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11/12/2011 - 9:07 PM

Slow water, Southerndown mono

Slow water, Southerndown monoRemote release is a must Sue, OR use the self timer. ISO 100 also for best performance. Cant beat a solid tripod, and NEVER extend the centre column if avoidable for maximum stability.

I do see quite a lot of Chroma noise (colour specks Jack, - theres also Luminance noise which is more a black/grey/white noise), which surprises me to be honest. This camera usually performs well at this ISO.

I searched high and low for any information on the web for any issues and found none. Sometimes, - and Im not at all familiar with your camera, a sensor can get hot with a long exposure and cause noise, but I dont see your shutter time as being anyway excessive. I have also heard, - and just rumours, that partial ISO stops do not perform as well as FULL ISO stops, - i.e ISO 400 may be better than ISO 320, - but cant substantiate this beyond rumour.

I would suggest you take some test shots of a white surface using the same settings, and experiment with ISO to seee if you can duplicate it, - and if so, go to the forums and see if theres anyone there experienced the same

11/12/2011 - 3:49 PM

Woodland sun

Woodland sunWelcome to EPZ Lee.

Its a nice image as it is. You can improve it with a few tweaks, which, depending on your comfort level with Photoshop can be easily done.

Remove the red bush bottom right; increase contrast, - it enhances the rays of light, crop some space from the bottom to place the focal tree on a third, and sharpen. All this contrinutes to giving the image more "punch"

Ive done this in a mod for your review.


09/12/2011 - 4:38 PM


TulipNice. The background is not quite white, especially at the top, - might look better all white. I dont mind the frame as it not too wide, - wider would certainly be too heavy for me as Barbara has mentioned. Using a colour from the shot for the frame quite often can have the effect of distracting from, or diluting the subject, the opposite of what might be intuitive, so be careful if you do a V2. If anything, when using a colour from the image, make it a very think stroke line, then add a plain white border.


07/12/2011 - 10:54 PM


Gizmof/2.2 gives you a much too shallow depth of field to get the eyes in focus, - otherwise its a beauty.

Heres a link you will find extremely helpful in understanding depth of field; you can enter precisely your camera, your lens and your settings ans see exactly why the eyes are not sharp in this shot:


And get to know how to select the focus point (the red square) the camera will use to focus, so you can get a good focus in a place other than the centre (as it is in this shot). Its easy and in the manual.


07/12/2011 - 9:04 PM

The Light House

The Light HouseAnother nice image, and pano format suits this.

Loaded a mod, and as per the Critique comments, - the subject looks better on a third; sharpen; and a new one, - the horizon is best on a horizontal third. One odd thing, - and I know its completely wrong in the mod, but shots like this often look better with the subject on the left, so it "reads" left to right.

Hope this helps,


07/12/2011 - 8:55 PM

Best Friends

Best FriendsIts a nice image, but for me works way better in mono, - mostly due to the absence of any sky detail. I would also suggest you crop space off the right, to mover her in more towards a third the way in from the edge.

Ive loaded a mod for review. Ive added diffuse glow to blow out the shy area in a soft glow, so it looks like shes walking towards something mysterious. Ive also sharpened, - same comment as Ive left on your Critique image.


07/12/2011 - 8:23 PM

1st Adventure

1st AdventureWelcome to EPZ Josie.

I notice from your portfolio, small though it is as yet, that you really have a good eye for a shot.

This is a delightful shot, - very personal, and I completely echo Phils comments.

I have loaded a mod where Ive cropped the height a little, mostly the top to give the impression they are higher and you are lower, and blurred the distant trees. Ive also sharpened it a little.

One thing to know when uploading shots to the web, is that once you re size the image and save it, DONT upload until you open the new image, and check for sharpness. The sharpen as needed, save, and then upload.

Hope you like it,


07/12/2011 - 4:53 PM

London St Pauls

London St PaulsWelcome Ian, and enjoy the site.

The image is underexposed as you know, and looking at your exif data you use Av which is good, however you used negative exposure compensation, rather than positive exposure compensation. Once the camera sees a lot of sky, you inevitably can assume the metering system will underexpose, so use +, positive exposre compensation to ensure its not underexposed. You would have had an overexposed sky here, but the buildings would have looked a lot better. In cases where you want both exposed correctly, used exposure bracketing and then combine in Photoshop.

Ive loaded a mod, - didnt bother with the verticals as St Pauls is straight and square. You also need to check your re sized image after you save it and before you upload it, - to make sure its still sharp (it wont be most of the time), then sharpen as needed, save, and then upload.

Hope you find this, and the mod helpful,


04/12/2011 - 7:43 PM

Going to Prayers

Going to PrayersHi Elaine.

You used a compact for this, so a wide angle gave you some converging verticals, - more about that in a minute.

The shot itself has the man going to prayer a little low in the frame, - so the addition frame would have placed him higher, but from what you say, it had to go.

In that case, - hes better placed on a third, - and its not very difficult to select him with a lasso tool, copy, and then paste him where you need to have him appear, - which Ive done in the mod.

The people in the windows are quite easy to remove, - just use a black brush and paint over them!

The pink building on the right seems out of character to me, and thats where we can solve the apparent leaning (converging) wall on the right just by cropping it out.

Ive loaded a mod with this done. You are on the right track, - a solitary person going to prayer is a good subject.

Hope this helps.


04/12/2011 - 7:17 PM


TynaThe Critique Team can somethimes come to you when a good shot is noticed!

This is a very nice shot indeed. One of the hardest things to do, since your busy looking at your focal point, is to check around the viewfinder for distraction, and move the without relying on photoshop, - its much easier!

I loaded a mod and gave the kitten a tail, - no theres no "add kittens tail" tool in Photoshop, - just a little manipulation!

