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24/05/2014 - 7:22 AM


TwistedCaptivating and well executed. A great image.

Perhaps crop in the left hand edge to move the subject closer to the left hand vertical third, leaving all that pavement space to the right as he faces into it.

Nonetheless a really interesting and appealing photo.

24/05/2014 - 7:20 AM


CarlaAn appealing studio portrait. Great expression and eye contact from the model that holds attention. Overall this is stylish and well executed.

For me I'm not a fan of cropping right across the top of the head like this and feel it has better balance with just a little bit of space above the crown of the subjects head. Either that or it needs to come in tighter to frame the face. As a minor point for tidying up and finishing the shot I would also suggest cloning out the stray hair just cutting across the models left eye.

Small points that may add a little to what is already a captivating portrait.

19/05/2014 - 6:28 AM


CoverdaleNice lines, light and shade and on seeing the colour I was thinking mono too. I think the sky needs more detail for the mono and I would try playing with the colour channel sliders on conversion to get the most of the tonality.

The colour is good and I like its simplicity of colour. Perhaps de-saturating the green a little.

Nonetheless a lovely composition.

17/05/2014 - 7:12 AM

Any Orbjections

Any OrbjectionsA Vivian Maier style self portrait. I would go closer and fill the frame with the silver globe to get all those great reflections and give you more prominence too.

16/05/2014 - 8:14 AM


JenMorning Robert

A lovely and well executed studio shot. Props and dress all fitting together and also makes me think in mono, possibly with a sepia treatment, would work well and give a period look too.

I find that little bit of ruffle off the dress poking from behind the models left arm a little distracting as it breaks the line of her arm. The arm position creates a lovely triangle and frames and leads you back to her face. Possibly better if the bit of dress was cloned out?

Perhaps I'm being too pedantic as overall this is lovely.

12/05/2014 - 9:42 AM

Hopperlets (?)

Hopperlets (?)Hi Martin

In camera you can only expose for the area you want to highlight.

What processing does, and it is no different to film negative and prints, is allow you to finish the image in the way you visualise the image. In film world it is through hand printing and using techniques such as dodging and burning as well for fine detail, airbrushing, which is an art in itself.

In digital you have the beauty of doing this without being in the dark and playing with messy chemicals!

Depends what software you are using to process your images. In photoshop you can add layers that will allow you to selectively increase/decrease brightness, contrast, saturation by applying the adjustment to the image that gives you what you are aiming for and then painting back the areas you don't want it to effect.

Here you could increase brightness and saturation on yellow to really pull out the yellow spots. Here I would then reverse the layer using control i or command i on a Mac and using a small brush, dot over all the yellow spots to reveal the adjustment made. This is what I did in my mod albeit quite lightly. You can of course increase the intensity in the initial layer adjustment to make them brighter still.

I hope that makes sense but if not please feel free to let me know, along with the editing software you use to see if I can help specifically.

11/05/2014 - 7:46 PM

Medievial No 3

Medievial No 3Hi Mario

A lovely portrait with a candid feel as your subject looks off camera. Lovely expression, nice soft lighting and a balanced composition.

I am on iPad this evening as I am away from home due to work commitments so cannot upload a mod to demonstrate the changes I would make. I would agree with Tonyng above that although the background is beautifully soft and well executed from your choice of aperture it has a couple of highlight areas that could pull the eye away. I would clone out that patch of white to the left of the subjects head. I would also darken down the bottom right corner as it too is a light area that draws the eye down.

I would ever so lightly do an adjustment on the eyes. Very subtle but enough to brighten them ever so slightly and give them a touch more sparkle.

Other than that this is a fine portrait. Very appealing and will sit well with a series of images from this medieval event you have covered.

I hope that helps.

11/05/2014 - 9:32 AM

Bubbles !

Bubbles !Hi and welcome to the Critique Gallery.

I see that this is your first upload here although you have been on the site for a couple of weeks now. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn. We try to give advice that will help people to improve their photography both the taking and the editing of images.

Remember that the more information you give us as regards your photographic aims and intentions, the better. It also helps us if you respond to critique and indicate which ideas you find helpful. That means we can tailor advice according to your needs. As you are yet to explore the world of processing I will keep my critique in the main to your image although I would add some small and simple adjustments in processing.

You have a nicely exposed and interesting image here. Great colour and a fun shot too. If anything I would have liked to see the boy's mouth as it blew those bubbles and it is an option at the time of shooting to have moved slightly round or wait for the hand to come lower. Remember now you have made the big expense of buying the camera, the cost of digital becomes almost negligent other than time to sort and process your images. So the more you shoot and explore angles and exposure the cheaper the cost per photo becomes! As well as you can learn and develop your camera craft and eye without the cost of film and processing.

I like the boy in the background looking on at what is going on here and good control of exposure combination to have selected a wide aperture to soften the background. Retaining enough detail in the second boy to add interest to the scene.

