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28/08/2015 - 9:51 PM

Anamorphic

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...

Keith
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!

Keith
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...

Keith
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.

Keith
16/08/2015 - 6:27 PM

Shells

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.

Keith
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.

Keith
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!

Keith
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.

Keith
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.

Keith
01/08/2015 - 10:14 AM

Clouds

CloudsThat's a dramatic cloudscape. It's dark and moody but with a wide dynamic range so you've done well with the exposure to keep the detail. The interest is in the clouds so the fact that there are deep areas of shadow in the land just amplifies the mood and I imagine much like it was.

All I've done in my mod is selectively boost the contrast a little in the clouds using Levels and Curves.

Keith
23/07/2015 - 7:03 PM

Water Drops

Water DropsNegative space can work well with the right subject. however, if you want to capture the beauty then a closer crop is better to do that.
While you can alter exposure afterwards, this would have benefited from more exposure at the taking stage. I'd suggest +1 stop here as they occupy a large part of the frame, despite there being a lot of dark areas too.

The white flowers reflect a lot of light and influence the camera into giving less exposure than ideal. It often gives more pleasing results to reduce the exposure in RAW processing than increase it.
It's also necessary to check the histogram after taking the shot to make sure you haven't lost detail in the highlights. If that were to be the case for example, decrease exposure compensation to +2/3 and re-shoot.

Keith
23/07/2015 - 4:34 PM

look what I've got!

look what I've got!
Quote: over 80 thousand breeding pairs of puffins

Sounds good to me Smile
This would make for a good square crop, or you could use the space at the top for some text.
14/07/2015 - 7:28 PM

Salt transporter 2

Salt transporter 2That's a great point of view, dramatic.
Willie's mod makes the image come alive as it's warmer but more importantly improves the detail in the shadows so that we can see the salt worker. A small positive exposure compensation at the time of capture would have been useful as you're shooting into the light and the bright sky has influenced the exposure. Possibly +2/3 would have been ok.

You could have increased the drama by dipping the camera slightly so the guy's head is closer to the top of the frame. That amount of sky isn't really needed. however, a crop will sort it. Mod to follow.

Keith
Lets run..Moment of joy...ChildhoodYou've captured a nice moment.

The boy in the red top is right behind the main subject, and as red is a strong colour this fights for attention. He would have made a good subject on his own because of that so I hope you do have sone shots taken just a few seconds after this one.

It's a pity we can't see the face of the boy at the front very clearly either, but it's good that you've given space in the frame for him to 'run into'.

Keith
07/07/2015 - 11:19 AM

Monsson

MonssonDifficult conditions like this can yield good images.

The lights reflecting on the water provide strong elements in the image.
there is some 'clutter', but it does provide location information and so not distracting especially as it's in the dark areas. adding to the mood, if you like.

However, the wire across the bottom of the image does have a distracting highlight. we don't need to see all that part of the image either, so it's best cropped out. Cloning is snother option, of course.

You've identified the main issue with this yourself, as have both Ians above. Just waiting a few seconds for the figure to be outlined clearly against the water would have resulted in a more engaging image.
Timing is of the essence. Don't be hasty to take the shot, or at least, be ready to take another one as you see the composition evolving.

Keith
06/07/2015 - 11:25 AM

Books Knowledge world

Books Knowledge worldI do like this shot.

As John suggests, making use of the doorway to frame the seller would finish the picture nicely. You could make more of the shadow in the foreground too. As it stands, we see a bit of each and apart from the viewer wanting to see that little more completeness, just having a little bit showing can appear as less attention to composition.

Having said that my first thought was to crop the immediate foreground.
Those doors are wonderful and are imposing, a good sense of scale to the man. Another option is to go in closer and make more of the just the man abd the books.

There are quite a few choices for framing and composing an image here, each depending on how you want to tell the story. Perhaps you did take several. If this is local to you, you could always go back and take some more. If oyu bought a book from him maybe you could get him to look into the camera - that'd be a great street portrait.

