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29/11/2012 - 4:40 PM

Location nude

Location nudeYou're also out of kilter by half a degree or so, the uprights to the right being so close to the edge of the frame, emphasising this. Easy enough to straighten up and I think I'd also take the opportunity to crop off the left side completely to give a more formal balance. And of course get rid of that chair...
28/06/2010 - 4:32 PM

blonde stunner

blonde stunnerI'm afraid you've over-egged the retouching by a fair degree. You've taken just about all texture from her face with what looks like a quick gaussian blur. This is made to look all the more unnatural in contrast with the fair degree of detail in her shoulders [which look OK]. You've also over-sharpened the eyes and lightened the whites to such an extent that all detail is gone and you're left with an effect that whilst attention-grabbing, is unphotographic and unreal.

Very pretty model and it looks as though it was a fairly good capture. I'm afraid you haven't improved it... sorry.
28/06/2010 - 4:25 PM

Snow White and the Apples

Snow White and the ApplesThe angle of her head, the cool expression and the wonderful hair dressing are all suggestive of a Mucha illustration - very classy.

I like the idea of the apples, I love the tones and colours in the background and also the texture and framing of the tree bark.

Where it starts to go slightly awry for me is in the rather awkward shaping, particularly from the [her] right arm.

Everything about this shot suggests that sort of organic formalism, which for my money is undermined by some slightly untidy shapes in the lower half of the shot.

Still a marvelous capture, great styling and a well thought out concept, but these little niggles just pull it shy of being an absolutely stand-out work.
18/06/2010 - 3:09 PM

The Scene - April

The Scene - AprilI can see what you're going for, but for me you're losing a bit too much of the photo. The compositions need to be a bit more balanced, perhaps even stylised themselves to take this sort of reductionist treatment.

This is all very subjective of course, but for me it falls between two stools. Too obviously treated to be rough and edgy and too informally posed to work as stripped-down graphic presentation.

They might give a different impression at full resolution - I also suspect they may well divide opinion. With this sort of thing there's bound to be largely influenced by personal taste.
17/06/2010 - 1:11 PM

Whitby III

Whitby IIIA very well exposed shot with some attractive detail.

I'm afraid the composition doesn't work too well for me as it feels unbalanced with all the tonal weight and detail on the right of shot.

I reckon a tighter crop centering the lighthouse on the horizontal plane and taking out some of the sky to take the jetty to the top third would make for a more balanced and pleasing distribution.

Just my opinion of course. Kudos for the great exposure.
04/03/2010 - 2:48 PM

The Asylum Rooms

The Asylum RoomsDidn't realise there would be this much barrel distortion on the close end of the Sigma. But it actually adds a certain degree of claustrophobia to the shot.

You've brought out an amazing amount of texture too [hdr or just carefully processed, single RAW?] which further contributes to the effect.

The downside to that is that the lighting is a bit 'flat'. It would be interesting to see how it would look with more eerie, crepuscular lighting.

Can't say I blame you for not wanting to stick around for too long though...
23/11/2009 - 4:51 PM


KarenThis has the makings of something really wonderful. I think the composition, the quality of the photography, the hair and makeup are very good indeed. The model is very attractive and her gaze and expression are excellent.

But... here come the caveats. I think perhaps you've been seduced into getting too much detail and definition into the face - I think lighter and more subtle tones would have been more effective. Finally and most seriously, the outlining of the hand and upper body, whilst conceptually very good, is rather too stark and too crude. I think it would have worked brilliantly if there was some indication of volume left in there - perhaps just around the edges. It would of course require a fair bit more effort in the retouching, but you'd have a more subtle, naturalistic effect and I think overall this image would be worth the effort.
17/07/2009 - 2:59 PM

Toronto at Night

Toronto at NightLovely shot, the highly saturated, streaked sky is particularly effective.

Looking at it though I couldn't shake the feeling the alignment is off true by a very slight amount. It's difficult to judge because of course there's no clear horizon line to get a level from. At the larger resolution, going on the verticals of the buildings (there's little or no convergence, so you've done very well with the angle) I reckon a CC rotation of 1 about rights it.

I can't be absolutely sure - you'd be able to get a truer measure at the full resolution of your shot - what do you think?
15/07/2009 - 4:51 PM

Getting ready

Getting readyI'm afraid HDR effects in portraits only work where the unreal 'hyper-realism' is used for an abstraction of intent - the technique draws attention to itself. I don't think it's all that appropriate here where something more naturalistic would have been gentler and more intimate.

Goes without saying, it's just my opinion - nothing wrong with the execution.
11/06/2009 - 4:03 PM


RomanceSorry Angie, I think the wrong element is in focus. The eye is merely distracted by the background and led to the right of the composition by the darkness and texture of the tree bark.

Individually you have some nice components, it's just that they don't bond together here and by going for too much you've ended up with one image that [for me, at least] simply doesn't work.

Perhaps you have other alternatives from a sequence?
29/05/2009 - 11:13 AM


...It's a great idea and a very striking composition.

I perhaps would soften the horizon slightly and it's a great shame there is distracting texture in the clouds. It looks as though that portion of the image could be scanned from a print. These are annoying niggles that makes this just a very good piece of work when potentially it would be quite outstanding...

