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26/02/2014 - 5:58 PM

The Storm Clouds

The Storm CloudsHi Kate
So many MOD's I almost didn't give it a shot, but I did so I am No. 12.

Over all this is a moody stormy shot so I wanted to keep the mood and not make it too bright but I wanted to lift the image and make some of the detail more visible.

I use very simple methods to adjust images so for me it was the levels control which I applied to selected areas and made individual adjustments. What I tried to avoid was to over expose the bright sun patch so I never selected this and in my MOD its the only untouched part.

For the sky and the foreground I adjusted levels to keep the dark slider at the edge of the histogram and then I lightened the midtones as necessary. For the sky I also increased the highlights.

As I adjusted the shot this really nice sepia tone appeared so I left it

Hope you like

07/02/2014 - 11:57 AM

Cafe Chic

Cafe ChicFirstly Kate competitions are all about what a judge sees and likes so I wouldn't worry about the reaction to this iimage. To take such a sharp image I presume hand held is very well done 1/45 is chancing your luck and most would get some shake. For me I'd like the background a little more blurred and possibly think of taking a shot like this again at F4 or F3.5. The speed will come up so reducing the risk of shake and th background will blur more.

Still a great image Kate well done and we all seem to like it.

05/02/2014 - 10:17 AM

Springtime Greeting

Springtime GreetingHi Kate
I haven't commented much on your snowdrop images because I'm not a flower person but I find this a nice pleasant image and I can see it on greetings cards of various types not just birthday. Only thing in my opinion the backgrounds are quite high saturation wise and slightly toned down would make the flowers come forward more. However this is my opinion and your the photographer.

19/01/2014 - 6:13 PM

Bait Island

Bait IslandV2 for me also Nigel, however I find the tone of the lighthouse is very similar to the tone of the sky. In my MOD I've lightened the tone of the lighthouse, I also crop the image slightly to move the focus more to the right and further away from the centre. This left a 1/2 boulder in the water so cloned that out for visual aesthetics.

Let me know what you think
14/12/2013 - 8:56 AM


MilicaFirstly nothing broken about the Zenith it took the picture just fine but Pablo's comments are correct and he has given a good explanation of things to do in the future to give your shot some life.

For me also I think this type of image is best as a square format. Milica is looking straight ahead so the black area to the right serves no purpose to the end image. I have loaded a mod to demonstrate.

Film photography doesn't allow the trial and error approach most people can use with digital to get the image they want so well done on getting exposure etc right for this image.

12/12/2013 - 9:49 PM

Milton Ferry Bridge

Milton Ferry BridgeFirstly welcome to EPZ, this is a nice sunset image however I bet its colours are mot quite what you saw when you took the image. This is common for sunsets and I notice you used a manual WB setting. I was told many moons ago that if you use the cloudy setting on the camera it lifts the yellows / oranges etc and gives a more intense image with the colours closer to what you see.

This can be done in lightroom or other editing programs by loading the image as a raw file and using the white balance adjustment to change to cloudy or if this isn't available custom adjust to provide a more yellow tint.

If you shoot raw files this adjustment is part of the processing.

As examples of what can be acheived I've loaded 2 MODs 1. has the saturations of the original image increased for reds and yellows just to strengthen those colours, 2. is a raw processed image to allow you to see the differences.

Let me know what you think of the MODs


PS the mods are just to show how changes can be made I'm using a laptop so colours can csometimes be quite strong.
05/12/2013 - 3:40 PM

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's CathedralI like this Steve, I find the parallax of the side buildings leads the eye into the cathedral. Most people would have chosen the portrait view but using landscape for me gives the image a further dimension placing the cathedral into the distance. I think if you wished you could increase the highlights on the cathedral slightly to add a more etherial effect.


ps I made my comments before seeeing Willies coimments, mod actually increase midtines on the cathedral which will loose some of the detail but I think it could be an alternative take on a very familiar scene just as your original shot has been.
13/11/2013 - 7:48 AM


TouchedI think this is an excellent image, I like the stark contrast of the silhouetted tree against the soft gentle greys of the misty background. I think you have achieved just enough contrast in the background to pick out the individual layers which for me adds to the feeling of distance.

