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07/02/2012 - 5:52 PM

Sam takes a seat

Sam takes a seatStuart, This is a pretty good shot of a super looking model.....Grin

As someone has already mentioned the lighting, I'm not goung to add anything to that.....Grin

However, One thing you might want to keep an eye on is the little details.....Smile

What I'm getting at is the models left leg, Where it is resting on the chair back....Sad This has messed with the lines of the leg somewhat, Its a pet thing of mine to try and prevent such things in a composition, Not always easy I know, As there are many many things to think of, But just before you fire the shutter, Take one last glance over your subject, This is more important when shooting a model ( Or other subjects ) where everything is foccused on the subject in question, ie: Nothing else to distract the eye, If you see what I mean.....Smile

Like I say, Its a pet thing of mine, Looking for the detail that can be anything, Like a thread hanging from clothing, Ruffled hem lines, Anything that looks out of place or odd.....!!!

One last thing, The pose itself, It just don't look comfortable, It looks as though her right hand is holding her from falling, The whole thing is just not relaxed, Which might explain her expression.....Sad Generally if a pose is comfy, The model looks more relaxed & confident, Without being told to......Wink

So does it get a vote, Yes it does, Why, Because you are trying, You listen to/read and take on board any advise given, Plus thats one very nice model.....Smile
01/02/2012 - 2:55 PM


SoniaBlurring out the background in post shot rarely works in a convincing manner, Your better of to use a wider aperture when shooting takes place....!, The bokeh on that particular Nikon lens is supposed to be quite nice all by itself....!!

The crop is an odd size, Too high compared to width, Or to narrow compared to height, If you wanted the necklace on show, Then maybe the crop or composition should have been wider.

Generally has the look of a tad to much processing all round.
28/01/2012 - 11:24 AM

friends cat 2

friends cat 2I have to be frank, This image does not work on any level, The original shot might have done though.....!!!

When it comes to filters and or any other controls for altering the look of an image, Very often " Less Is More " .....!

Sorry if that all comes across as a tad negative or harsh, But I have a special interest in Kitty Kat images......Grin Yes by all means tweak them, But be honest with yourself about the intention and the result.

That is an honest comment, If it displeases just hide it.....Wink

By the way, My name is not " Frank "....Grin
20/12/2011 - 5:53 PM


*****Superb Cat portrait Olivia.....Grin

This has to be one of your best as it is nice & clear, Sharp enough for a furry subject, Plus it show your cats personality......Smile

The composition is generally good, But I might have considered a little more space to the right ( as viewed ).....!

Why..? The crop as it is looks a tad narrow, You could have a problem if you wanted to print this for a picture frame, That and having some space to the right ( As the cat is looking that way ) Would add greater depth and dynamics to the overall impact of the image.....Smile

Your basics are great, But if you did indeed crop the right hand side, Take a look at the original and see what I mean....!!!

Whatever, Good going anyhow, The only way is up.....LOL....Smile And cats are a very hard subject, Thats for sure......Sad

Have a good kitty pic Christmas, Keep em coming.


EDIT: When you get the time, Look up something called " The Rule Of Thirds " in relationship to photography, It might help you understand better where my comment is coming from....Grin
08/12/2011 - 6:42 PM


AN  ENGLISH  ROSESuper looking model, Fits the title well.....!

But the image itself has a few issues from where I am looking......Sad

First the composition model in that pose would look much better with negative space on the right, Rather than as it is left......!!!

Overall look is kinda " Flat " the colours etc look dull and lifeless, This is almost certainly a lighting issue, ie: No catchlights in the eyes.....!!!

Lastly sharpness is a tad off, Not that a portrait needs to be silly sharp, But a little detail selective sharpening can make a big difference, Especially the eyes......!!!

If you get the chance, Do this shoot again with some or all of my suggestions, You might be suprised how different it looks.....Grin

Also check your monitor/display for calibration, I can vouch for the display I'm using to view this, It was calibrated only yesterday.....!!!
04/12/2011 - 3:45 PM


*****Fab looking cat Olivia, Shame about the movement blur though.......Sad

Try this next time, A good makeshift bean bag support can be made from a " Packet Of Rice " ...Grin

Just make sure its well sealed though, Then when the puddy tat is around use the rice packet to rest the camera on, Hold firm a squeeze the shutter button nice and slowly, Keeping the camera as still as possible until it has fired......Smile

You would be suprised how that helps to steady the camera, I used a rice bag for years before garduating to a bean bag......LOL....Wink

Good luck keep up the practice.
15/08/2011 - 1:57 AM

First Studio shoot

First Studio shootPeter, Ya gotta start somewhere...Smile

Here you have a few problems, First the subject is way to close to the background.

