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05/10/2015 - 8:16 PM


OutnumberedThe softness looks due to camera shake as nothing is sharp anywhere in the image. Having the one player sharp and the others out of focus to varying degress would work better.
I appreciate the title, but there's nothing in the image to grab or keep the attention. Yes the ball would help but the players aren't animated, there's no action.
such a concept can work with non-sport subjects but when it is a sport the viewer expects more. Even their expressions are non-expectant. I know I'm suggesting something that may be a fleeting moment but that's what's needed.
At leas you can see their faces, I've shot motorsport and you don't get to see their faces there!

Don't be afraid to push the ISO - some noise in a sharp picture is betterthan a noise-free soft image.
04/10/2015 - 8:44 PM

Walks of life

Walks of lifeIt's very noticeable that there should be more spoace at the bottom (sorry to mention it again) and that's not helped by the large dark area with little detail in above the man.

However, I'd like to have seen this taken lower down, on a level with the man so he's more prominent. You'd still get all the figures in so you'd still tell the story but the image would be more engaging. And by getting lower it's be easier and more likely that you'd get that much needed space.
04/10/2015 - 8:18 PM

Light, bonsai, and a Buddha

Light, bonsai, and a BuddhaThe buddha is lost in the image.
The light has created dappled shade, and all the patches of light and dark have created a very confusing image. Add to that the very bright highlight on the branch which catches the eye.
Because mono is all about tones and shapes you need to nake sure the subject stands out because of those qualities, which it struggles to here, so colour would be preferable. Is the buddha a gold colour? If so that would look good. But you need light on the buddha, it's too much in the shade here.

Nonetheless, if you want to go with mono, if that light that's hitting the branch was higlighting the buddha and the rest of the image was in shadow (but with details still visible) it would stand out very well. As this is a bonsai I take it that the pot is moveable so you could position it so the ligh tcatches it just right. You could consider a reflector to help light the buddha too.

A nice idea for an image that needs some more experimentation.
02/10/2015 - 8:47 PM


LaneThe person is integral to the image. She may be walking away, but that's part of the story, going out, heading back home, travelling through? The viewer can make that choice.

The different colours of lamp lighting is always attractive and something that I've always found interesting.

When I first looked at this I considered square or portrait formats, concentrating on the central figure.
That's becaus in your version the sides are very dark so I'd want to crop out that littl bit of light brickwork, to make it look like you're lurking in the shadows.
However, The mods make more of this area by lightening the shadows and showing that turqoise light - arguably coming much closer to your original intention of showing the various colours.
Bren mentions different white balances though this is fine a it is. With different light sources there's not going to be a 'correct' setting, much more down to personal preference. Having said that I'd use a Daylight setting as I then have a baseline for all my images rather than letting the camera decide as sometimes it may neutralise some of the atractive colours you get.
29/09/2015 - 8:53 PM

Butterfly 01

Butterfly 01Well it's certainly sharp and detailed across the wings and head so that's a great start.
Your relatively wide aperture (for close-ups) has created a nice diffuse background that'salso free of distractions, so again that's good.

I know this is a crop as the aspect ratio is not the same as straight out f the camera, so my question is, how much of a crop is it, seeing as you were using the 18-55 lens rather than a dedicated macro lens which would allow you to get closer. Having said that you don't want to get too close or the butterfly would soon fly off!
You can upload an uncropped version under the Modifications tab, assuming you still have the original file. the other thing that would be helpful for is to see what you cropped from, as it's often better to have space for the subject to 'look into', more space in front of the subject than behind.

One out of ten is not a bad hit rate!

Night, street, lamp. Portovene. LiguriaI can just about accept the strong colour from the artificial lights although I'd prefer it toned down a touch. It reminds me of night shots on Fuji Velvia film which was renowned for it's super saturated colours.

My main issue is that as well as being tilted down there is a slight clockwise rotation needed.
14 mm is so wide it's frought with problems concerning getting the camera level. My widest lens is 16 mm and it's so easy to get composition slightly off that I see 14 mm as even trickier.

The burnt out highlights on the right of the image draw the eye. Even shooting RAW you won't get the detail so it's worth shooting a much shorter exposure and blending later using layer masks. Alternatively there is the HDR route.
I'll crop them out in my mod with the result the path leads the eye around the image. I see that removes part of the image you probably wanted to include but sometimes it's easy to get too much in, especially with a wide angle.
Alternatively at the time of shooting you could have moved the camera around a little (as a little is all it would need) to include more of the bay.

As such there is a separate image off to the right with the trees framing the bars and restaurants.
Liguria. Portovenere. Church of St. Peter. Night. SingleA nice colour contrast.
You seem to have some dirt or moisture on your filter and that's spoilt the top left part of the image.
The split of path and raised ground is roughly 50/50 and this occupies the majority of the image. This would be more engaging if the steps occupied a higher proportion of the foreground to lead the viewer into the image. As it stands the eye stops halfway across the image.
I like the way you've used that filter to get a long shutter speed to remove the people.
10/09/2015 - 8:12 PM


BiffA very strong portrait and ideal for mono.