Keith
05/07/2015 - 9:28 PM

Vendor

VendorYou've captured a nice piece of life that's very different to what most of us on this site experience. And in difficult lighting conditions. Considering photography is all about light, difficult and challenging lighting is one of the things that us photographers should be eager to take on.

The difference between amateur and professional is purely money - amateurs do not get paid, professionals do. There are amateurs that produce outstanding work and professionals that produce mediocre work.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't think about your shots, or look at your shots and think how you may do better next time. The fact you're posting here and asking for help shows you have the right outlook.

Keith
24/06/2015 - 8:28 PM

Catia

CatiaShooting on an overcast day is good for portraits, and you've got a very pleasing result here.
that lens is a good one and you've made good use of a wide apewrture.

In my first mod I've cropped the image slightly to remove the plant on the left. It's not a major issue and is part of the setting but the image is cleaner without it and we have the plants in the background for context in any case. Perhaps if there was anbother plant on the other side in the same plane of focus the image would look more even.

We don't go for logos in the Critique Gallery as they often detract from the image and appreciation of it. Yours is tucked away in the corner but I removed it very quickly just to show that using one is no deterrent to image theft. Used on a print for marketing purposes, that's a different thing.

The brick sticking into her arm doesn't look comfortable at all. Having her use the wall as a prop is a good idea, as some people find it awkward to do place their hands. I'm not saying Catia feels awkward, I'm just making a point to bearin mind with other subjects Smile.
If she were resting the palm of her hand on the wall or just leaning gently against it with her elbow it would look better (not uncomfortable).

It's a beautifully simple looking image with good tones and textures I couldn't resist doing a mono version, which I hope you like.

Keith
24/06/2015 - 4:53 PM

House sparrow

House sparrowGreat advice from Steve.

However, I do like the 'looking through the branches' composition you have here. It makes a change (from many shots posted here, mine included!) and looks very natural. That large out of focus leaf in the foreground is a distraction as it is lighter (lighter areas do draw the eye) and has a bright highlight on it.
If you set up your own perch for them you could arrange some foliage to shoot through, just as landscape photographers use the branch of a tree to frame their image.

The bird is very central, and is better placed to one side for a better 'balance'. In fact, all that's needed is a simple crop and that would also remove that bit of annoying foliage top right.
I see why you've sot like this as the eye is dead centre, for the focus, and full marks for getting the eye sharp.
Still, to avoid cropping, try focussing on the eye and recomposing the image, or use manual focussing. Setting up your own perch where they have limited choice to perch will help when using manual. Your lens will allow manual adjustment after AF if you keep your finger on the shutter button. I'm not saying avoid autofocusing entirely, sometimes due to the nature of the creature it's the best bet, I'm just providing some alternatives.

In my mod I'll try and reduce the 'in yer face' leaf at the bottom.

The image is very contrasty due to the light. You can try and reduce this in post processing, but it's always better to try and shoot when the light is less harsh, partial or thin cloud would still allow some shadows for modelling but retain detail in those shadows. However, I know that's not always possible!

Keith
15/06/2015 - 4:19 PM

Unstrapping the ex-champion

Unstrapping the ex-championI prefer the tighter crop of V2, it makes us more intimate with the moment between the boxer and his trainer.
The mono has more of the atmosphere than the colour, but as you were there you may consider otherwise. Often though, mono is seen as the more moody/atmospheric choice.

You have some nice light catching the boxer's face, which if it weren't there the image, colour or mono, wouldn't have the same impact or appeal.

Another thing the mono version reduces is the bright highlight from the referee. It's distracting in colour but acceptable in the mono as it's 'just another highlight'. Better if you could have avoided it but I appreciate you probably weren't able to move much!

I guess the noise is due to lightening the shadow areas as a result of your mono conversion, but it's by no means detrimental. Indeed you could accentuate it by adding noise/grain - think of classic sporting images especially those taken in low light ringside environments.

Keith