Two things can happen in this situation, First is the obvious shadow problem and control of the shadows.
The second is massive burn out from the studio lights reflecting of the white background, Hence the issue with the white clothing.

From this image I can't tell for sure, But it looks as though the strobes where a little to close to the subject as well.

The whole deal with studio lighting is learning to control the light, Then using it to your particular taste/style.

Ok! So to start with make it easy on yourself, Do a few head and shoulders with a straight white backdrop, Subject at least 3 feet ( 1 metre ) in front of the backdrop.
Set one of your lights high up on its lowest setting, By high I mean at least 6 to 8 feet, Then angle it down to the subject, If you can keep it around 6 to 9 feet in front of the subject, And off to one side, Lets say just left of centre, The second light on the right maybe a little bit further say 6 to 8 feet to the right, Not as high though set for subject height and use lowest power to start with, To much power is worse than not enough sometimes.....Smile

Next with the D700 in manual, Set the ISO to 200, The aperture to f/8 and the shutter speed to 1/125, Take a shot and check for exposure, Adjust as required.

Try working with just one light and a reflector, ie: the high angled light with a reflector to push some light up to soften shadows etc.

If you trying for those over white so called " High Key " blown out white backdrop looks, Its a whole different set-up......Grin

But before I whaffle on and on, We need to know what your intended look was.....Wink

So I'll clear of while you have a play with my suggestions.

23/06/2011 - 4:30 PM

Girls From Zim

Girls From ZimAnother way to prevent background shadow is to use " Bounce Flash " ie: Bounce the light of a ceiling or wall or even a reflector, If you can bounce the light of a ceiling it returns to the subject from above in most cases giving a more natural look to the image, When you think about it....Grin Light in its natural state comes from above, We generally percieve what we are looking at with light from above, Even in our own houses etc lights are often placed in the ceiling.....Smile

Of course that can also lead to rather bland images, But its from that perspective that you begin to alter/change the lighting for more artistic effect.

09/05/2011 - 11:36 AM

grid girls modified

grid girls modifiedNext time try and keep your eye on the composition.....Grin

A slightly lower angle with less " Sky " would have captured the girls all the way down to their toes.....Smile

I'm not sure about you, But in this image I could happily live without the sky .....Wink

Quote: TOO THIN !!!!!

Is that supposed to be a comment on the " Photographic Quality " of this image, If not then these sort of comments are best kept for forums that deal with " Weight & Diet " such as weight watchers or maybe a healthy living site.....Wink
07/04/2011 - 3:03 PM

Maria not dancing

Maria not dancingNice one Stuart, I'd certainly agree with Richard & Alans suggestions, That aside your going in the right direction .....Smile

Trouble is we sometimes pay to much attention to the actual light, Where and how it falls etc etc....Its all to easy to overlook the shadows/shades that can help or at least add to the image, Some people seem to do away with shadows all together, But its the individual little shadows & shades that give things shape and substance....!!!

A very simple example is the old " Drop Shadow " gag.....LOL, Don't take me to literally there, But look at a blank piece of paper flat on a wall, Now add a little drop shadow, Suddenly the thing has depth/form shape etc.....Grin

Of course your job as a photographer is to make the judgement call, Where the light strikes and where the shadows appear, How dark the shadow is, Does it flatter your subject, Specially " Girlies " .....Smile

One other thing to look at while your framing up a composition, Does your subject look comfortable, Does he/she look relaxed, Does the pose cause odd shapes in muscles that will be exaggerated by shadow & light play.........You probably know all that by now anyhow....!!!
02/04/2011 - 10:47 AM

Sleepy Time

Sleepy TimeSuper image......Smile

Just one very slight niggle.....Sad

The colour co-ordinated background.......!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry but thats just a bit tacky and distracts from the main subject & image.....!

