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17/03/2011 - 12:08 PM

Low key portrait - Elizabeth

Low key portrait - ElizabethThe light and model are beautiful....really quite lovely indeed. And I agree about the lack of touch up.....usually. I am very much one to keep it as natural as possible, but in this case, BECAUSE it has been mentioned means that it has taken away from the image a little. There are ways and means of clearing the skin but leaving it still looking very natural indeed. Its a shame, as she is a very, very pretty model, but because of the dramatic lighting, it has shown the imperfections on her skin much much more than if the light was much more "straight on".....the shadows accentuate this around the imperfections and might be worth just removing these with the spot removal tool in PS. But other than that, I agree, leave as natural as possible, but I do feel that the marks on this detract just a little from what is a simple, beautiful and very effective image. I hope you don't see this is criticism, just hopefully something constructive for you to consider Smile
16/03/2011 - 10:44 AM



Yeah, I hope you don't mind me giving some info and feedback on this.....none of it meant as criticism, I hope you can see I am just hopefully am trying to help Smile I am no expert, but there are a few things that could be done with this....

Firstly, the light seems very flat. And looks quite hard shadow too. If you are going to use hard light, then you need to angle this away from your model a touch, but not too much, to allow that depth from the hard light and its shadows to show. At the moment, the light is very straight on, which, with a large softbox, is a good thing, but the shadow is right behind her, making it look like she is basically in a room with a normal light on, rather than being lit correctly.

Also, the framing of it is not quite right either. I can see what you have tried to achieve, but the crop is neither here or there. The legs have been chopped a little, whereas if you moved out from the frame, more of them would be in the shot, making it a more pleasing and full, rather than truncated image. Secondly, the framing is a touch too much to the left. The white space to our right is a little distracting and a touch overpowering. Thirdly, superfluous props, such as the knife, should have a purpose with the shot. At the moment, I have no idea what it is doing there and doesn't really need to be. The shot should be one thing or the other. And the last thing is the eye contact, although I can see what you are trying to do, doesn't quite work in this instance. The whites of the eyes, in pretty much every case in a photo, is not the most attractive thing. If you wanted to avoid eye contact (and there is no reason to not do, it can be very effective), I think you should have got her to move her whole head to look in that direction, rather than just moving her eyes and opening them up a touch too much. At the moment, it makes her look like a snap has been taken while she is looking at something or someone just outside the frame. A little unflattering. I might also have moved her right hand to make that a little less bunched within the dress and moved it so its outstretched to be more appealling.

A bit more contrast wouldn't go amiss, but this may be difficult because of the flat-ish lighting. It looks a touch washed out. But with harsh lighting, the contrast may not be there to bring this out. It really does have to be defined or you won't get a sharp image. A run through a touch of sharpening might also help the overall feel of this.

I really do hope you don't see this as total criticism. I hope I have been constructive. Its a good attempt and can totally see what you were trying to achieve and it is not for me to impose my own imagination and thoughts on the concept of a shot. If you know what you want to do, go for it. Just think that some of these adjustments won't take away from the shot at all, but will help along the way to getting the improvement you want yourself. Hope that makes sense?

Keem 'em coming!

15/03/2011 - 2:45 PM


L'ArmenienGreat character study....really can read right into the man. Its very striking and love the crop. Nicely lit too and really makes me want to know him a bit more. I reckon he would have a lot of stories....
I would like to see a touch more contrast in the image though as the light is a touch flat, but its a very small point....the mood is already there. Like it
14/03/2011 - 11:50 AM

M for Modelling

M for ModellingI am not so sure.....have seen Monika in many guises and she is a top, top class model, superb to work with. But for me, as much as the light and the angle are excellent, it seems a touch "over" processed to me. Forgive me if its your style, its not a criticism, but she works much better as a "natural" model, with her natural beauty shining through. For me, its a touch too smoothed and sharpened and tends to make her look a little like a mannequin.....don't get me wrong, I love everything about this shot in terms of light, her, the idea and thought that is gone into it. Just maybe, for my own tastes, pushed the processing a little too far. Forgive me negative comments, I really do like this......
14/03/2011 - 7:43 AM

back on my mind...

