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17/07/2012 - 11:43 AM

Middle Stump

Middle StumpGreat timing to get this shot.

Some pointers to help do even better next time....

1. A faster shutter speed will remove blur ... both in terms of the speed of the action and camera shake. You could use a slightly larger aperture (say f8 or even f5.6 ... but watch the depth of field) or even up the iso. I would be looking for nearer 1/500th of a second or even 1/1000th if possible.

2. Mount the camera on a tripod (this helps eliminates camera shake) and use a cable release (allows you to watch the bigger picture and get the timing right). Cricket is a sport where tripod mounting works well as the key points are often fairly fixed ( i.e. batsman, bowler, wicket keeper)

3. Carefully check your exposure - in this shot I think your camera has been fooled into overexposure due to the dark background. Try metering off the players face (or use the back of your own hand - in the same light) to get it right. The background may be underexposed, but that isn't so important.
03/07/2012 - 2:16 PM

Almost alone

Almost aloneGood placement of the tree, but I think I would like to see more foreground which would push the tree a little further to the top left.

Also looks as if the white balance is a little off, or maybe it just needs a bit of a tweak on the levels or curves.

Lastly, you may wish to clone out the telephone line that is causing a minor distraction.
28/01/2012 - 10:02 AM


BreakwaterHi Goldtooth,

When posting in the critique gallery it is useful to have some indication of what type of critique you are looking for. In this case it appears that you have applied some post processing techniques and my first question is whether you are happy with the result. If you are then any critique is a personal and subjective view on whether the viewer likes what you have done. It may include some suggestions that the viewer feels would improve it in their eyes, but such suggestions are by nature subjective.

If you aren't entirely happy with what you have produced then some indication of what you want advice on will help, as will details of the settings you used when taking the shot, plus a bit about how you went about processing the image.

For my critique I am being subjective. Whilst I admire your willingness to explore creativity, I think for my eyes you have pushed it a bit too far. It looks like you have captured a good base image with the splash reasonably well "frozen" (although it is a bit difficult to tell through the post processing), but the composition feels a bit awkward. Personally I would have preferred a slightly lower viewpoint with the breakwater coming into the bottom left corner rather than a third of the way up the frame. I guess you have also taken the image whilst standing up and hence the camera has been tilted downwards which has introduced some elements of distortion.

I hope this has helped and look forward to seeing more images.
23/01/2012 - 10:12 PM

dyin for a fag

dyin for a fagYou have a very distinctive style that is likely to divide opinion. Personally I find the treatment too harsh, but that is a personal opinion.

What I do like is the angle on this one with the litter bin ashtray forming the foreground interest. However, what it needs is someone with a cigarette to add that bit extra.

As Paul mentions there is a very distracting line right down the centre, which I guess is actually there, but it just looks wrong.

Whilst this image is not to my taste I appreciate the work and applaud you for the creativity it shows.
22/01/2012 - 6:34 PM

Fast Flowing

Fast FlowingI think this works quite well. Certainly there is a good sense of speed and the slower shutter speed has also allowed you to get some decent depth of field.

I don't know what you have omitted by going for the letterbox format, but I feel that I just want to see a little bit more at the top. I also wonder whether I need quite so much on the right as the branch that is towards the top right corner keeps dragging my eye.

Overall I like the image, but feel there may be a better version yet to come.
10/11/2011 - 6:30 PM


Splash..!!!!Excellent timing and pretty good framing. Did they get the soaking it looks like they're about to get?

Where I think there is room to improve is in the contrast of this image. In my mod I have converted to mono (which I think helps concentrate the view a bit more) and upped the contrast a bit. I have also darkened in the corners and added a bit of brightening to the figures.

Hope you like.
11/10/2011 - 2:31 PM

Zion NP

Zion NPI like this image, but think the shot could be strengthened if you crop it so that the yellow line ends right in the bottom left hand corner.
11/10/2011 - 8:54 AM

On The Edge

On The EdgePutting aside the fact that the figure is in shadow there is much to like about this image. However, as it is submitted for critique I will pick up on a few areas where there may have been room for improvement.

The placement of the head is uncomfortable in so much as it just brushes the sky. Ideally I would have like the head to be comfortably below the skyline, which would have required you to shoot from a slightly higher position. This may or may not have been possible, but I feel it would have strengthened the image.

I think I would also have liked to see the anchor point on the right, although this may have unbalanced the shot a bit pushing the figure a bit too central. Perhaps that could have also been counteracted by going a little wider on the left. You were operating at full zoom so I feel you could have backed off slightly to get the wider shot.

Using flash may have helped overcome the shadow situation, and would also have helped you control the background exposure a bit better as the far hills and sky are a little more washed out than I would like. Of course I think it would be prudent to ask your subject if you could use flash as he looks to be in a precarious position and I wouldn't want him startled by an unexpected bright light Smile

However, despite the above points, I like this shot a lot and feel you have done a commendable job.
24/09/2011 - 1:55 PM


TonyA nice simple composition.

The image has a slight blue colour cast,which I have (largely) removed in the mod. I also feel a slight crop would help by removing some of the space in the top left.
18/09/2011 - 12:56 PM

1 to beat

1 to beatI think you have probably made the right decision to shoot at f2.8, although there is an argument that you could have stopped down 1 stop. Lenses can be slightly off of their best when used at the extremes, so f4 or f4.5 may have been slightly sharper and the loss of shutter speed probably wouldn't have hurt you too much (if at all).

It is worth playing with some variations of shutter speed to find out just how slow you can shoot before things get blurred. This will help you decide when the iso needs to be upped.