However, while there is a full range of tones most of these are lower to medium tones and the image looks a little muddy - this can sometimes happen when you apply toning as you have here. I've done a mod that just brightens those tones and I've removed that light bit in the top right corner which is a distraction. That's not to take anything away from your original image.
I do like Alda's mod though Smile

08/09/2015 - 7:55 PM

Half sharp half blurred

Half sharp half blurredA lot of good stuff has been covered above.

there is a slight bit of camera movement in evidence here, so you definitely need a firm tripod - camera shake will be a problem otherwise especially when using f/16 as the shutter speed will be correspondingly very slow.

Most people use manual focus for close ups as it's more controllable and doesn't alter when you recompose the imge to get a more pleasing composition - most shots will look better with the sharp popint of interest dead centre. By all means us the focus indicators in the viewfinder (or Live View) to get the image sharp, then recompose. It might sound trick but doesn't take long to master.

Aside from that you have a nice composition, it's all about the flowers and there are no distractions (except perhaps those spots top left which can be cropped out).

It's always worth trying different compositions with the flowers positioned to one side or the other. Groups of odd numbers tend to work very well too, so I'll do a mod showing just that.

06/09/2015 - 10:00 PM

Red Arrows

Red ArrowsThis is a nicely timed capture.

It's a pity about the grey sky as the Red Arrows particularly look better against a blue sky. On the other hand I have seen great shots against very dark cloud.

I take it this is a crop from the original just to get a bolder composition. It is always difficult to decide whether to go in close (you were not at the full extent of your lens) for drama or go widerr for a better sense of the action. I think you've done wll here in capturing the manouevre.

As these are jets you don't need to concern yourself with a lowish shutter speed for some prop blur so I woud use ISO 400 and a shutter speed between 1/1000 and 1/2000 because it is fast action and yu'll be moving the camer around too. Having said that, 1/500 as you used looks to have worked because you are taking in the wider scene - going in closer would mean faster speeds for a higher chance of a sharp shot.

It all depends on your position and when they make their moves. Shooting with the aircraft coming towards the camera gives a much more exciting image than when they are receding.

02/09/2015 - 7:51 PM


Arnisee_SwitzerlandNo early or late light, but I guess you weren't there at the 'right' time soyou made the most of the location while you were there.

This looks fine to me though the rocks do dominate (not a criticism, more an observation) which is a function of using that extreme focal length. They'd be less dominant if you'd used say 18 mm and moved back a step or two. I can understand you likeing the 14 mm effect as the perspective you can get can be bold and immediately impressive. Nothing necessarily wrong with that and I do like this image.

Just one final thing and it's related to the wide focal length. Reflections go vertically down from the subject so I've done a mod where I've used the Free Transform tool to adjust the bottom half of the image. I've used Willie's mod, see what you think.
28/08/2015 - 9:51 PM


AnamorphicI wouldn't have suspected any (major) retouching so from that angle you've done very well.
The figure is so abstracted by the glass that it's just that, a figure, but recognisable as such.
I quite like this colour but if this were me I'd be playing around with different colours too. Not saying they'd work any better but once you start playing it's hard to stop!

Try accentuating the small amount of noise with some added grain effect. Like I said, once you start playing...

28/08/2015 - 9:45 PM

Set me free

Set me freeIt looks like you were shooting from something like waist height.

Try even lower for more drama - if necessary, set the camera to manual focus at an approximate distance, set to a wide focal length (so depth of field should cover enough distance to ensure a decent sharpness), hold the camear near the ground and wait till he comes near, then fire off some shots. If you have Live view that'll help a lot as you can see what you'll be getting.

I agree ahout the crowd shots and closing in on the performer. Lots of options!

24/08/2015 - 7:37 PM

This same evening in Andermatt

This same evening in AndermattThats a perfect time to take 'night' shots and you've got lovely tones and detail throughout.
When I first looked at this I considered what I'd do and it'd be John's crop with Pamela's positioning of the motorcyclist.
I say I'd go with John's crop but I do like the way that building on the right balances the one on the left...

22/08/2015 - 10:49 PM

flower blossom

flower blossomHi Grace, welcome to the Critique Gallery and to epz, I see that you joined today. 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.

You've uploaded this into the Critique Gallery where you forego votes and awards in return for constructive feedback and help on your 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.

This is an attractive flower. it's positioned centrally which isn't always the best place. Positioned to one side or the other is reccommended, but it's not a hard and fast rule.
Indeed, with a single head like this, a central placement in a square image works very well visually.