back on my mind...Really lovely stuff Vasile.....with these unusual angles, you really are beginning to carve out a particular "style" with your shots now. Its easy to see one of yours from the thumbnail now, which is no bad thing.....really very nice shot again indeed!
09/03/2011 - 6:54 PM

A glance away

A glance awayNice to see a simple, lovely, untouched image. What I mean is not photoshopped to death. This is natural enough to cover any changes, if there were any! She is a beautiful model and the simplicity brings this out. Lovely image
09/03/2011 - 6:37 PM


..Stunning work. Kudos to your model for pulling this one out of the bag. Love the light and angles and everything is accentuated because of it. The tones work well too. Love it!
16/02/2011 - 11:56 AM

Sunrise Thoughts

Sunrise ThoughtsHmmmm....the pose is lovely....I don't question that. What IS apparent is that its neither shadow or lit....I realise that as its a sunrise/sunset feeling you are trying to achieve, then shadow is what you are probably going to get, but for me, this kind of image would look better with more of her "curves" on show i.e. more detail from her and her skin. Seems a shame to hide all of that really when she has such good skin and shape. I don't mean that in any kind of visual sense, but more more in keeping with using her body as a form. I like the idea, but maybe some subtle reflection to raise her a little from the light as she is a touch TOO much in the shadow for me. Its not really saying anything about the title...I guess you could pick sunrise or sunset, its more of the fact that candle light, as you have proved already, can make some wonderful shadows and lines on soft skin and this doesn't really do that. If you see this first out, you would be hard pressed to see that it was actually someone at all. Could be any amorphous shape....thats not in any way being critical, I just feel there is a little something lacking....but I love the idea....really good use of the light and Richard said it with the crop and the use of the light...but maybe a little fill to bring her out of the image a little more....OR...if she had her head up, straight back and totally in shadow, that might make it a little less confusing. Does any of this make any sense John? Hope I am being constructive as I am loving this burst of creativity from you!
13/02/2011 - 10:21 PM

Denim Boudoir

Denim BoudoirHmmmmm......this one is dividing me a little John. Maybe it's because I am sort of expecting something arty in the vein of what has come previously. Whereas this one has a more "reportage" feel to it, less high art, more "observation" I feel. As ever, it's superbly shot, but it feels candid, almost a shot between shots as she looks a little uncomfortable, although it's bot a detracting from the image really. It's kind of odd.....I like it but I like it for all the reasons I didn't think I would. Its all about suspending what I know about what you have produced recently and take this as a standalone image. I find it uncomfortable, but it makes me think and for that, I like it! Good stuff again John, you got the grey matter working for me on this one! Smile
09/02/2011 - 6:20 PM

A moment in time

A moment in timeWow John.....what can I say? Trully, trully stunning mate! This is bloody fantastic! Wonderful idea, superb light, fantastic model and idea, great composition, love the tones and the mono conversion is spot on....this is one of your very best. Not necessarily technically, but in terms of mood, feel and "moment"....this is glorious!!!
Being the other side of the lensAh, then you might struggle....I have the same lens and f4 is usally pretty good for most applications, but to get a shallower DOF you need a longer focal length (I tend to shoot right at the long end with that lens and wide open too...it does help) or I am afraid, a different lens. I might have been tempted to maybe shoot this with a 50mm f1.8 or f1.4....you wouldn't compress the background so much, but you would make it much softer, even when at a distance. Would mean getting closer to the model and recomposing and so on, but then thats photography! Wink Hope this helps?
04/02/2011 - 1:59 PM

Pregnant nude

Pregnant nudeThis is a good attempt. She looks very happy, which is the essence of the image of course, but I agree with the above, needs a little more light on the subjects face. I would have been tempted to get something a bit softer, but get the light in close or make the light bigger somehow to get the light all over. Its not easy when you havew restricted space and equipment, but there are ways around this. Bring the light further away will spread it, maybe remove the snoot or directional mod, which will make the light a little "harder" but will give a better spread along the subject. No criticism on any of this, just maybe the odd tweak here and there which will bring out the beauty even more in this I feel. Hope this is Ok?
03/02/2011 - 12:14 PM

Romeo! Romeo! I NEED YOU !!!