Hope you like it.

You can remove and replace, and heal in Lightroom, - click Help and use Clone as the search term, it will show you how.


03/12/2011 - 6:19 PM


CleySelect the upper part of the windmill with a lasso tool; copy and paste; use the edit transform tool to flip the windmill the other way; position accurately, clone over any signs of the old windmill.

Sue, - Im not a fan of Topaz, and many above may attest to, its very easy to overdo it; it produces extremely unreal colours, way too much contrast, and it can look very obvious on an image that some severe tweaking has been done. However, - to be fair, - its quite possible Ive only seen the over done examples, and with a light touch it can do a good job.

Its impossible to tell what Topaz has done for you here without looking at the original colour, - you can upload it as a mod if you have it?

This particular image I find rather dull and flat, and not quite sharp, - so perhaps lack of sharpness is due to loading the re sized image before savingit, opening it, and applying sharpening as needed, - this check needs to be done every time.

I will upload a mod shortly.


02/12/2011 - 5:14 PM

On the Tombolo, Loch Eriboll.

On the Tombolo, Loch Eriboll.A brave man to shoot into the full Sun. This often results in blindness in one eye; total destruction of the camera sensor; and extreme lens flare.

You were lucky to get the third. it also results in an underexposed image, with an over concentration of colour. The long shadows are quite nice, as is the overall

Personally I like the flare, and would leave it, but I would lighten the foreground somewhat and de saturate to get the colours less exaggerated.

Loaded a mod.


01/12/2011 - 8:15 PM

All together

All togetherIts a beautiful image Elizabeth, - almost abstract. Its a little underexposed, - but at the same time I see you have used -4/3 exposure comp, so I assume you wanted it this way.

If I am wrong, - theres a mod Ive uploaded with about a top more exposure, - brightens colours also.


01/12/2011 - 5:37 PM

Robin in the morning light. 2

Robin in the morning light. 2You'll have to change your name to Robin!

This is a very nice shot, and you have to look very closely to see anything that can be improved.

Close examination shows that the eye and beak are not sharp enough, - while the side feathers are perfect. This leads me to believe the point of focus was just behind the eye; its also possible that a slightly smaller aperture, f/8, increasing ISO would have performed better. But at such a low speed, the results are extremely good.

Heres a useful link where you can input your own camera and lens information to determine just how much depth of field you had to work with in this shot:


One toe is missing as you know, and this can be faked in quite easily with a copying an existing toe and moving it over and aligning it.

The composition is a little too central, and when I used a square crop, it worked well, placing the Robin nicely on thirds.

I sharpened the eye and beak separately from the rest of the bird, cropped, and repaired the toe in the mod.

Good work, and hope this helps,


30/11/2011 - 11:47 PM

Tatiana Marx

Tatiana MarxI like the diagonal composition.

I think this would suit a square crop, which Ive loaded, Ive also warmed the skin tone and added a vignette. I find the folds suggest shes on stage during a performance, and dont mind them at all, - I think they add to the illusion.


29/11/2011 - 7:11 PM

Peak Sunset

Peak SunsetIt may well be a real halo, - i.e its light from the Sun forming the band around the rock. Doesnt appear to be anything to do with processing.

Ive had a go at reducing it, - using CS4, I used the burn tool, set to midtones, at 8%, with protect tones checked on. It does work, but would take a bit more time and care to get it all sorted out.

I also moved the black point closer to black, so it has a bit more contrast.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

27/11/2011 - 4:29 PM


BethanyJust to clarify Ian, - the colour popping does work, - its the fact that the saturation of the blocks in the colour version, as an example, is considerably higher than the colour in the image that draws the eye, and this is especially the case where the colour red is involved.

Hope this is helpful,


27/11/2011 - 4:16 PM


BethanyHi Ian,

If I assume V2 is your original, you need to get that right first. The colour balance is off, theres a pink cast, skin tones are too red, and the eyes are too dark, with no catchlights.

You can sort this out as Ive done in the mod, and start from there. I think the bricks are over saturated personally. Colour popping can work if they are a little less saturated I think.

The pose and idea are really nice, but include a colour corrected version. Ive loaded an example. I like the mono simply because they hide the colour cast, - but its the choice of the client.

I will load a couple of mono suggestions also

25/11/2011 - 6:08 PM


BoldA very attractive shot Elizabeth. I love the toning, and I see you used negative exposure compensation to make sure you controlled highlights very well.

It can be a bit sharper here, - you need to remember that when you re size and save as a new file, - before you upload, open the new file, check sharpness (it will have lost sharpness most likely), and apply the appropriate amount, then save, and only then upload. I think thats the issue here, - Im sure you original is very sharp.

Ive loaded 2 mods, - one a portrait crop to limit the amount of empty space, and another 10 X 8 crop to position the subject lower, placing it on a third (it was close) by adding space to the top. In both cases Ive applied sharpening, and darkened some of the brighter background stems or leaves.

I hope you find this helpful, and the mods give you some ideas.


24/11/2011 - 5:57 PM

Whitehall Tree

Whitehall TreeI agree with Paul on all his points here Andy. I have uploaded a mod that makes this a black and white imge, rather than a black and grey image, and this makes white = white. Ive also cropped and flipped it left to right, - might look better.

Experiment with the Channel Mixer in Photoshop to get the mono output looking better, - assuming you use photoshop. Your mod is better, but still a little short.

Depending on your sill level, you can do what I did, - I used threshold and curves to identify white, - you need a version of Photoshop that can do this, - anything above Elements will do.

heres a link:


Its meant to remove colour casts, and works well to, but will work with mono to show what needs to be white and black also.

Hope this helps,