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Davesumner's Activity

Davesumner > Davesumner's Activity

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Forum Topics:5
Forum Comments:33
Photo Comments:1280
Competition Entries: 16
Modification Uploaded: 540



You've only received basic feedback for this image and I would suspect that people don't want to be forthcoming with their lesser nice comments. The image is never going to be a competition winner but as far as a record of that particular aircraft it is absolutely fine.

There several issues with the image outside of it being a record shot and the main one is the blue of the sky. I live in the country of the blue sky and it is never this blue, it could have been caused by a polarising filter or just oversaturation in post processing I guess. The other issue is that the aircraft looks quite static in the air and could have been photo shopped in.

The best way to shoot aircraft especially if they are propeller driven is to capture them with a slightly slower shutter speed and allow the propellers to blur. This gives a feeling that the plane is flying and makes the shot dynamic especially if viewed coming towards you.

Hope this helps


Fly Fishing for sea trout in the Falkland Islands

Fly Fishing for sea trout in the Falkland Islands by andyp77

I can relate to this image because I have visited the Falklands 5 times and when I fished at Estancia I couldn't get past the Mullet.

The image is tilted to the left and as said above, once noticed it is annoying. One thing about reflections, a bit like the other rules in photography, it really is only a guideline and that is that reflections really shouldn't be as strong as the thing they are reflecting. I would just reduce the saturation in the water a little.

Otherwise a great shot and brings back memories for me.


Storm over Digley

Storm over Digley by malcsf


I think that the whole image is tilted not lens distortion or just the shed. The reason I think this is because even the rays of light look as if they are titled also. The horizon may not be dead level but you rarely see this much landscape at an angle like this. I would suggest that you try just tweaking it to the right a couple of degrees. The MOD by Dingus addresses it nicely.

With regards to the shed, it doesn't need to be entirely in the shot if it was there would be a bright sliver of landscape down its left and it would be a distraction. Whether the grass and the building should be brighter is entirely the choice of you, the creator of the image. Personally I think it allows the viewer to move on to the rays of light and the landscape which is what the image is about. If the shed and grass were brighter we might not get past them to the rest of the image.

Hope this helps


Young French Bulldog

Young French Bulldog by annatefkah2

Quote: Some of you have said you have made modifications but I don't know how I go about viewing these.

Top of this page in the modifications tab right above your original description Grin


Cosmos and forget-me-knot flowers

Cosmos and forget-me-knot flowers by Sulco

Whilst I like your image quite a lot, given it is for a competition, I think you might need to reshoot this. Your focus is good and the parts of the flower that need to be sharp are sharp and I like the 1, 2 & 3 of the flowers which is also good. However, the light is too harsh, the angle that you shot this at needs to be adjusted and the flowers are too central which shows too much of the other plants and makes the image very busy.

If it were me, I would use a diffuser to soften the light or take the shot in much more even light (cloud covering the sun) which will stop the highlights and the shadows. I would take this shot in portrait mode which suits the flow of the flowers better and get in a little closer and have them offset on the right thirds line.

Also, you need to ensure there are no other stem, stalks, flowers etc. closer to the lens like the one in this shot to the right of the flowers. Perhaps a little step top the left and the flowers would be better presented. You can always just hold the other things out of the way if there are any because you'll have a spare hand because you are using a tripod, you are using a tripod and remote shutter release aren't you? If not just tie them out of the way or get a friend to help.

With regards to camera settings I would set the camera to 'A' aperture priority and use something around f/5.6 depending how close you are so that you can blur out the background a little more. Use a single point of focus and set it to somewhere around the centre of the middle flower to ensure that the depth of field extends far enough forward as well as backward.

Hope this helps


Remember! by AndyHale

Ah the good old 'Out of Bounds' technique but perhaps not quite the right image to test it on. There is a very good tutorial on this very technique by Gavin Hoey somewhere here on EPZ.

Here you go: https://www.ephotozine.com/photography-videos/video/out-of-bounds-effect-in-phot...

My attempt is HEREHERE anks


Leaning Tower, Vertical Cathedral

Leaning Tower, Vertical Cathedral by SkySkape

So am I right in assuming that from the comments above, you take the lens off your camera and hold it in front at an angle instead of it being attached to get some sort of tilt and shift result or am I totally wrong?

