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Activity : Photo Comments


Thanks for looking at my portfolio. I hope you find some images you like.
I read all your comments and look through the gsallery, but because of time I may only vote rather than comment.
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  • Charlestown, Cornwall

    The sky is very bright. If detail is recoverable, it would be good to try and show it. Robert has done a good job but with some remaining white areas i guess the detail has been lost (at least on the version posted here).
    An ideal situation where two exposures, one for the sky and one for the land, can be blended, or using a graduated filter (there's a reasonably uncluttered horizon).
    The advantage of using those approaches is that you'll record more closely what the eye sees. You can controllably lighten the sky if you so desire, but it'll contain the detail.
    • 7 Feb 2016 9:27PM
  • egrett

    Not only is it noisy, but it is soft. A shot like this will succeed when the main subject is clear.
    It would be useful if you could post the full original frame.
    However, i like the way the bird is isolated against a plain background, and the reflection in the ripples.
    I'm afraid there's no substitute for long lenses (wildlife photographers never have a long enough lens!) or managing to get close to your subject which sometimes you can't do.
    It may be soft, but I've seen much softer image using the full frame on here.
    • 7 Feb 2016 9:16PM
  • Tenerife_Playa Santiago_first sunbeam

    This is well captured and processed Alexander.
    As far as i'm concerned I can't suggest any improvements.
    • 7 Feb 2016 9:10PM
  • To A.

    The warmth is inviting but it's too warm.
    I tried to correct for the cast but take it that it was coloured or mixed light as nothing I tried looked right.
    Clearly camera movement during a slow shutter speed, nothing that sharpening can do to create a crisp image I'm afraid.
    • 7 Feb 2016 8:59PM
  • flower close up

    The success of images like this rely on a sharp subject, which this is not. Your settings indicate it should be so that just leaves focus technique as the issue.
    Even at f/10 depth of field is small and hand holding means slight movement of you and/or your camera is enough to move the zone of sharpness away from the subject. That's the advantage of using a tripod, even when using fast shutter speeds, the camera position is fixed removing that variable from the equation.
    • 7 Feb 2016 8:37PM
  • Ghost Coast

    The softness and the rock in the bottom left corner were what I noticed first.
    That rock is a distraction, just intruding into the corner. more rock would give some depth and framing, just a little can give the impression you didn't notice it at the time of capture. Easily cloned or cropped out here.
    The softness does look like camera movement. Triggering the camera with the shutter button can introduce vibration but that dies down after a bout a second, and given this exposure is 30 seconds that shouldn't have an effect. If waves were catching the tripod legs this could have caused some movement. Try pushing down on the tripod before mounting the camera to ensure the feet are firm on the ground, if the rock surface is slightly slippy this may not help with long exposures. Only you know what the level of wind was like, a small breeze shouldn't be a problem.
    • 7 Feb 2016 8:29PM
  • Spotlights at The Cavern

    A lovely set, Richard
    • 7 Feb 2016 8:02PM
  • The Serbs LXXV

    What a character Grin
    • 7 Feb 2016 8:00PM
  • The Serbs LXXIV

    Beautifully captured, Mile.
    • 7 Feb 2016 7:57PM
  • Indian Roller

    It'd be nice to see all the bird of course, but it's good to go in close and marvel at the feather detail.
    If we only ever took full length shot's of birds it's become very boring.

    By changing position you could get a background that is more suggestive of a farm environment. That would be a perfectly valid shot to give some context, but it'd be a very different picture also. You know then that someone would say 'wouldn't it be nicer with a plain green background'!

    You don't say what you want help with or why you think this is lacking in some way. Hopefully all the comments have given you somehting to think about.

    Nothing wrong with your technique, looking at this.
    • 5 Feb 2016 8:48PM
  • flower close up

    Tanya's described the sharpness issue precisely.
    Pamela's suggestion about focus technique is sound and one I use a lot.
    But for subjects like this, many photographers go the manual route. It may sound more difficult but it doesn't take long to master.
    • 5 Feb 2016 8:40PM
  • lamplight

    There's lots of good replies already. I've not long got on to the site this evening so for what it's worth i'll add my bit.

    If by 'natural' you mean 'faithful' colour then in mixed lighting you'll always struggle as different parts of the image will be influenced by different lights. If you want to do umpteen localised corrections go ahead but I find life's too short for that.
    On the other hand, embrace the different colour casts that you get.
    Many lamps are difficult to correct for as they don't emit a continuous spectrum. Think of the blue/green white of mercury vapour lamps. And as for the old low pressure sodium lamps, well, they only emitted one wavelength of orange.

    In the 'old days' a bagful of warming, and cooling filters would be in most photographers outfits. Thank goodness for software where corrections are just a click away. And you can fine tune those corrections very precisely if you want or just get something you like. Often I go for 'correct' then alter the sliders to get something I find more pleasing.

    If you shoot RAW then you can make these adjustments with a lot of control in e.g. Lightroom. You can do it with jpgs too but with RAW there is more control and the changes are non-destructive.