As an experiment I made a portriat crop of just the background from the right of the tree and with the lower edge of the crop just positioned at the lowest part of the shadow on the right edge. I was impressed at how well the separate layers stood out in there own right. Try the crop and let me know what you think.

For me this will be a difficult image for anyone to improve on today so I am giving you my award for this excellent image.

17/09/2013 - 7:52 PM

The Brighton Eye

The Brighton EyeI like this image and the effects applied to the shoreline and the wheel. Unfortunately the sky has become very dark with a bright defined halo around the wheel - a classic effect of over processing an HDR image and it really detracts from a potentially nice image.

In my mod I've isolated the sky and used levels to try and lighten the sky to reduce the halo. This is best done in a series of separate moves concentrating on specific areas of the sky and using feather to reduce any abrupt tone changes.

Of course the best solution is to not over process the HDR and stop the halo forming in the first place.

15/09/2013 - 10:08 AM

High Cup

High CupHi Nigel
I think this is s fantastic shot with perspective held right down the valley and leading the eye into the distance. Moira's comment on a B+W conversion was interesting and I have loaded one of the many B+W conversions that are possible with this image.

To achieve the effect I firstly increased the overall saturation by 50%, B+W can take and in many cases needs much more saturation to achieve the desired effect. I then in Photo Elements chose convert to B+W selected scenic landscape and then adjusted the sliders to get the desired effect which was to keep the brightness of your image but highlight the light and dark areas. This last bit I find is best done with the eye.

To help remember red and blue tend to have opposite effects and green id like a control for everything. Only use small delicate movements as the changes can be quite dramatic.

Would like to know what you and Moira think.

08/09/2013 - 10:52 AM


ClaspYour quite right Elaine, I think your B+W is excellent you have a good tonal range with nice deep darks and bright but not over exposed lights.
However the colour image brings elements which the B+W cannot show with a straight conversion, such as the colour vanes in the rocks and the delicate colour changes in the seaweed.

To show this in a B+W you need software such as Photoshop or Silver Efex which allow you to adjust colour channels after conversion. This would then allow you to highlight the vanes and colour changes in a particular colour range.

Excellent image

21/08/2013 - 2:30 PM

Shelter on Slate Fell

Shelter on Slate FellHi Nick
This is a nice composition to display the tonal changes in black and white as it has tones going from dark to light, however using any camera in automatic mode means the camera tries very hard to get all colours / tones to be approx 18% grey or mid grey. The overall result of this is a dull unstriking image which can look a little flat and uninspiring.

Now we know this we can correct the problems. From a camera point of view come away from the auto settings and use manual settings only so aperture priority / shutter priority or full manual the choice is yours. When you meter the image look at trying spot meter rather than the normal average meter and spot meter for the dark shadows. if you take this image you will get shadow areas which are nicely exposed but the highlights will be way over exposed so to compensate for this take the meter suggested settings and either open the aperture wider by 1 stop of decrease the shutter speed by 1 stop and take a test image. What you want is a nice contrasting image with good tones from dark to light remembering that with a subject with very dark areas and very bright areas this could be beyond your camera to give a balance to both (this can be resolved) the maximum number of stop changes I would consider is 2. If this doesn't give you the results you want try using multiple shots so do as I've described and take your shot, now meter again for the brighter areas but not the bright sun and take a second image. these images you then combine in something like photoshop elements etc as an exposure combination and the software will combine the images into one image.

Sometimes the camera shots are just not quite there like the shot you have loaded. I have loaded a MOD of your image and I began by using levels to set the side arrows to the edge of the histogram and then move the middle arrow right to darken the midtones. The image I got still had quite light shadows compared to the brightness of the image so I selected the shadow area in front of the trees and using levels again I increased the midtone more to darken the shadow.

You can use this on both colour and B+W images the camera works the same with both. And one last thing if you can take images in RAW for the maximum amount of adjustment.

I hope this helps and get back to me if there’s something you don't understand
Final Dew drops and the web photosOn your 400D its called flash exposure compensation, you should have information on this in the user manual ( can be downloaded from Canon). This adjusts the amount of flash intensity you can have and I would suggest starting at -2 and increasing. The image you want has the web highlights lifted without the flash causing them to over expose and become just white lines in the image.