Gets my vote though.
21/05/2009 - 4:59 PM


starIt's quite a striking shot and a little bit away from the ordinary (which is good). But the mask around the legs is far too tight to work in a realistic way - a few pixels of feather would have made the blend better. I also have to question why you've added texture to her legs (unless she has really bad impetigo!). A contrast in texture against the background would have worked much better IMO.

Still a good piece of work - wouldn't bother commenting if I thought otherwise...
05/02/2009 - 12:48 PM

Fit II

Fit IIFake hdr or not this treatment really works here (so many hdr shots just don't).

It's all about how appropriate the treatment is to the subject and it doesn't matter one jot here that this doesn't look like a 'real' capture - you've 'added' to the perceptual truth.
12/01/2009 - 4:07 PM

Their big day

Their big daySignificant problems with all four I'm afraid, Peter.

The main one is about five degrees off-kilter, which you can fix easily.

More seriously the image demonstrates why you need to diffuse, or at least bounce flash where you're taking these indoor portraits. You're holding the camera on the right with the flash mounted on the top - the obvious and ugly shadow illustrates this. On top of that you've got differently coloured highlights from the overhead lighting. Combined this is very unflattering for any portrait photography. (Your flash is meant not simply to give sufficient light, but to evenly spread it on the subject in this type of thing)

The second, of the venue, just doesn't do anything. Buildings by themselves are often not very interesting - why are there no people in this? Was there not a better angle. Could you have avoided having chopped-off bits of hatchback in either corner?

Shot 3 is no better - not a great angle, feet chopped off, parts of the dress chopped off, bride looking one way, groom looking the other, again off true by an amount that suggests a lack of experience. The guests are randomly placed in an unbalanced composition.

Shot four is the poorest of the bunch - the others are at least all in focus. But the gaze of the party does show that you were'nt the principal photographer here - lucky, because I doubt you'd be paid for these.

I know this sounds very harsh, but I hope you will appreciate the criticisms are meant to be constructive and that you will be able to reflect on them and apply the thought to the next time you have a go at something like this.
28/11/2008 - 2:54 PM

The Eye of London.

The Eye of London.It works in parts, but ramping up the contrast so high has lost the pods on the upper left into the sky and of course the lower part of the image is rendered hopelessly muddy.

A very good effort - and it shows imagination, but I'm afraid the composition would have to be far more careful for this to become successful as an image.
10/10/2008 - 12:12 PM

our very own audrey

our very own audreyFirstly, let me start out with the positives: It's generally a good strong image - the style does reflect 'wot it says on the tin' and I like the very shallow depth of field emphasising the eye, which is quite beautiful.

But a few things could (MO) radically improve the image. A minor thing first - I'd clone out the tiny flecks of mascara that have strayed to the right of the eye. Second, presuming you've got a colour image out of the camera, rather than adding the colour to the lips (which I think looks a little crude within the context of this particular image), after you've done your B&W conversion, change the colour space back to rgb and restore the colour to the lips using the history bruch (I'm presuming you're using Photoshop).

Finally and most drastically, it would appear you've shot this at the wider end of your zoom range. This unfortunately has the effect of distorting the model's features, making the nose too broad and the eyes too wide. That's why portraits are most often taken with longer focal length lenses - it's a more flattering look. Obviously this would mean a reshoot.

Of course it may well be that you're aware of all this and these were the effects you were going for.

In any case this still has a lot going for it and I like the image well enought to think it deserves my vote.
30/09/2008 - 10:47 AM

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding HoodThe concept and framing is thoughtful and involving and your model is beautiful and so appropriate for this. There's a lot going on here - so much is suggested by the shot and the allusion to the weel known fairy tale gives an added dimension.

You ought to be an art director - there are many more technically polished photos on this site, but most of them don't have half the imagination of this shot.
26/09/2008 - 12:44 PM


ChainedGreat image. Love its isolated composition, the smooth, sculptural quality, particularly with the legs.

The natural vignette (or perhaps it's more planned than it looks?) helps to further emphasise the figure and I like how you've managed to give prominence to the model's face by having her turn toward the stronger light.

I find the face an interesting feature in itself. This girl has a gorgeous body and the pose/props make it highly sexualised. But there's a sort of sweetness an innoncent girl-next-door quality to her looks (and I don't mean that in any disparaging sort of way). I think that gives the image extra depth as it sort of conflicts with the contextualisation/objectification of the girl as a fetish image.
24/09/2008 - 3:33 PM

Jade 3

Jade 3Difficult to tell at this size, but I'm finding the finer wisps of hair a little distracting - it may help the image just to tidy these up a bit in photoshop.

But having said that I think the capture is great, the lighting well judged, the pose and composition elegant and natural and the hair motion adds drama and impact. Good work.
28/08/2008 - 3:03 PM

HDR Castle

HDR CastleAgree with the others - the HDR isn't overdone, but just draws out nice colour and detail. One very slight caveat (and this may just be how it looks on screen) that the motion of the cloud has possibly softened them over the time of the three exposures?

On the one hand I suppose that does make the foreground stand out in starker relief, on the other maybe you've lost a little 'drama'. Assuming you shot raw and have an exposure at -1 ev, you'd still be able to get plenty of contrast in the sky based on that latter shot (for the clouds only).

Just a thought... A great shot in any case.