    For this shot you must have used a tripod as the shutter speed is 0.6 seconds. so in that case for improved image quality (better detail and lower noise) you could have shot at ISO 400 and used a shutter speed of 5 seconds. Neither do you need f/13 here. The lens will perform at it's best at f/8 to f/11. Tat will provide sufficient depth of field even at 70 mm focal length.
    • 5 Feb 2016 8:31PM
  • Domestic bliss?

    Don't think they're available in Ikea Wink
    • 4 Feb 2016 10:12PM
  • No Hiding Place

    Well seen and taken.
    • 4 Feb 2016 9:57PM
  • kingfisher

    Super shot.
    • 4 Feb 2016 9:55PM
  • This is Tenerife

    This is a nice one Alexander.
    I've just adjusted the colour balance in my mod, more an alternative as some people prefer warmer looking images.
    I like the cooler look of your image, it reminds me of that little chill down on the coast after the sun has gone down.
    • 4 Feb 2016 9:31PM
  • The Cormorant

    Willie's mod is close to what I was thinking. Might even crop some off the top of that too.

    We always talk about a 'balanced' image with the subject off centre and the mod is a more appealing image so there is something in that.
    But look at it another way, where is the interest? Much of what is on the left of the image ant to an extent at the top is pretty much redundant space, it adds little if anything to what we're looking at and is (perhaps subconsciously) ignored by the viewer.

    However, such space can be useful, for example for text 'Sandipan's Photography Tours' which would benefit from being set out on a clean background.
    So given the chance, shoot a couple of versions.
    • 4 Feb 2016 8:57PM
  • Hyacinths

    I see you've put some thought into setting this up. That's good if you want to get good results.

    Those figures are focus range limiters, and they should be covered in the instructions (don't tell me your'e someone who doesn't read instructions?).
    They are most useful for AF but AF is not the most useful mode to be in when shooting macro. Fine tuning manually especially when the point of interest is away from a focusing point just gives so much control and freedom not to mention saving frustration from a viewfinder image whizzing in and out of focus as the camera struggles to know what to do. this subject is a good case in point.
    I too would echo Tanya's suggestion of going for fully dead flowers. Statement or 'arty look', take your pick. Whichever, fully fresh or fully decrepit, makes it look like you've put thought into it rather than something that's a 'bit off' might look like 'oh I'll just do a flower picture now, that'll do'.

    However, your black background is well thought out and works well, though I would be tempted to play around with other colours. A deep blue would work well. I've done that with some narene flowers. Dark green is another suggestion. There are many things to try.

    You're right, macro isn't easy, but then what area of photography is, if you want to get good results?
    You need to consider lighting and background (you've already done that) but then you need to think about composition, the number of elements in the image, their arrangement, large or small depth of field, etc.
    Often just experiment!

    • 4 Feb 2016 8:47PM
  • Phillip Island Sea Gull

    The lighting is against you, so Willie's processing suggestions are sound.
    You have to take the opportunity when it arises, and that's also true for those who specialise in this type of photography, they don't get it all their own way. They may have the time to wait around but equally they may not. And if it's behavioral shots rather than a 'portrait' then you just have to go with the light you have. Mind you, that can apply to so many genres of photography.

    The subject is where the exposure needs to be 'correct' to show the detail (unless of course you're after silhouettes against a sunset!)

    I'm interested to know if this is much of a crop, if any, from the original, as you've done well to get this with a 200 mm lens.
    As the bird is, I'm guessing, not moving around much, I'd like to have seen a version taken at f/4 so the background is much softer. It would be at the expense of some sharpness in some of the plumage (purists will not like that) but it could have been a very attractive image. Having said that, it's nice to get a good sharp shot in the bag first, so to speak, then tery variations.
    • 4 Feb 2016 8:25PM
  • flower close up

    This would be better had you got closer. I assume from the exif that this is a macro lens, rather than a normal 105 mm, so you should be able to get closer in.
    Having the flower smaller in the frame with some negative space can create attractive images but usually with simpler less messy compositions.

    This doesn't look absolutely sharp, so unless there's a resizing issue I suspect camera movement. Not in the sense that creates camera shake as you have a decent fast shutter speed here, rather movement after the camera has focused so that the flower isn't fully in focus any more and even at f/10 depth of field wouldn't be quite sufficient to cover that small distance error.
    That's something to be on the lookout for, especially if you take Pamela's suggestion of using a wider aperture.
    • 4 Feb 2016 8:11PM
  • Polperro Beach Reprocess

    This is really nice. I prefer Willie's mod, as flicking between them the original does have a magenta cast.
    Rather than remove magenta, you could add more yellow so you end with a warm more orangey result.

    As Tanya says, colour can be quite personal.
    How you render it might depend on how you felt at the time - if you'd been waiting in freezing cold temperatures you may want quite a blue tinge to the water and rocks.