The sharpness on the main subject however needs care. At such a wide aperture you have little latitude and the focus point needs to really be on the boys eyes in this type of portrait. The focus point here is on the hand.

Overall a good and interesting image and if that hand wasn't so dominant in obscuring the blowing of the bubbles it would be a real winner.

In terms of processing I would just go for a slightly tighter crop and I'll demonstrate with a modification. I would also introduce a little lens vignette to darken the edges and finish the image as this helps frame the action.

To see the mod, click on the modifications(1) tab between the bottom of your image above and your description box. This will open up a thumbnail of the mod. Click this to open larger and a more suitable viewing size. You can click view large from here if you want to see the full size image in a new window.

I hope that helps and please let me know if the feedback is helpful so the team can try and help you in the best way we can.

Enjoy your new camera and I hope you'll continue to keep posting.

11/05/2014 - 8:48 AM

Drama in heights

Drama in heightsHi Ulash

You have a nice record shot and well thought out in terms of the juxtaposition of ancient and modern.

This does need brightening which is an easy levels adjustment and straightening which takes a little more patience but again can be done fairly simply depending on your editing software. The latest edition of LR has a great tool within lens correction that does a fine job of correcting verticals. Photoshop you use the transform options under edit to adjust.

There are lots of tutorials on the internet to help with perspective and skew adjustments. One example here


I hope that helps.

11/05/2014 - 8:16 AM

wrong timer

wrong timerHi Ulash

This is a bit different from your recent uploads and back to some of your earlier abstract stuff.

An interesting isolation and I take it that it was the wet and yellowed leaf that caught your eye. Was this taken at night under street lighting? I ask as it appears to have quite a tungsten yellow cast to the yellow that makes it more mustard than yellow as well as at ISO500 you were down to 1/10s at f3.2.

As an abstract it works quite well although it is suffering from some lack of sharpness, likely due to that slow shutter speed causing a little bit of camera shake. As a close-up shot of a leaf to record a story of nature it requires sharpness and accurate colour reproduction. So it's horses for courses in terms of critique. By that I mean, as a natural history shot it needs more care at the shooting stage to ensure sharpness and colour is absolute.

Sticking with the abstract you have options here to create an image that may appeal.

Firstly I would brighten it with a curves or levels adjustment in PS and I would increase sharpness to pull to the detail within the leaf. As an alternative it would work too in mono and also perhaps as a triptych (3 images together) with a colour shift on each one. I'll upload a couple of mods to demonstrate.

Hows that City from the Mountains project coming along?

10/05/2014 - 4:24 PM

Storm over Round Hill

Storm over Round HillHi Geraint

You have a great shot here. Full of drama and colour and I like the composition.

For me it needs a little work in processing. Your camera craft looks sound from the EXIF and overall composition but the dynamic range looks compromised in your upload. This is evident in the blocked shadows and highlights starting to burn out as can be seen on that strip of neon green in the Heath.

I'm on iPad this afternoon so cannot upload a mod to demonstrate but will,later if no one comes in first.

It needs either a tweak in curves or levels to get more detail out of the tonality and reduce the contrast.

I hope that makes sense and gives you something to consider or even have a go at yourself.

10/05/2014 - 11:30 AM

Parental Advisory

Parental AdvisoryA very touching portrait John. Nicely executed.

Perhaps just a little lift in Will's face from the shadows as it looks like he has quite an emotional expression and I feel if this is the case it will add to the feel and moment you have captured.

10/05/2014 - 8:47 AM

A whiter shade of pale

A whiter shade of paleGood morning Jos and Bianca

The sun is shining this morning in Liverpool unlike the drizzle and wet we shared with you on Thursday!

This is a beautiful shot and well presented. Possibly the best image you've uploaded to date for me. The detail and colours here are very good and you have controlled the highlights and kept clean whites in the petals. Equally the background is uncluttered and allows the eye to rest and focus on the subject and take in the detail.

There are a couple of modifications I would apply in editing just to help strengthen this further.

I'll upload a mod to demonstrate. The bottom right and out of focus buds I would darken down a little. Just to reduce the brightness and make them less of a distraction. Finally you have a pretty clean black background in the square format you have selected but there are a couple of out of focus highlights that because they are so small they then do stand out if that makes sense. So I would just clone over these to lose them.

A fine shot and you must be delighted with it. Good work.

Best wishes
10/05/2014 - 8:32 AM


Equivalent..?Morning Ishan

Quite a spectacular cloudscape you have captured.

I'm with Karen on the mono conversion. Not only to emulate the work of Alfred Steiglitz but to play on the pattern and texture. Removing the colour albeit you only have a limited colour palette of blue and yellow here, allows the brain to see and focus on the patterns and texture of the clouds.

The only other thing for me is going back to a point I have made before for you. Examine the frame and all that is in it. Watch out for small detail and what runs around the frame edge to avoid highlights or objects that could detract from the subject and main image. Here I would remove that very thin little crop of bush/tree tops just creeping into the lower frame edge almost central. Mod uploaded to demonstrate this removed.