You, or your camera (the exposure mode isn't given so I can't tell whether you used aperture priority where you choose the aperture, or Program where the camera chooses it) have used a relatively wide aperture which has kept the background nicely diffused so it doesn't fight for attention and aganst the flower.
A smaller aperture would have enabled you to get more of the petals in focus but with a more distracting background. It can be a difficult balance. In these situations you need to experiment and see which shots you prefer.

However, the centre is sharp which is often wher the interest lies, so that's fine.
I say sharp, but it's not as crisp as I would expect. Your shutter speed is not guaranteed to stop any camera shake, or indeed subject movement, which may account for this slight softness. Of course, this canhappen when an image is downsized so always check sharpness and apply a little extra sharpening if necessary before upload.

So, on the whole a nice image though I'll do a modification where I'll remove that stem on the right of th eimage as it's a distraction. It's a simple thing to look for and remove items such as this before taking the image.

16/08/2015 - 6:27 PM


ShellsI've not tried this technique so all I can comment on is the result.
It looks like you've got the technique sorted in V1. The sand grains are sharp all around the shell though these shiny surfaces don't always 'look' as sharp as they actually are because they are so smooth. If the sand is sharp then the shell has to be too.

However, V2 does look softer, even the sand. There are quite a few highlights on the sand and the shell that are red, green and blue. I can't work out if tis is due to the particular nature of their surfaces, but given I can't see it in V1 I guess not. So it could be to do with how the software combined the images, maybe coupled with some of them not quite in register which may affect the resulting sharpness. Do you see these colours in any of the original images? Just thinking out loud.
You could be getting diffraction at f/20 with the addition of tubes. i know when I do that on my macro lens there is a softer look aat f/16 or f/18 compared to f/13 of f/11.

The Church At Lowick in the Evening LightEvening light is aways good as it's softer and warmer, and more directional to give some modelling and three dimensionality.
It appears your camera has bisaed the exposure towards the shadows, giving more exposure to the whole image and giving the top of the tower a washed out look. Deeper shadows are what we expect to see in the evening so applying a 2/3 or even 1 stop reducion on exposure would have produced richer colours especially in the stonework.
However, there is still detail there and this can be darkened in software.

Your camera may be good at ISO 800 but for shots like this in decent light ISO 400 would have been fine. That's one stop less so you could have used the same exposure values and not risked overexposure of the tower. Aperture priority is the way to go for architecture and landscapes as depth of field is important. It's hard to tell at the size here if you have sufficient depth of field, but stopping down to f/8 would have ensured you would have a good zone of sharpness, and you'd still be able to use a shutter speed of 1/400, plenty enough to stop any camera movement. Not that you should have a problem at that wide focal length in good light.

You've managed to keep the verticals vertical (either at the time od shooting or have corrected tham later, it matters not which way you did it) though the very top of the tower is clipped by the frame edge. This sort of shot does benefit from showing the whole tower with a little space above.

15/08/2015 - 10:38 PM

Whip Lash!

Whip Lash!You are definitely seeking out pleasing compositions. this is good as it normally takes people a while to do this.
However, they need some refinement. Moira has given some great advice.

I'll add to that in that here there are a couple of approaches to try. Although small apertures such as f/10 you used here are very often used in close-up work for greater depth of field, consider a wider aperture. This will throw the background much more out of focus and yields the anthems and stamens against a nice diffuse background. One of my recent uploads uses this method. Focus needs to be critical.
Secondly, you could add your own background, for example simply by placing or even holding a piece of card behind the flower. This will avoid any distractions. you could then use that small aperture without having to worry about any background blobs. Of course, there's no reason you couldn't use the lens at a wide aperture. Try both!

Bellinzona, Switzerland, night, castleSorry to hear that Alexander. Good to hear it got sorted.

That 14 mm has certainy mde the most of those rocks. However, you didn't need to use f/18 as f/11 would be sufficient and allow the lens to perform better, as was pointed out earlier.
Some of you earlier shots were taken at dusk to get a lovley deep blue sky - that would have worked wonderfully here with that yellow light on the rocks and castle.

12/08/2015 - 2:44 PM

Night in Roscommon

Night in RoscommonYou've done very well and captured what you set out to according to your description.

I agree with Tanya about the trees at the bottom right. Cloning would, from an accurate portrayal of the night sky, be astronomically incorrect.
As someone who has an interest in astronomy I'd rather crop that out. However, having more of the trees in frame would not be a distraction, as we can accept those on the horizon. Just as with any landscape having a few intruding pieces at the edge of the frame looks like poor composition even if it's not intended.

It'd be easy to overexpose the trees in this situation but you've done fine here.

This image looks noisy due to the long exposure and highish ISO.
If you had shot RAW you could have applied some noise reduction when converting the image. It can still be done with a jpg but you won't have as muchfine control.
Do you have long exposure noise reduction enabled on your camera if it has this feature? It's worth doing so for shots like this.