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  • Talacre Sunset

    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.

    Great work on the HDR processing. I always find it best when the controls are used gently like this.

    • 10 May 2012 11:46AM
  • drops

    PinkK wrote:
    > Wish I knew how to do this

    EPZ's tuturial.

    • 6 May 2012 2:00PM
  • view from islandmagee

    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.

    The second version is a big improvement as it has much more punch. I think it would be improved further by moving some distance to one side to move one of the farmhouses to the left and one to the right, to avoid the very central composition.

    Overall, though, I just don't find the photo very exciting. It's a nice view but that doesn't necessarily translate into a strong photograph: I can't hear the birds singing or smell the flowers or feel the warm sun on my back so you need to work extra-hard to convince me that I'm interested in this place. In fact, you have to work super-hard because it's just as easy for me to look at your photo as it is to look at a photo of somewhere really dramatic like the Grand Canyon.

    OK, so how do you compete with that? Of course, really, you can't but, on the other hand, it should be much easier for you to convince me to spend a long weekend in Northern Ireland than to make the treck to Arizona. You also have the "hidden gem" factor in your favour, because most British people don't know the first thing about the landscape of Northern Ireland, beyond maybe the Giant's Causeway. Try to find compositional elements that will lead the viewer through the scene. Something like a road moving from somewhere close to somewhere in the distance can often help a lot. Maybe shooting along the valley, rather than across it. Somewhere for the eye to rest can be useful: put the foreground farmhouse around the intersection of thirds (probably lower-right, as it's facing to the left) and the viewer starts to imagine that they live there and see the view from their own front window. Or maybe a well-placed and nicely lit group of farm animals so we can think, "Lucky them, getting to see this view all day." What's the tower on the horizon on the far right? Would you get a good photograph of the tower, with the landscape as a background?

    Nice light throughout the shot would obviously help, too, but if we got to pick the weather, life would be much better. Wink

    • 6 May 2012 1:56PM
  • general

    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.

    The best way to improve the photo would be to shoot in better light. When it's overcast and getting dark, you're forced to use slow shutter speeds, wide apertures and high ISO, all of which tend to hurt image quality. Here, for example, I think you've been lucky to get a reasonable shot despite the very slow shutter (1/80s when you'd ideally aim for something around 1/(6 x focal length) on this camera, i.e., 1/1000s or so).

    By the way, in your description, the 35mm-equivalent range of your lens should be 24-840mm, according to Canon's specs.

    • 6 May 2012 1:15PM
  • Happy Chappy

    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.

    Street photography requires a lot of nerve and I don't have it. The classic shots, as I'm sure you know, are and were mostly taken with normal to wideish-angle lenses, in close, although the subject is often still not aware of the camera. This shot is the most timid approach possible: shot with a long lens and of a subject on his phone who's so unaware of what's going on around him that you could probably get his face full-frame with a 50mm lens without him noticing. This seldom works because there's so much distance between the viewer and the subject, both physically and metaphorically. (Indeed, I'd argue that the Doisneau works precisely because of the distance, as the woman appears to be in danger but we're powerless to help, even by shouting a warning.)

    Be brave!

    • 6 May 2012 12:54PM
  • squirrel

    Yes, I think this fixes the composition. Smile

    • 6 May 2012 12:27PM
  • Prince Philip

    This one doesn't really work for me -- sorry. Sad 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.

    Mostly, I think you've just been unlucky: the stars of the show were actually starring in somebody else's show.

    • 6 May 2012 12:27PM
  • Dockey Wood

    Overall, this works very well and the symmetrical composition is natural and sensible. I have just a few little suggestions.

    - A little more depth of field would be nice, to get the foreground sharp.

    - The lead-in takes us to a point in the background that's very close to what seems to be a person standing in the distance. I find that person rather distracting as he or she doesn't really fit in. Best cloned out, I think.

    - It looks like it's leaning to the left: the ground slopes that way and most of the trees are leaning. Although the ground may well be a gentle hill and trees don't necessarily grow vertically, especially if there's a prevailing wind, I think the photo would feel more relaxed if it was straightened.

    • 6 May 2012 12:16PM
  • Night Shift

    Have another comment. Smile The Fuji skin tones do look very good. Thanks for all your comments in PM about such things, too -- they've been very helpful.

    • 6 May 2012 1:14AM

    Well spotted, Sue. Ther are certainly dust spots on this -- I've posted a mod with some definites ringed in red and some maybes in blue. Bryan Carnathan has a good sensor cleaning article on his site.

    • 5 May 2012 9:11PM
  • L.

    A bit underexposed but I like the lines in this. Well seen!

    (Near the Albert Hall, yes?)

    • 5 May 2012 5:51PM
  • Oscar

    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.

    • 5 May 2012 5:49PM
  • general

    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.

    • 5 May 2012 5:46PM
  • bird

    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...)