Otherwise keep at your experimenting with different genre's as this will help your learning and help develop your style and you understanding what you enjoy taking most. This then allows you to focus in on those preferred genre's and develop your skill in them further. I'd like to see more on people. Your early tries here were encouraging and interesting. Try more candid and formal portraits and see how this develops along with your flower photography. Equally documenting the world around you is a good exercise so perhaps some street photography from your local town or village may be a project to help you push your photography further.

I hope that helps.

10/05/2014 - 8:06 AM

Indian Fishing Nets

Indian Fishing NetsHi Steve

Welcome to the CG. I note you have been around for some time but this looks like your first venture into the Critique Gallery. You have quite an accomplished portfolio that demonstrates you have a good photographic eye and ability. This gallery is here so that we can try help and guide people to improve their photographic skill and knowledge both in the taking and editing. It helps when we have as much information as possible to be able to give the best advice we can.

I am interested to know if there are any specifics with regard to this image that you would like comment or critique on?

For me this is a fine travelogue style image. Lovely composition with the silhouetted nets filling the frame and cutting across at a strong diagonal. The city lights and silhouetted cityscape in the distance adding to the story and location. You have a beautiful orange/red and purple sky the like of which I have not experienced before and it does appear a little sci/fi or war of the worlds like. I don't know if this is representative of what you saw at the time in the colour of the sky but it does suit the image.

There are a couple of dark spots in the sky to the right side of the frame. They may be birds but as there isn't any detail and they look like two dark spots I would suggest cloning them out just to tidy the image.

Otherwise a cracking image that is very appealing and interesting.

09/05/2014 - 4:32 PM


vintageHi Maya and welcome back to the CG.

You have an interesting and well executed portrait here. Lots of positives technically with good control and balance of fill-in flash, composition is very modern and appealing and use of DoF to maintain the interest on your attractive subject yet give placement and story with the location.

I have little to offer in terms of critique as I find this very appealing and different. It could be given a different treatment to remove the noise or lift the levels to give more punch but in doing so may not improve the photograph but just offer a different perspective or feel altogether.

For me, good work.

09/05/2014 - 4:22 PM


MedievialHi Mario

This is quite a fine portrait you have captured. It has a pleasant warm feel to it and rich in colour. The lighting is soft and even.

You have shot on quite a wide angle setting and from a low angle, shooting up on your subjects. This is not always flattering however for the subject here it has worked. The male looking superior and protective as well as an expression that suggests he has it all!

For me it feels off the "horizon" and I want to see the path and stonework in the wall level. It needs a little rotate.

You have presented the image quite dark and deeply saturated; underexposed even. I have uploaded a mod that deals with the rotation but also I've brightened the image by moving the highlight slider in levels to meet the bottom of the exposure curve. I've also reduced the yellow and red colour channels in the colour balance adjustment layer as it looks a little unnaturally warm.

Overall I think you have created an appealing and interesting portrait. For me a few tweaks in the processing helps improve the shot although you have created a nice feel with your version.

I hope that helps.

09/05/2014 - 2:04 PM


PortraitHi Francis

A lovely portrait here. It looks like you have used a diffuse glow effect here to soften the image and it has worked quite well. One thing to consider is to do this using a layer mask (I'm not sure what image editing software you use) which then allows you to paint the eyes, nostrils and mouth back in to retain sharpness on the subjects features.

I don't know if that makes sense however as long as the softening on the rest of the image os not too heavy this can be a really nice effect.

09/05/2014 - 9:30 AM


ElaineI think it is a case of the camera shakes @ 1/30s on a 175mm focal length that is spoiling what could be a beautiful and natural looking portrait.

Ideally in these conditions you could have lifted you ISO to 800 which would have given you three stops more. Dropped the aperture to f2.8 to get minimal DOF too and that would have allowed your shutter speed to move to 1/500s and freeze the action. If you were worried about image quality at a higher ISO then even ISO 400 and 1/250s at f2.8 would have worked well.

08/05/2014 - 5:56 PM

Always together..

Always together..And a nice image you have got here too. The exposure looks good with a good tonal range and no burnt out highlights or blocked shadows.

For me the composition could be modified. Firstly it needs space at the top of the frame to stop the mast running out. This takes the eye up and out of the picture whereas a line of sky between the top of the mast and the frame edge would contain the image. I'd also come in a little on the right side too just to balance things up.

Otherwise an appealing image and look forward to seeing more from you. When uploading you can if you choose to, tick the allow modifications box. This would allow people to upload a version of your picture with their own take on it and demonstrate any suggestions they might choose to have made.

You can also of course tick the box for critique to place the image in the critique gallery. Here one of the Critique team will give you feedback on the image and answer any specific questions you may pose about the image that you directly want assistance with.

I hope that helps.