This would be FAB on a black/Grey background, Or something more subtle....Smile

Less is more as they say.....Wink

Gets a Royal pardon and a vote for being a different cat image though.....
Another couple of shots of RachelAh! Thats better, V1 is good, V2 needs looking at because her right hand has caused the dress to distort, Giving her a strange shape.....!!!

Try and avoid the wider end of your lens, Lest optical distortion will play havoc with how subjects look.....Smile

Where possible try and keep between 50mm & 85mm.......!

Vote for effort and a patient model.....Wink
06/10/2010 - 11:43 AM

fashion shot

fashion shotThe first thing that seems obvious is the model looks as though she is having a laugh....!

Thats a good start, Because the rapor between photographer and model, Can make or break any shoot.

However its all a tad downhill from there I'm afraid.

First backdrop material needs ironing....Smile Steam irons are best.

Lighting is a bit flat, You don't say what you had in the way of lighting kit, So its hard to offer and further advise.

I'm guessing you wanted a white background....?

If so you need to read up on how best to achieve this, But the basics are, You light the background to a higher value than the lighting used for your model.

Lighting on model, A single light with a reflector can be useful, But again with no clue as to your light setup, Its hard to add more.

While we are on that, Some camera shooting data, Might prove helpful for more in depth advise.....Grin

Model and pose, Fisrt the model looks fab.....Smile

But as mentioned by " devlin " bits chopped off, Unless it was intentional, Its something to keep an eye on.

Models pose looks awkward almost as if she was falling backwards at the time, Take plenty of time when composing your model, Try to get a pose that looks comfortable, As well as fits the frame.

Lastly, Put more distance between your model and the background, This helps with reducing/removing shadows, But also allows the background to be " Out Of Focus " DOF wise, So the need to iron will be lessened, If not removed altogether.

Overall, Not a bad first real go, You have a good model tostart with, Looks as though she was enjoying the experience, So thats a great start.

23/09/2010 - 11:41 PM

entering Canterbury

entering CanterburyFirst thing that stikes me is the lack of focus on the main subject.

Next the flatness of the colours, This may be down to colour space, Did you convert it to sRGB before uploading...?


Why portrait mode.

Whatever, Here you have some not so attractive objects in the background, The house with its chimneys and tv antenna just above the smoke from the train are a No no, They really spoil the whole thing.

Foreground interest, Well there is nothing here that complements the main subject, Thats why I asked the question, Why portrait mode.....!!!

A landscape view might have worked better, Or find yourself a better location, With more complimentary back/forground subjects, Or use a wider aperture to blur the background out a tad.

Any or all of these could improve the overall appearance of the shot.

BUT the lack of focus on the steam engine, Is never going to be succesfully rescued after the shot has been taken.

So pay attention to your AF set up, Your choice of focus point, Your choice of aperture, Shutter speed, And the ISO required to complete the setup.

If I Get a mo, I may try a mod, But the loss of focus detail may never be recovered.
05/09/2010 - 1:29 PM


FrustrationThe highest ( smallest hole ) Aperture is not always the best option.

Depending on the lens your using a factor called " Diffraction " starts from around f/16 and smaller.

Basically without getting to techy, Diffraction kills sharpness..Sad

If you want to know more about " Diffraction " and how it affects lens performance re-sharpness, Just " Google " the subject, Its quite interesting if nothing else.

So thats a first thing to bare in mind.

Next would be your lens, I'm not saying its no good, But it does cover a wide focal range, These type of lens are great and very versatile, But like most jack of all trades, They are not always master of one.

To get the best out of the lens, Try having a look at where it works best, ie: What particular " Aperture " is the one it is sharpest at, You'll probably find its best around f/8, f/9, f/10.

Next " Tripod " for longish exposures, You really need a good sturdy tripod, The slightest movement will translate into blur.

As we are not all rich and have to work to a budget and if you have a fairly light tripod, TRY this little trick, Get a plastic bag or similar, Fill it with around a kilo of sand or pebbles of the beach, Then suspend it from just below your tripods " Centre Column " ...Smile

The added weight straight down will/can in most cases make your tripod much more stable.....Go steady on the weight though....Wink

Next, Shooting tips, Apart from the above mentioned aperture options, Use the " Mirror Lock-Up " option on your camera, This removes any chance of a slight movement as the mirror flips open.

( Its easy to get at on your camera, Its on the shooting mode dial )

Next, Use a release cable or wireless release trigger, This means you fire the shutter without touching the camera, Again this removes any chance of camera induced blur.