I have never heard of free lensing but, if I am right then stick to the perspective tool in Photoshop or invest in a tilt and shift lens if these are the results you getting.

Hot Update - I looked it up on Professor Google and I'm bang on. I would suggest that free lensing was invented by a sales executive from a camera company to get sales targets up on new cameras rather than for an actual realistic results. If you want my two penneth, frame your shot, zoom out to create more space around the subject and then go wild with the perspective tool. Photoshop is relatively cheap compared to replacing broken lenses and damaged sensors.

One thing that does puzzle me is that if you use tilt and shift or lensing to get the perspective right on buildings etc. why on earth would you test it on the Leaning Tower of Pisa that will only ever be straight when it falls over, which it will?



Brisbane at Night

Brisbane at Night by Broodhound

Looking at the camera model and the exposure time of 2 seconds I would suspect that you didn't use a tripod at all and that you've tried to handhold this. Was this taken from the Ferris wheel or are you further along by the footbridge? From memory that is the footbridge but I'm not sure, am I right? As Willie has said you need to take shots like this at dusk and not really at night time. However, you're never going to get a sharp shot without a tripod or a firm support such as a bean bag or the likes especially if you are handholding on the Ferris wheel. Some of the smaller Gorilla Pods work well with compact cameras and with the flexible legs they can be wrapped around balcony rails etc. As for exposing for the brightest part of the image, I would agree but not the lights, expose for the brighter parts of the roadway bridge across the river. The lights on the buildings and signs etc, you will have to accept that they will blow out (overexpose) unless you are prepared to do some multiple exposures.

Hope this helps


Splash Man

Splash Man by Tonyd3

Very nice, I like the effect, well done



Perching by Lulukirk

Hi louise,

Great try but I feel you were a bit up against it with the light looking at the birds overexposed white breast and the dark background. I think the culprit here is the multi segment metering which has probably looked at the background and set the exposure accordingly which ultimately lead to the white breast being overexposed because the camera could not capture the entire tonal range in this scene. With shots like this you have to take the circumstances as they are because you can't change the background easily and you certainly can't ask the bird to move. With this in mind I always have my camera set to spot metering and I only use the centre point to focus. The technique I use is as follows and this is especially relevant for seabirds:

When I see a subject, I can't always select my background, lighting circumstances or the amount of time the subject will remain in position, I therefore have to grab the iniatial shot or two as quickly as possible and then try and improve it the situation allows for it. With a shot like yours the first thing I would do is fire off a couple of shots, the main priority being focus. If after the initial shots, the subject still remains I will then look for anything that is white or bright in the scene especially white feathers, I then spot meter on that area and use exposure lock to keep that exposure. I then recompose and take more shots which are probably going to be a better exposure for the highlights than the first two. You have to remember that the background isn't really of any relevance at this point and is probably going to be out of focus anyway so exposure and sharpness of the subject are the main priorities. Usually and especially if the light is bright, the rest of the image will be a little underexposed but that is okay because we can usually lighten this in post production but if we overexpose any part of the image we normally cannot get anything back in those areas because there is no detail left in overexposed areas.

Also with your composition, it is definately better to have the subject on a third with the wider part of the image for it to look into. Unfortunately, even though this bird is actually looking at you sideways, as humans we just naturally assume the the position the head is facing is the way the bird is looking.

I did a quick mod where I added space on the left, adjusted levels and sharpened to show you what I meant.

I'm happy to explain in more detail in a PM if you need it.

I hope this helps

Bare tree

Bare tree by dunda66

Hi David,

Welcome to EPZ and especially to the Critique area. As you have seen by the two comments above, you will get some great advice here but if you do find it good advice, don't forget to nominate it as 'good critique' as I have done with them.

