leaning towards blue, which is visible in the gold, and the white areas. So warming the image a little makes the gold look more gold.

Think about a crop to put a little more space on the left, as in the mod. The mod has a little sharpening in addition to these tweaks.


25/06/2015 - 4:23 AM

Time to move

Time to moveIts a good photo opportunity.

I dont think its pablo's eyes, - the image is soft overall. Part of this is due to very bright highlights, and, Im guessing, part isd due to the fact the Tigers are moving towards the camera. With the movement, and the wide aperture, focus will be easily compromised unless you are using focus tracking, - which I cant tell if you were.

The time on the camera is wrong, so I cant estimate the time of day, other than to say this was in bright direct sunshine, a difficult situation.

There is little evidence of the fence, though it could certainly contribute to softness.

I tried some sharpening in the mod, along with toning down highlights. Ive added catchlights in the eyesm cropped a little off the bottom, and added a little to the top, removing the grey strip, to position the tiger lower in the frame.

Take a look and see whats you think.


25/06/2015 - 3:59 AM


CatiaGood feedback from dark lord. Nice pose, and theres a trust relationship between both of you.

The light at this time is coming mainly from overhead, so the top of her hand, her forehead, are quite brightly lit; her eyes are shaded, and her nose has a slight shine, with a deep shadow underneath. This is all typical of overhead lighting, and it can often be dramatic.

Apart from removing the plant, I would like to see less glare from the brightest areas of her skin; the shadows reduced around her eyes and under her nose.

Thats about all I have done in the mod, - with a slight sharpening also.


24/06/2015 - 11:56 PM


AlleyI like what you did yourself Billy. Looks like a rock slide at the far end.

I took some of the original and some of your mod, and produced another version that shows a slight glowing light coming in behind the fallen rocks, with the entranceway a lot brighter.

See what you think.


24/06/2015 - 9:59 PM

On The Alert.

On The Alert.Pose is good, hand is on the sword, colour is way over saturated.

Looking at your raw adjustments, this is what I think occurred:

The exposure on the shirt collar, and the centre of the wall behind is very hot, - the collar being blown completely. In RAW, I can see a lot of adjustments that were targeted at reducing the brightest areas, highlights are way down, white is way down, etc. This has the effect of concentrating colour to the extent it becomes oversaturated.

The mod has reversed the adjustments, and I accepted the fact that some highlights are a little blown, not a big deal.

Its cropped, and also has some height added also.

Take a look and see what you think. Its not desaturated, - though I did set vibrance to zero.


16/06/2015 - 1:53 PM

One flew over..

One flew over..Terrific shot.

Not an awful lot to suggest.

With the original, instead of Gaussian blur, try a lens blur, - it will avoid that hint of soft double images in some of the birds.

Mod1 has a slight downward bend in the left side of the curves line, just to get black = black. Its very small, but does make a difference.

Mod2 is a 10 X 8 portrait just for the hell of it.

I would slightly warm the wb in the RAW file.

Well done


12/06/2015 - 1:04 PM

Mexican Daisy

Mexican DaisyThis is very nice. You have been doing very well with flower macros from what I see.

I would not use that colour for the border, - thats just me. The pastel does go well with the image, which is a negative for me as it can dilute the image. Better with black I think, - like the jeweler displaying a diamond.

But an excellent flower macro.

11/06/2015 - 5:03 PM


FreyjaHi Elaine,

This is certainly one to benefit greatly with some work on the RAW file, - great that you have it. That fill flash has provided wonderful catchights in her eyes.

I have outlined RAW file adjustments that you should do as written to get a result similar to my mod. Working on the RAW file is the way to approach this

White balance warmer, - set to auto, or daylight, or in ACR, set to +15 and -9. At least endure that the temp is above 5500K. Thats why the WB adjustment is the first adjustment you see in the workflow, - it affects every other adjustment.

Exposure set to +1.2

Highlights to -4

Shadows to +13

Blacks to -22

Saturation to -10.

Then open as TIFF or jpeg and apply finishing touches.

What Ive done after RAW is crop to a 5 X 7; slightly brighten the face ONLY )layer and mask, or if in LR, use the adjustment brush on her face alone at +0.25)

Darken the sign only, - dont paint over it now.

Sample the darkest red in the sign, and then paint that over the lettering and advertising in the sign, leaving the wooden borders and the pigeon.

If its not dark enough, then darken the now painted sign only some more,

Sharpen her face a little.

I hope you like the result! If you need any assistance or have questions about this approach, just lte me know.


10/06/2015 - 7:07 PM

Got It!

Got It!This is an excellent shot. Great mid air action, well focused, and even the white balance is good Wink Taking advanmtage of the cropped wings to crop closer is a very good idea, makes it look as intended.

Its sharp, and perhaps a tad too sharp on my screen, but its minor.

I would use the burn tool just lighly behind the neck where its brightest, theres good detail in there.

In the mod, Ive cropped a bit off the right, brightened the background, slight burn on the neck, and a little less sharp.

really well done.


08/06/2015 - 9:53 PM


CurvesHi Anita, and welcome to EPZ.

Youve been here a couple of months now, so you know what the critique gallery is about.

This image is very underexposed, with a hint of curves. I think its a building? What I see and you see can be a a little different, unless you use a calibrated monitor, and especially if you use a tablet or laptop.

Its almost abstract really, as theres some ambiguity about what it is, so I can see some attraction in that sense.

When I try to brighten it, it doesnt really do well due to heavy ISO noise, so an aggressive noise reduction, which softens it, combined with some contrast could work.

Ive uploaded 3 version done this way, scroll up, click the modifications tab to view.

Enjoy the site.