Last one for today, But equally important.

When you bought your camera, It should have come with a " Tiny " little plastic thing of rectangular shape.....!!!!!!

This fits into the " Eyepiece " of your viewfinder, What it does is prevent any stray light from entering the camera via the viewfinder, Especially on long exposures, Where your more likely to not be covering the viewfinder with your " Eye or Head " ......Smile

You would be very surprised how much light can potentially affect the exposure in these circumstances, Anywhere from 1 to 2 stops worth, Hence it really screws with your main subject exposure.

Just one more thing.....SHOOT RAW with " Adobe RGB " colour space, This gives you truck loads more scope for processing your image.

Whether or not you use " ND Grad Filters " filters is up to you, They can be very useful when balancing out a scene.....Smile

OK...So that aside your composition in this image is really very good, So try a few of my tips & tricks, Lets see how you get on......Wink
26/06/2010 - 11:18 AM


9763Titles are a pain sometimes....Smile

Not sure about the central position of the subject, ie: Is the subject the main focal point of the image or is it the billboard..!

Next consideration is DOF, I'd say you had a fairly small aperture as pretty much everything is alomost in focus, A wider aperture choice with focus on the subject would help isolate the subject from the background & give the image more atmosphere....!

Well thats my take anyhow.....Smile

Its a good choice for a mono conversion, But the white in the dress is blown out in several places.....Sad

This could be a monitor thing, In that on my calibrated ( horribly expensive display ) I can see that, Or you might want to consider the exposure options you used for the shoot, Or very possibly the mono conversion process.

In theory if this was shot in RAW, You should have enough latitude in the Nikon NEF file, To recover most if not all the detail in the blown areas, If shot in jpeg though you may struggle.

Title wise.....Grin What about " Celebrity Stance " .....Smile just a thought...!
16/06/2010 - 7:56 PM

After the rain

After the rainNo1, Nice but way to much black border, Not even sure black does it any justice.....Sad

No2, Is there a black border...? LOL whatever, Here it looks like a cut and paste job, No depth at all, So for me anyhow, No2 is a No no.

No3 Great, Now we have lost the black border....Smile But still the border is too heavy, Something lighter/Thinner/more attractive would enhance rather than distract as this one does....Sad

Sometimes less is more and subtly is everything......Wink
25/05/2010 - 10:08 AM


SamSome areas to think about.

The pose, It does nothing for the model, With her tummy sticking forward like that, She looks a few months pregnant, The bare mid is blown, She appears to be holding a wall up, Or preventing it from falling over, So is she a Rock Chick, Or a Brickies labourer....Sad

Detail is a little fuzzy too, No obvious area of focus to draw the viewers attention.

Laying her hair around her neck, Combined with lack of detail and turning the image mono, Has made it look as though her head is not actually attached to her body......Sad

Without any shooting details its hard to evaluate where the technical details may be corrected, The pose & composition though are a purely personal thing, It does not float my boat, But may please others.

That may all sound a tad harsh, But if your ever going to improve, It will not happen if all you get is " nice pic " comments.
23/05/2010 - 10:20 AM


DawnSuper model with a great natural look.

But for my taste she is to centrally placed in the composition, I might also have considered a wider aperture to blur out the background more, This would throw the emphasis more to your subject, Rather than the scenery.

Maybe even croping to a portrait view with just the pink flowers.

One other consideration with female portraits, Try and avoid the square on to the camera look, It can make thier shoulders look wider than they really are, Often refered to as the " Arnie " look, A slight turn to one side is more flattering to the female form.

But heck! Thats just my take on it.....Smile
01/04/2010 - 11:56 AM

niks rear

niks rear
Quote: can I get the same effect without the stand

I know this might sound obvious, But you could try moving the stand/light to one side....Smile

Quote: Experiment with back lighting

Backlight can produce some interesting results, However you need to balance it with a front light as well....!!! Or possibly a refletor ( big round one perhaps ).

However before you go any further, This image appears to be out of focus, Or has been processed in a way that has degraded the detail on the main subject.

Lighting experiments can be great fun, But you need to master the basics in order to have some idea where your going with it.

Try the backlight with a continuous light source, Then use a forward light ( flash whatever ) to balance the exposure, But do try to get the camera to focus on the subject in mind.