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The lean, by the way, is caused by angling the camera upwards -- it's the same perspective effect you get by looking up at a tall building. It's not caused by the lens per se, though it tends to be more noticeable in a wide-angle shot like this one because things lean more the farther they are from the centre of the lens and the wide-angle includes more stuff that's far from the centre. If there was something to balance it on the left, I wouldn't have a problem with the lean, but it looks a bit strange on its own.
I'm not sure a tripod would have bought you a huge amount. Are you sure that EXIF is correct? If so, the change I'd make to the way this was taken would be to decrease the ISO to 400, giving a more than adequate shutter speed of 1/250s. The reason I ask if the ISO is correct is that I'd expect a lot of noise at ISO-3200 and I don't see any.
It's a nice enough shot and well composed. It has fairly good detail, though it's not super-sharp and a bit more contrast would help.
It's a nice enough shot but I don't get an awful lot out of it because it feels like he's too much in his bubble. Right now, he's on the phone and, as usual with mobile phones, that conversation is his whole world; the fairly tight crop here, just showing his upper body in his window, does nothing to dispute that. The shot needs something to contrast with what he's doing: he's happy but his customers are grumpy because he's ignoring them; he's happy but everyone else is grumpy because it's raining; he's happy because of his phone call and his customers are happy because they have ice-cream or because it's nice and sunny.
This one doesn't really work for me -- sorry. On a purely technical level, you need more contrast, and the "visitor parking" sign is a huge distraction; it doesn't help that the prominent person on the right-hand edge is looking out of the photo, too. But the big problem is that I don't feel any "story" happening with the Queen and the Duke. They're not interacting with each other, they're not both interacting with the crowd, neither of them is interacting with you.
Overall, this works very well and the symmetrical composition is natural and sensible. I have just a few little suggestions.
This is lovely but watch your exposure -- there's a big patch of pure white by his nose, where all the detail's gone. That's always a risk with animals that have white patches, because the camera exposes for the bulk of the shot and ends up blowing out the brightest part. There's probably an option you can set that will flash blown-out parts of the photograph and that's a really useful tool, along with the histogram. Dial in negative exposure compensation to darken the image and avoid the blown highlights; you can then use a curves adjustment or similar in your image editor to correct the resulting darkness of the image, while keeping the highlights controlled.
This is sharp and well lit photo of these rhododendrons, but it's not very exciting. The plant itself is unremarkable so it's not very interesting to see a straightforward shot of it. The shot is technically fine but, to improve it, you need to be more creative. Find an interesting angle; find a viewpoint that creates a good pattern of flowers. Perhaps use depth of field to focus in on a few of the flowers, with some out of focus ones as a background.
I think it's a female stonechat (Saxicola torquata), though I'm no expert. The RSPB Bird Identifier is really good for British birds. The Collins Guide to British Wildlife is also useful, if you want something to throw in the car so it's always there when you need it. Amazon are selling it for six quid at the moment, which is a total bargain. (Bleh. If you write "Amazon", EPZ turns it into a link. Good job I wasn't talking about the river...)
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Added Date: 15/10/2010 - 10:40 AM
Superb portfolio. Your black and white work, in particular, is fantastic and you have a really good eye for finding the interesting and unusual in seemingly everyday scenes.
Added Date: 18/02/2010 - 10:41 PM
A stunning portfolio and not the sort of work I would ever have expected to find here. Great stuff. Thanks for your click on one of my photos that let me find it!
Added Date: 05/01/2010 - 12:36 AM
You have a really impressive portfolio here, Paul! Your bird photographs are top class — I've not seen anything better on the site. Keep up the good work!
Added Date: 22/03/2009 - 7:21 PM
@Framed: If it can be photoshopped out in two minutes, it doesn't do an awful lot to discourage copying, does it? So you're ruining the image without really achieving anything much. Most of the benefit of posting photos here is that people take the effort to make constructive comments about them but it's hard to look closely at a photograph that's been overwritten.
Added Date: 21/03/2009 - 2:25 PM
I've been meaning to set aside the time to have a good look at your profile for quite a while. And I'll have to look again in the office, since my grubby old laptop screen ruins a lot of your photos!
You have a really strong body of work here and I look forward to seeing more of it.
Added Date: 08/11/2008 - 12:14 AM
Hi, Bjarte, and thanks for the comment you left on my Leeds Dam photo. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed looking through your portfolio (the pic of you is great, too!) and I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. I could have written `This is really good!' on almost all of your photos but I thought I'd do it here instead.