This is a pretty good action shot with the subjects isolated, and the runner has room to move into. The wide aperture has blurred the background a little and this certainly helps concentrate the eye.
11/09/2011 - 7:12 PM

Dance on street

Dance on streetHave to say it looks more like a flamenco than tap, but that is beside the point.

Photographing from within a crowd can be tricky and you have done a good job here. Personally I like the use of selective colour, but this wont appeal to everyone.

What you have done here is capture a sense of movement which is exactly what is needed.

Ideally I would have liked a bit less depth of field, but at a relatively short focal length and a max aperture of only f5.6 that is not something you could do too much about.

Well done, a good street image.
09/09/2011 - 10:59 PM

souter lighthouse

souter lighthouseLighthouses always make interesting subjects, but they do need careful handling, especially in bright sunlight as the bright white surface can make correct exposure a bit tricky. In this image I feel it is slightly over exposed and I have applied a little compensation using levels in photoshop (see mod). If you are unsure of the correct exposure you could try bracketing at the time of taking (i.e. you take several shots at different exposures - usually 1 stop above and 1 stop below that recommended by the camera's suggestion).

The second issue is that the horizon isn't quite straight, and I've corrected this in photoshop. However, this has exacerbated another problem in that the top of the lighthouse isn't all in the frame, and the straightening has caused a bit more to be lost. It is always important to carefully frame the subject at the time of taking, and I usually try to allow a little extra space to allow for any corrections that may be needed later.

I hope this is of help to you.
23/04/2011 - 10:45 AM

Flowers on the roof

Flowers on the roofAn interesting set of photos which certainly fit in my opinion under the heading of photo journalism. They depict the sad decline that is being experienced by certain sectors of the pub trade. It is a shame that such a magnificently grand building is being allowed to decay, yet nature is finding a way to exploit the situation,

As for what constitutes digital manipulation, I guess that is also a matter of opinion. Most images are manipulated in some way shape or form. When this is simple sharpening, levels or curves adjustments, colour correcting or cloning out dust spots, then I feel it is not necessary to specifically mention that the image is digitally manipulated. Personally I wouldn't even consider perspective corrections as needing to be declared as digital manipulations, but others may disagree. I only tend to declare something as digitally manipulated if I have particularly tortured the image. In the absence of a clear definition, then it is our own judgement that rules. Of course where strict rules do apply (e.g. in certain competitions), then any adjustments must comply with the rules as stated.
23/04/2011 - 10:33 AM

Steppe Eagle

Steppe EagleNot a lot to improve here. Perhaps a slightly smaller aperture, say f8, would have allowed you to bring the front of the beak into focus. Also feel some of the highlights on the beak are starting to distract my eye and maybe they could be toned down just a bit. A little s tweak on the curves may also bring a little more punch.

Overall a good effort and all suggestions are personal preferences.
16/02/2011 - 3:57 PM

Little Bro

Little BroIn terms of the black and white conversion I think you have done a reasonably good job and there appears to be a good range of tones.

It looks like you have used a bit of flash here and unfortunately that has thrown a rather distracting shadow behind your brother. You could possibly clone this out, but at the time of taking, if possible, try to bounce the flash off the ceiling (for example) rather than firing it directly. This will minimise the shadows behind the subject, but can create a shadow under the nose and chin - which is where a reflector comes in handy. Of course for a casual visit to the pub you are unlikely to be packing all the gear and it can rather ruin the spontaneity
16/02/2011 - 3:39 PM

Semarang Buddahs

Semarang BuddahsI also think this works pretty well and you have captured a good sense of the depth. The focus point looks okay to me (sharp in the foreground and going soft as it receeds). Yes you could remove the lamp post, and I probably would.

I think you could go just a tad wider on the left to bring a little more of the nearest statue into play.
05/02/2011 - 6:14 PM

death of a tree

death of a treeunfortunately your main subject is lost against the background foliage. You may find that going to black and white will help provide some separation, but in reality a different angle may be more successful.
24/01/2011 - 12:16 PM


ButterflyLooks like you have done a pretty good job with the focusing, but unfortunately the highlights in the background have somewhat overpowered the scene.

Try to position your subject against a neutral and consistent background. This will help it stand out and be the star of the show.

Your basic technique shows promise, and with practice you'll be delivering some lovely shots.
23/12/2010 - 12:44 PM

Snow climb

Snow climbAs Paul says, I think you are asking a lot of a compact camera to cope with the wide range of tones - you have bright white through to deep shadows.

Let the sun drop further, and as it does you will find the tones come together and your camera will cope much better. As the light dims you may find a tripod helpful, but you should still be able to capture some decent images hand held in quite low light conditions.

With the sun lower in the sky you can get even longer shadows, and try for those interesting compositions suggested by Ade. Also take note of getting a focal point - it really will concentrate the viewers attention and make the image much stronger.
28/09/2010 - 1:02 PM

lotus at Aros

lotus at ArosAn exoctic plant with some lovely subtle tones.

Macro and close up photography can be extremely rewarding, but it is also highly unforgiving.

There are several aspects of this image which I feel could be improved. Compositionally I think you either need to pull out a bit so the top petals are included, or go much tighter to pick up on the smal details. At present it feels as if you have quite decided what the shot is about.

Also, you need to pay particular attention to what is in the background of your shot. In this case there are some distracting artifacts on both the left and top right of the image (plus a small spot at top centre).

I like the use of water on the plant as this gives added interest.

A good foundation image and with a little practice and attention to detail I'm sure you'll soon be producing top quality shots.