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12/12/2010 - 10:05 AM

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the WindRefreshing viewpoint across Loch Slapin. I particularly like the composition & the suggestion of the movement because as you describe, it was rather windy.

The sky has nice texture so this should be a fine image indeed but it's the processing which disappoints me. I think this could be a fabulous wall hanger but it looks like it was made from several images either blended together or masked over each other.

I'd go back to a single frame and process it again for a more natural look cos I think this is a first class piece of work.

The rocks curve the eye towards the hill & then rest on the tree which has created tension by appearing to reach out of the frame. If it pointed the other way, the image would be imbalanced but this works to compensate for the rocks & hills to the left.

A first class classical landscape that if were mine, would benefit from revisiting the processing buttons.

22/11/2010 - 1:11 PM

Accross The Bay

Accross The BayNo need for HRD here.

Could have used a grad filter to knock back the sky or a piece of black card to wipe upwards during the exposure to achieve same effect.

I used a piece of card a lot instead of grads cos you elminate the light having to pass through a crap piece of plastic.

Nice comp, just needs a proper reprocess

08/11/2010 - 11:16 AM

Tay Trees & Mountain Tops ...

Tay Trees & Mountain Tops ...Composition is very good especially in cropped version but in an attempt to grab the shadows, a lot of high key detail has been given up which is a shame cos I would like to have seen the two boats more clearly and possibly some texture in the mist.

The trees are in shadow cos I know this place at this time of year is a huge contrast challenge which suggests shooting it BEFORE the sun rises might have reduced the dynamic range sufficient for the camera to capture it all.

Digital cameras have perhaps 2 to 2.5 stops of dynamic range above the mid tone (will record white cloud & retain some detail) and 3 - 4 stops of dynamic range below the midtone (record some shadow detail before going black).

Forget what the manufaturer says cos they are all telling stories.

This scene has at least 5 to 6 stops of dynamic range which is beyond your camera sensor if you set the shadows about 1 - 2 stops below mid tone which is what appears to be the case here.

I hope you had some more bracketed shots cos you could make a perfect scene here and give up some shadow detail without losing any impact.

These types of shots resonate with me which is why I spent so much time writing this.


06/03/2010 - 10:25 PM

another picture of the moon

another picture of the moonChromatic abberation can also appear as blue or green halos/lines around objects and is most obvious when two areas have a high contrast ratio between them such as the bright moon and dark sky of the cosmos.

Every lens suffers from it because different wavelengths of light (colours) refract at different angles so your lens acts like a prism, splitting the white light into its natural components including those wavelengths you cant see such as UV and IR. Each colour refracts differently so you end up seeing each colour separately on your image.

Shooting wide open makes it worse cos the light has to bend more at the edge to reach the focal point than light entering at the centre of the glass.

You can minimize it by setting the f stop to f8 - f11, avoiding high contrast scenes, retouching with software or selling your pets for medical experiments to fund expensive lenses with fancy coatings that correct specific wavelengths by having 1/2 wavelength thickness coatings deposited on them.

Nice shot by the way.
Late Afternoon at St Andrews CathedralThe time of day and warmth of sunshine is good. And its sharp. And exposed correctly. But ....

The composition is weak; the tower is too close to the right edge and even if it werent, there's nothing substantial to balance its scale/weight/ The trees to the left edge are not interesting and distract.

I would have waited longer until the sky looked better cos its ok, just not exciting.

And the gravestones are scattered and disorganized. A closer viewpoint with just a few stones as a foreground would work better and get low down so you can exclude the clutter.

Look at the best images anywhere and they nearly always have simplicity as their core strength; simple, strong composition, dramatic lighting, unusual viewpoint, singular focus of subject etc.

Youve got the basic technical stuff right but its the unwritten stuff that needs work on.

I hope that helps.
09/01/2010 - 1:07 PM

Ice tree

Ice treeVery good observation and comp but needs some post processing I think to really finish it off. Polarization/Saturation of sky overdone a bit. Exposure could be raised by a 1-2 stops because image has a blue/grey colour cast to it and contrast could be elevated to make the highlights punch out the image. Unstaurate/pull back the blues first, raise the exposure for mid tones next, then adjust levels for shadows to deepen them, elevate highlights to make the frost white then readjust saturation for natural look then finsih off with a bit of sharpening. There's a wall hanger here waiting to come out.
06/01/2010 - 12:31 AM


FocusedVery neat composition and clean, uncluttered background. Sharp too. I think it could be even better if the blue/green cast I'm seeing was corrected, colour saturation was increased slightly along with the contrast because it just comes across as a little bit flat.

A great capture then that could be perfect IMHO with a little bit of post processing.

05/01/2010 - 11:42 PM

In The Bleak Midwinter

In The Bleak MidwinterI think you could push the exposure even more cos I prefer v2 as it shows more detail. V1 looks a bit muddy which is a shame cos the composition is very inviting and the extreme dynamic range has been captured without blowing the highlights which is not always easy to do. Good eye for a comp then and an ability to know what to expose for. A bit more work in post processing would finish it off perfectly.
21/12/2009 - 7:38 PM


S T A R ETh exposure is perfect. The sky is very moody and adds to the drama. The distracting concrete lower right should be cropped out or the viewpoint shifted.

Two suggestions: wait til its darker when the lights come on; they are an electric blue and look fantastic but you'll probably want a clear sky cos the shadows will block up otherwise. And wiat til there's no wind so the water will reflect better too.

And if it were me, I'd suffer wet feet and actually get in the water cos it aint deep here and take this right from the middle of the canal before security shows up. Which is exactly what I plan to do on my next visit cos I have other shots at dusk with the lights on and they keep changing colours; magic effects.

I love this machine and hope you come back with some more.