    As for the photo, it's well exposed and looks decently sharp but the bird's too small for the shot to work as a portrait and the surroundings aren't interesting enough for it to be a photograph of the surroundings that includes a bird. I would definitely crop out the yellow highlight in the bottom left because it draws the eye very strongly out of the photograph.

    • 5 May 2012 5:19PM
  • Bluebells in the Rain

    MossyOak wrote:
    > Remember the closer in the less dof you get, hyperfocal distance.

    I think you're confused about what the hyperfocal distance is. The hyperfocal distance for a particular aperture and focal length is the distance to focus at to get the maximum possible depth of field. Specifically, focusing at the hyperfocal gives sharp focus from half that distance, out to infinity. Also, the hyperfocal distance on an 800mm-equivalent lens at f/5.6 is nearly four miles away. Not gonna work.

    With a fixed focal length lens, the distance you shoot from is entirely governed by the composition you want. Getting in closer would crop the image tighter.

    • 5 May 2012 2:17PM
  • Old friends

    The greens look a bit over-saturated to me but this is a lovely shot and the letterbox composition works really well. I miss living near bluebell woods. :-/

    • 5 May 2012 2:08PM
  • Catedral De Santa Ana - Las Palmas - Gran Canaria - HDR

    HDR has made the sky look very unnatural? Was it really necessary?

    The purpose of HDR is to reduce contrast so a scene with extremes of brightness and darkness can be represented in a single image on a computer screen or paper. This doesn't look like a high-contrast scene to me and should be within the capabilities of your camera to capture in a single exposure.

    • 5 May 2012 2:08PM
  • Swiss fountain

    Welcome to ePhotozine!

    I think this works rather nicely and shows the interesting shapes of the water moves through as it falls. The background is nicely blurred, too. The shot is very blue but a white balance adjustment would take care of that.

    There are two main ways of photographing water. One is to use a fast shutter speed, as you've done here, and capture the shapes the water flows into, which the human eye never sees because it moves too quickly. The other is to use a slow shutter so the water blurs into a smooth stream; that usually needs a tripod but you can sometimes rest the camera on the edge of the fountain, a wall or something like that. In both cases, a burst of flash can add sparkle to the droplets.

    • 5 May 2012 2:06PM
  • Ooh La La

    Would make a great record cover.

    • 5 May 2012 1:59PM
  • Red, Amber, Yellow...

    You are Edward Weston and I claim my five pounds. Wink

    • 5 May 2012 1:58PM
  • Bight Eyes

    I think the black and white part needs more contrast and the crop's a little tight. Other than that, it works very well.

    • 5 May 2012 1:55PM
  • Lila

    Beautiful. Maybe a little more space at the sides?

    • 5 May 2012 1:54PM
  • I got you

    Very nice. If possible, I'd have moved to the left to avoid the second out-of-focus buttercup. An off-centre composition might also work well.

    • 5 May 2012 1:53PM
  • Liverpool

    Excellent viewpoint and shooting before it's really dark has given a nice blue colour.

    On the down side, the shot's very noisy and the HDR processing has introduced haloes around the skyline and, in particular, its reflection. It's also resulted in a rather low-contrast image. Was HDR really needed, here? The purpose of HDR is to reduce contrast so that a scene with extremes of brightness and darkness can be represented in a single photograph without losing too much detail in the shadows or the highlights. But this isn't an especially high-contrast scene. Shooting RAW, I'd expect this to work just fine with a single exposure and a curves adjustment to bring out the shadow detail.

    • 5 May 2012 1:52PM
  • red squirrel

    Good one! I'd just desaturate the background greens a bit, as the bright green between his ears is a bit of a distraction.

    • 5 May 2012 1:48PM
  • Sky Wheel

    Nicely done; just needs to have been taken from a fraction farther back to get the whole wheel in the shot. I'd crop a little from the right to put the wheel dead-centre, too.

    • 5 May 2012 1:46PM
  • Sheep

    What a lovely family group. Smile Maybe a bit of a curves lift to brighten it?

    • 5 May 2012 1:45PM
  • Phone Box

    Not sure the colour pop has really bought you anything here, as the bright red phone box would stand out against the plain background anyway.

    • 5 May 2012 1:43PM
  • Bowdon Bridge Transportation

    You've done really well to get a tolerably sharp photo at 1s hand-held! Getting down on the floor and bracing your elbows against the road surface may have helped, as would going to ISO-800 to cut the shutter speed to 1/2s. The flare from the moon was probably unavoidable and it's not fallen in particularly bad places.

    • 5 May 2012 1:42PM
  • New Life

    Very nice. The framing is a bit too tight, though -- the supporting lambs are both right against the edge of the photo. It would look more comfortable with a little space around them. If that would include small parts of other lambs, you can always clone them out.

    • 5 May 2012 1:39PM