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26/01/2010 - 10:29 PM

Still Walking By

Still Walking ByAlmost works for me... i'd be tempted to have the flower clip the frame too... would really make the viewer work and ask questions in that case. also she's looking down, although we cant see her eyes, ours follow her head direction, and that gives it a very particular feel, if that's what you wanted then cool Smile It's always worth remembering that even if your models are half hidden we can still see (assume) a lot from their pose. Smile
26/01/2010 - 9:36 PM

Running Man

Running ManOk, I'm with Smackmyfish, normally i'd go with the sh*t sandwich, but due to a bread shortage, you'll have to make do with it on toast, sorry.

Compositionally good, nice balance, it's a little tight and compressed but overall works well and has enough to keep your eye interested and moving.

Now, on to the technical side, sorry but this is some poor PS work, there are plenty of Halos from your masking, where you have blurred the background, but not masked you posts effectively are the most obvious.. for example several of your posts have bad halos around them and also weirdly blurred tops and oddly non blurred bit between them where you have added the fire in. Also smoke does not blur out dark objects like you have it here.... light kinda does do that, but not dark objects. On the subject of posts, you have badly masked the lower right post at the bottom (near his right hand) as you can see it and the burning straw merging together when one should obscure the other.

The guys right arm, the back edge of it is blurred when it should not be, again to bad masking most likely, as almost all of him is sharp, and if it was movement on his part the other edge of his arm would be blurred too.

Overall the blurring of the background is badly done in PS ie it's obvious it is done in PS rather than being soft billowy smoke, far too smooth and uniform, no texture or noise to it at all. And finally if you are to add in fire to an image make sure that the one at the back is not seemingly impervious to the wind that is flattening the other two bits of fire. Good effort, but much more work is needed.
11/11/2009 - 10:08 PM

All By Myself...

All By Myself...This is very, very good work. It's a photo of contrasts, the thin willowy single 'shroom set in a lot of nice negative space, matched with the well lit cap and stem set against a dark background. This really sets it off, and gives you an emotional response to the struggle for growth. Keeping the colour at the top and the bottom also works, giving a nice border and edge to the scene.

One to be proud of and print it up.

Quote: While everyone else was getting lovely landscapes

Everyone? not quite Wink
Artist - Buddy Group 2 - self portraitPainting tag? With a pencil? Tongue

I like the idea a lot and it shows you without showing you (i'll come to that later). As Martin pointed out there's a case for a less cluttered background, though it does place you in the back yard so i'd maybe be tempted to just lose the plastic chair. You need some shadows near your hands, the top one in particular, the grey tone of the "paper" lightens underneath it, and given the direction of light overall this looks a bit odd. The lower hand is better but still looks a tad odd.

For some reason the photo does have a slight air of Picasso, the shorts, tan and short hair does that i think. I bet you were summering in the south of France though Wink

Back to showing/not showing you... one thing I've heard said a few times is that in a portrait you should see the sitter not the photographer, now when we are both it asks questions about what part of that combo are we showing? Which is dominant and why...I like it as an idea but wonder if you are hiding, making it less of a self portrait (if that makes sense) through the process of creating it...anyway i digress.
05/07/2009 - 3:17 PM


AfterOk, this has a nice feel and a good sense of story, inviting questions of the viewer, as you have done in your description and title...what is it after?

Overall I really like the post processing which has a nice mood and suits the image, the look of your legs and dress really works with the background. Where I think it has not worked is on your face, the darkening around your mouth and chin looks as if you have some 5 o clock shadow, and has distorted your features a little, as we'd expect you not to have that stubble.

I do wonder if your eyes are looking in the right direction, given the title there is a good argument for having them look in that direction, but also for not. They could also be looking down, or in the totally opposite direction. That would add a whole other level of meaning however, so might not be what you wanted.

I like it, BUT you have set a big standard for our group to follow now.... grrr Tongue Smile
23/06/2009 - 2:29 PM

nude melon

nude melonYour background works well as a colour compliment, however, your cutting out could do with some tightening up as the models right shoulder (and whole right side really) looks a little to soft and fuzzy round the edge. If you use less feathering on your mask this should help improve this.