Just to elaborate a little more on Frank and Willies comments above in regards to sharpness, I don't see anything sharp in the entire image. Now this could be for a number of reasons but one thing to watch out for is the use of focussing modes and focus points. Now i'm not sure with Nikon cameras because they all seem to be different to me but you will get best results from a shot like this if you are in a non dynamic focussing mode such as AF-S. I believe the D40 has a new AF-A focus setting as well but I'm not sure how that works. What this means is that when you half press the shutter, it locks in the focus and it stays locked as long as you keep the shutter half pressed. However, if your camera is using multiple focus points you will find that it may focus on something closer than the tree and make the tree blurred which you obviously don't want. To avoid this and to take control of what is happening, I always use a single focus point (usually the centre one) to ensure that what I focus on is what I want sharp. Once you focus on the tree, as long as you half press the shutter, it won't matter where you point the camera, the tree will be sharp.

now if you are attempting to blur the background in your messing around with focus, this is controlled by the aperture of the lens with the focal length, distance to subject and distance from subject to background all playing their part in how this works. This is covered in depth of field and expalnations of this can be found all over the internet.

I hope this helps


North Beach Tenby

North Beach Tenby by chrisheathcote

Hi Chris,

Great critique above from Willie and I second his comments about the image being small, try using the panoramic option next time you upload a shot like this.

I did a quick mod myself because on first look the image seems flat which is generally a lack of contrast and adjusting levels/curves normally sorts this out but I liked the darker sky and thought the image would look better with the buildings standing out more. Therefore, in my mod I have darkened off the sky using the graduated filter tool in Adobe Camera RAW, adjusted the levels but then masked out the sea and sky from the levels adjustement in Photoshop. I then dodged the buildings and sand, the island and headland followed by some slight colour adjustment and sharpening.

I hope this helps



January by Ploughman

Hi Richard,

I think a 12 shot montage or the likes would be a very good idea although you would need to marke the tripod etc so you get the same shot everytime, you could then use Proshow Producer or the like to create a slideshow to some music with the twelve images.

For me though, I would have picked a better composition that this, yes you need to show a building in case it snows or something but I would find and old barn in afield or something and not those typical 50s houses you have on the left of the image. The field is good but what about some trees at the front as foreground interest or a fence or something? Also i would talk with the farmer and tell them what you intend because if he leaves that field dormant for a year you'll end up with a quite dull non changing field. I would think that you should have as many elements as possible in the image to show the changing conditions.

My suggestion would be to take more than twelve images though, why not take one per day for a year and then run through that in a quick slideshow?

Hope this helps



Flight by handlerstudio

It's a nice shot and a good capture, I would be almost tempted to crop off the other bird and desaturate the green tree a little. I'll havea go at a mod tomorrow and see if i can show you what I mean.


Time and Tide, Sandsend Dawn 2

Time and Tide, Sandsend Dawn 2 by phil99


I haven't read any of the other replies but I have a lot of experience with camera club judges and if the UK one's are anything like the Aussie judges, take no notice. most camera club judges are so full of technical bullshit they forget to look at the images artistic merit at all. Why on earth would you crop that image?

For e.g. at my local club someone had entered an image of a golfer on a green with all the trees behind them had been pruned right down to the trunk. Not a great image but the image was intended as a bit of fun. The image was titled 'No Birdies Here' and the judge completey missed it.

Look for yourself HERE

I rest my case, so keep going with the image and treat camera club judges with the contempt that they earn themselves.


Winter sat on the fence

Winter sat on the fence by Notters1

Hi Ryan,

This is a really well seen shot, the snow on the fence coupled with the shadows makes for a pleasant image. The only problem I have with it are the composition and the overall blue tint. With the composition I feel that there is just a bit too much sky and the shot could be cropped a little more panoramic. Secondly is the blue tint which although it has a feeling of the cold and a lot of people like this, it isn't really what you would have seen when you looked at this with your eyes.

I have uploaded a quick mod with a crop and the white balance adjusted to give you a comparison.

Hope it helps


TopicDate Contibuted
6D vs 5D2 any thoughts ?04/01/2013 - 5:39 AM
The Zoo25/08/2010 - 9:25 AM
new to site....need some advice on a comment about focus25/08/2010 - 9:19 AM
Metering help.25/08/2010 - 9:07 AM
how do you accept critique?25/08/2010 - 9:01 AM
The Critique Gallery22/08/2010 - 1:17 PM
PortfolioAdded Date/Comment


Added Date: 21/08/2012 - 4:34 AM


Quote: sdasfadfd
i like this
lol yeah
and the

With reference to your photo description, is this a serious attempt to get critique?