    Colour accuracy is nice, but then so is the ability to choose how we present an image. Going back to the days of film, many a landscape photographer would think nothing of adding a warming or (less often) cooling filter to 'enhance' the scene.
    On transparency film that colour was what you got and no-one worried over it. Because of the very fine control we now have we do get a little obsessed with it. We can spend ages agonising over 'what's best' when perhaps we should go for 'I like that'.
    One approach is to go for a 'correct' colour balance so you're starting from a known base, then adjust warmer or cooler as desired.
    • 4 Feb 2016 8:02PM
  • Lunch for One

    Intricate detail in that shell.
    A square format would suit this - a crop would remove the red at the bottom which once notice starts to annoy me, more than a cropped leaf tip would.
    • 4 Feb 2016 7:35PM
  • Saint Paraskeva of the Balkans

    Another gorgeous sunrise.
    • 4 Feb 2016 7:15PM
  • close up

    In some ways it is a pity we can't see the face, but it's good that we can see the detail on the back.
    However, to be effective (and keep the viewer's attention) you need to consider your background.Here it's mess and a strong colour, both of which add up to an annoying distraction.
    You may not have had much choice at this time, but that's the challenge of close/up natural history images. A plainer and simpler background would work best. Alternatively, this could work very well if the background were, say, a cityscape of village setting, or perhaps a cricket match, giving the impression that the creature is taking in the view.
    • 3 Feb 2016 10:37PM
  • Fisherwoman and boats_2

    Better without the woman where she is especially as she's in red.
    If she were a more important aspect, for example sitting down in the foreground, that'd be better, but it'd be a completely different picture and story you're telling.

    I see no shortcomings in the composition. A jumbled collection of boats with plenty of detail to look at, contrasting with the neat apartments on top of the cliff.

    However, I'm sure there were plenty of other compositions (not better or worse) that you could have taken - in other words, plenty to explore.

    Mind you, I do like the mix of lingering daylight and light from the lamps, just the perfect time to get a balance between them.
    • 3 Feb 2016 10:31PM
  • Old man

    A good character study.
    The wider view does give the environmental information but red does pull the eye which is why mono works better - we concentrate on the man's face and the environmental clues are subtle.
    Alan's vertical crop gives a powerful result, though because there are no strong colours in that crop, colour would still be a strong image.

    The addition of lens flare, while an interesting exercise, dilutes and spoils the image. it's not as though there are strong light sources in the image, that would in some way be in keeping. It's not as though there's any backlighting. It's overcast lighting which is great for detail studies like this. adding flare doesn't add to the appreciation or enhance the viewing of this.
    You have to ask yourself these questions about any processing or effect. Full marks for having a go but the original is fine as it is.
    • 3 Feb 2016 10:20PM
  • Albert Dock Sunset

    This is an attractive image.
    The sunset may not be spectacular but then I see it in a more supporting role to the buildings and cobbles. I agree that a figure or three would look good. Silhouette is a good suggestion from Paul, though semi-silhouettes would add another dimension. Victorian mood and mystery.

    This image is soft and it looks very like camera movement. The lettering and brickwork should (we expect to see) be clearer.
    Was this shot on a tripod or steadied against a wall or post. If the former, triggering the shutter by pressing the shutter button can be sufficient to create that movement/vibration at that shutter speed. You could try taking three or four shots in quick succession by holding the shutter button down with the result that the first exposure shows blur due to movement but in the later shots there is no movement. Using a remote release or the self timer is a good approach to minimising vibration.

    You could have set ISO 400. There would be negligible loss of image quality with your camera, and indeed in practice you most likely wouldn't see any. That would have given you a shutter speed of 1/50 so there'd be much less chance of camera movement being recorded.

    I'm guessing a tripod wasn't used as you shot at full aperture in an attempt to keep the shutter speed up. A lens at a wide aperture doesn't perform so well as when set at for example f/8, and the smaller aperture will give greater depth of field to get more of the shot sharp. The softness here is due to movement but it is worth bearing those points in mind.

    You won't get the same sunset again, but you will most likely get similar attractive light (at this time of year) so if you can revisit in the next couple of weeks and have another go I'm sure it'll be worth it. And if you can, take along a friendly stooge for that bit of human interest.
    • 3 Feb 2016 8:49PM
  • South of Serbia

    Wonderful image, Mile.
    • 3 Feb 2016 8:27PM
  • The Serbs LXXIII

    V2 is the cleaner and stronger image by far, but V1 is much more the fleeting moment which is one of the great things about photography.
    • 3 Feb 2016 8:27PM
  • Tiled Yellow Rose

    This does contain the same single image repeated.
    a single subject like this works well, especially in a square frame.
    You have got an odd number of subjects, which is often better than an even number. However, the different images clearly overlap and they don't look natural as they are transparent, so you need to check your blending mode setting. unless that's the effect you wanted. You can let us know either in the description or post a reply - that makes it easier to direct critique and help.
    Either way, the image is not sharp. While soft images can work, but they are created by using items such as diffusers or doing it in post processing. Here, it looks like camera movement is the issue and looking at the exif confirms this.

    You've made good use of soft light from a window but there is a bright highlight on the left of the bloom which looks like the light has just caught it, so possibly a slight change in subject angle would have prevented or reduced it.It's not major, but being aware of the small things like this can make a difference to the end result.
    • 2 Feb 2016 8:35PM