Posing wise it does look a little flat, it may help to play more with the positioning of the melon and play with angles of it in relation to her pose. Tighter shots could also work, especially as the make up was inspired by the melon, it would be good to really show that.

Hope that helps.
30/03/2009 - 3:42 AM

Burren View

Burren ViewI'm afraid as nice as chris is being, this is pure *****, nice use of a post though, but not sure about your horizon or st. kevin's stump
mKwetha: Vincent Mlinjana's Transition from Boy to Man 2As a practising documentary photographer, this image causes me a little bit of trouble. You have had great access here, but have fallen into some very colonial and "spectacle of the other" practices with your composition and framing.

Looking down on your subject creates a power structure in the image (you are high and looking down) and can re-inforce negative stereotypes, especially with the subject matter you are covering. In this image i get no sense that you had created a connection with your subject or what was going on, it feels more like a record shot.

You've obviously got some great access here...use it, and really get to know and understand your subject, that's the key, bring your subject out, make them shine.
03/12/2008 - 11:58 PM

Food Patterns

Food PatternsOk, here's some thoughts on the shots.. Nice to see you getting close and with a wide lens, takes some doing to make that decision when doing street stuff.

1 - this is the strongest of the shots, though suffers a bit from being neither bang on square to the cam or off centre enough to make it look like it was meant to be like that. Part of that is down to lens distortion, but it adds a touch of uneasiness to pic. it was well seen and good exposure... could be a touch warmer, mind you so could that day! Smile Use of a longer lens might have worked here too, compressing the image a bit and making more of the colours and shapes.

2 - This does suffer from the wide angle it is hte type of shot that would benefit from a much longer lens to stop the perspective effects of being in close and wide, however, knowing the place that you shot that would never happen, so i'd have been tempted to go even closer and really emphasize the effects of the lens or show them in context a little more.

3 - Again could have benefited from a longer lens here, short lenses are great for street work, but for abstracts i find a longer lens often works better unless you get really close with the wide angle.

Anyway a click for doing it and pushing your comfort zone.. lets see some more Smile
16/11/2008 - 6:25 PM

bike & shed

bike & shedNot bad for a first time, way better than my first play with dodging and burning Smile

You could create a new layer, and use curves/levels to bring the sky to where you want and then use a layer mask to just make the sky visible. Or you could create that 2nd layer by opening hte raw file a 2nd time processed for the sky and copy and paste it in, and again mask away, that would give you a better result overall, as the levels option can soon break up the tones in the sky. I've done a mod using levels and you can see the tone coming back but some of them are beginning to break up a little.
15/11/2008 - 12:51 AM

Trash the Dress 3

Trash the Dress 3Even with a "trash the dress" theme wedding shots should be about elegance and fun. The way the dress has formed looks like she is appearing from a huge batch of sea foam and her expression seems to match! Looking at her face and pose I am just left wondering what she was thinking or doing, it is so flat that there is no emotion to key into.

Looking at all 3 shots she does have a similar expression in all, so it could be that she is not very expressive, some people are not, so play to that strength look at poses that fit a flat expression, and I'd say of the 3 your 2nd is better, go full length, make the face less of the main feature and also look at poses where she looks away from the camera.
05/11/2008 - 11:41 AM

All Alone

All  AloneHmmm, it definitely has something here, but i find that the diagonal line of the part that is in focus works, however, for me the OOF trunk beneath the fungi, is a bit distracting, tonally it is very similar to the fungi and competes for your eyes attention. Also the diagonal line from the edge of the trunk does act as a bit of a barrier.

There are two things you can do, a heavy crop (or reposition at the time of shooting) or try adjusting the tone of the trunk, in post-processing. Done both as mods.
04/10/2008 - 9:52 AM

Anchor Mill....again

Anchor Mill....againYour first of these had a better composition, here the mill is a bit too central, if you'd turned your camera a bit to your right, probably far enough to cut out the building on the left you would have a much more balanced composition. Also I'm not too keen on your eye level. Taken from the height you are it creates a dividing line along the top of the falls that splits the image into two, and kinda doesn't work here. If you were either lower or higher it would.
30/06/2008 - 9:30 PM


DeliberateHad an accident with the Vaseline Conrad? Wink

Ok, congrats on following through with your blog comments and experimenting and posting, things I see with this are, depth and composition and light. if you are removing sharpness from an image you need to rely heavily on the other elements that are there, so....