If you find at -2 the web is still being over exposed then use some grease-proof paper or similar and tape it over the flash head to reduce the light intensity further. You can try decreasing the aperture size by 1 stop but this will affect the whole image and could make the background too dark. The secret is not to rush and to take a number of images at different settings so you can select the best.

If yo have any other questions or your still unsure please get back to me on here or by PM

28/07/2013 - 11:10 PM

The Longest Edge

The Longest EdgeHi Dan
For a quick capture I think you've done a great job and I agree with Willie's crop and contrast changes, however you say you want to convey the size of this ridge and while you have some figures in your shot their size is too small to be significant as a comparator to gauge the size.

I would suggest another trip back and this time try and get into a position that gives slightly larger walkers while still retaining the sweep and edge of the ridge. keep the walkers in the bottom third of the image and I would allow just enough sky to define the top ridge of the hills. It may be that this image needs to be a panorama image to get the full sweep of the mill stone ridge.

20/07/2013 - 11:13 AM

Belhaven Bridge Walkway

Belhaven Bridge WalkwayHi Alistair I think this image straight from camera is excellent and shows you have the camera skills to balance light and dark correctly to get the image you want. I look at images such as these as abstracts more than anything as they tend to feature shapes and tones more than anything else.

If this was my image I would look at doing 2 or 3 things to help in my view improve the image.

1. With a perspective view such as this I would bring the focal point as near as possible to the centre of the image, this allows the railings to frame the view into the focal point. If possible keep the free space equal on both sides of the image.

2. You have 1 rail higher than the other so I used a skew function in GIMP to level them off and keep the geometry of your image.

3. Finally after all my adjustments the uprights bowed slightly so I adjusted the perspective on both sides to make them vertical again.

I have not adjusted your colour or balance as I think the soft colours work very well with this image.

Let me know what you think of my adjustments.

14/07/2013 - 12:09 AM


Shilouette..Hi Geo
As a silhouette I like this and I like the contrasting light spot on the shoulder, but I find the small spots of white on the face distracting so I have loaded a MOD which removes these spots and adds a touch more contrast.

Apart from this I think you have created a good image.

09/07/2013 - 5:58 PM

Mulls Resting Ladies 2

Mulls Resting Ladies 2I have to agree with Bren this is far better than the first and you now have a range of tones. Moira is fight that the dark shadow to the right is very dominant and this demonstrates how it can be a delicate balancing act to achieve a good overall effect in the image. if you feel up to a third version try and keep the shadow to the right with some detail and if you need the hull a little darker away from the shadow use the burn tool to apply darkening to selected areas.

Overall a very good effort.

08/07/2013 - 1:58 PM

Mulls Resting Ladies

Mulls Resting LadiesHi Viewing this at work so no MOD possible. Overall this is a nice composed image, however it has an overall greyness which is affecting many of the highlights especially the cloud and the general appearance of the wood super structure. I'm not sure if its because its from an HDR but there are some highlight areas so and overall adjustment could give some over exposure in places such as the white of the tail board and white to the edge of the cabin.

I would suggest going back into your editor and use the dodge tool to increase the highlights in areas around the image.

I will try and load a mod later to demonstrate.

04/07/2013 - 10:07 AM


bonesHi Maja

Like Phil I find this image has some very bright areas which draw my eye away from the form and structure of the subject. I really like the unusual angle and can see how it relates to the title of the image. I think some adjustment of the mid tones to reduce the bright areas slightly will balance the image and also increase the contrast to the shadows highlighting better the bone structure.

I have loaded a MOD to demonstrate, I also think the skin surface could benefit from removal of some of the detail so I have added some Gaussian blur in MOD 2.

Let me know what you think
21/06/2013 - 9:41 AM

The Dunes

The DunesHi Elaine

Nice image of the fencing and the evening shadows and I like the fact you've chosen to use B+W to display the scene. I've loaded 2 MOD's

1. Has an adjustment to the sky only to give more definition to the sky. This was done by isolating the sky from the rest of the image and using levels just to deepen the mid tones and brighten the highlights.

2. This is a bit of fun concentrating on the shadow and fence detail to the right of centre and adjusted quite dramatically to create a more silhouette type image

Let me know what you think