Composition: it's a bit static, so the lack of fluidity will not spark any appreciation of the image and its flow. I've done a mod (quick and dirty one) with a bit of a rotation to show how you can get a more diagonal comp that has a bit more life.

Light: The image does not have a sparkle, it feels a little flat, bumped this a little in the mod, but i think it needed more there in the first place.

Depth: The light you have doesn't help the depth, but it's not the main issue. Careful use of aperture (and point of focus) could add depth through the progressive blur of elements within the image, via their distance from the camera. Different levels of blur (none of it needs to be sharp) can still give the viewer a path through an image. If you have a strong pattern (say back lit leaves) you can keep a more uniform blur and it will work, here there isn't enough pattern.

Now i'm gonna click cos I like where you are going and the fact that you went through with it.
13/06/2008 - 2:16 PM

Square light

Square lightInteresting crop, you have taken, however there are a couple of areas that could be improved. You've got some blur in the model, looks like motion blur from them, but it could be a bit of camera shake. Compositionally, it'd be a a stronger image if the model was further to the left, as the large dark area there does not really add much to the shot, and you'd give them plenty of space to look into.
05/06/2008 - 11:41 PM

My Proud Father

My Proud FatherUndoubtedly a very personal image and you have captured a great look of pride on your fathers face. Ok, moving onto the technical stuff, your dad has a pole out of his head, a step to your left would have hidden that behind the flag and not really altered the comp a great deal. As for the DOF, well as it is mostly done with blur in post processing there are some issues. The shoes look odd, also the suit trousers have blurry edges where thy shoud not have, and if your father is sharp, then the ground he is standing on should also be sharp, fake DOF blur is hard to make convincing!

Anyway this is an image in which the content outweighs the technique, bet you are happy with it and so is he, whether by sea, (or) by land!
01/06/2008 - 9:48 PM


SleepyI recognise this bridge.,..heh

Hmm composition, as to positioning centrally there is a point there, moving the figure off to the side? no. He needs to be in the line of view for reasons Nev mentions, he is ablock to progress and fortunately falls into the nice area of light. if i was to change this, i'd look at a portrait composition, with the figure in the top half emphasizing the walk up to him and him as an obstruction (of sorts) in your path.

All in all, a good shot!
24/05/2008 - 3:06 PM


flowerYes, nice colours, but with the centre of the flower dominating the composition in the way it does, it really needs to be sharp, and here it is not. It might work if you had a super narrow DOF, but with the centre being just out of the focus area it does not work so well.
23/05/2008 - 1:00 AM

lyndsey 3

lyndsey 3There's a few things i'd change in this...

Move the model further away (if possible) form the backdrop as you have a fair few creases showing in the backdrop, which could be solved by bringing the model further forward and so separating the lighting of her and the lighting of the backdrop.

Also she has a somewhat quizzical expression on her face which does not help the image. Your viewpoint is also a bit low, so you've brought a bit too much emphasis towards the hips rather than higher up, which adds to the quizzical backing away feel to the pose. Try standing a bit higher, looking down, making the model extend and lean towards you, that'd help. Also her bra is sharper than her face and eyes, not so good.

Lighting wise it is ok, good enough exposure, but i'd be tempted to bring the light closer to you or throw in a bit more reflection on the LHS.
23/05/2008 - 12:39 AM

Blue Eyes

Blue EyesYou've not included any info about what you were trying to achieve, but I guess it was some sort of alluring pose, however, for me what you have achieved is the opposite as she has an almost eat you liver crazy expression and pose! This is because she is hunched up and pulling away from the camera, has quite a wide stare (made worse by the extra colouring on the eyes) and looks as though she has just been told to "stick yer tongue out" therefore it looks forced and odd.

While you have a good exposure here and decent light setup, what is lacking is a bit of model direction. For alluring you want the model to come towards the camera, get closer and make contact with the viewer, not hunch up and back away as she is here, connection is everything.

The tongue... i am guessing you asked her to put it there, but it looks such an afterthought, one of the trickiest parts of shoots like this is getting the models to perform on camera, so you need to lead them and help them step up to what you want to convey, and sometimes a bit of overacting can work wonders.