Romeo! Romeo!  I NEED YOU !!!Nothing quite as lovely as a pregnant woman....beautiful.

Just a couple of pointers though if I may? I try and be as constructive as possible.....

There is a bit of work around her bum that looks very untidy. You can see where the processing work hasn't quite blended with the rest of the image. Also, she is a touch out of focus. The tones and light, pose and so on are perfect, but the focus is not quite on it. I feel that this, with the minimal processing you have done, would stand out a LOT more if the shot was pefectly focused. Would pull you in that much more, add drama as well as accentuating the beauty. Its so very nearly a masterpiece.....but I still like it for the subject, the story, the light and overall feel of it. Lovely stuff
02/02/2011 - 7:37 AM


ThinkingThe lighting and model are really quite beautiful, but if I may be so bold as to offer just a touch of constructive criticism? I would potentially have altered the white balance a touch to make it look a touch more natural maybe? I kind of like the warm tones (a lot of my shots are naturally "warm" in tone), but this has a tiny bit too much warmth to it, almost like you can definitely tell its been shot under non-studio or strobe light. Table lamp? Ceiling bulb? Either way, the composition, the model, direction and control of light is lovely, but its a touch TOO warm I feel. If not, I think this would make a really lovely black and white image, with high contrast to bring out the tones. But it is a lovely image....
31/01/2011 - 7:32 AM


...I like this a lot. I reminds me very much of a couple of shots I have in my PF. Similar light, similar look, similar composition. I am a fan of the close crop to be honest, I like it when you get drawn into the face or figure...the eyes have it, so why not focus them? Its a personal compositional thing I think, some like it, some don't. Not all is right or wrong. Just difference in taste and thats a GOOD thing. But this is really lovely. I guess if there is anything about this that I have to be a tiny, tiny bit picky (and blimey, this really is trying to achieve perfection on something thats nearly there!) is that I might have got her to bring her chin down just a touch....as Miptog said, its not her nose and nostrils as such, but the angle does accentuate them a little, so bringing the chin down would level this out, yet you could keep the same expression and mood with it. Miptog said about shooting down to alleviate this...which is one way, but this can also have a slightly distorting effect if not done correctly, so best to move the head in accordance I reckon. Again, personal opinion on boths sides, neither written in stone! Smile But this is lovely. Nice, natural, simple, good light, lovely model (as always), nicely composed.....a really nice image!
28/01/2011 - 7:50 AM

Window dressing

Window dressingI like this....lovely model, really pretty and shapely, lovely light, well composed, but can't help thinking it would look just that touch better without those shoes.....I guess its a personal thing, but I feel they give it a bit of a slightly less classy and "arty" feel to this image, which I definitely think it would if it didn't have them. They really aren't my thing, but I can't knock the image and the creation, its really very lovely indeed.
28/01/2011 - 7:34 AM


SPEAKThis is a superb rendition of that classic McCurry image........I guess it works on all levels as the original had a certain rustic beauty about it as well, which is what made the original such an arresting and iconic image. If those eyes on the original were on someone, for want of a better description, "less attractive", then I don't think the image would have worked. This on the other hand is MADE to look beautiful, each image standing alone in what they offer......this is beautiful Barry, really very, very well shot indeed....love it!
24/01/2011 - 2:01 PM

Flaming Ivory Flame

Flaming Ivory FlameIts a fantastic idea, but can't help thinking that it would have worked as one image, or two separate ones, without the overlay. Beautifully lit, beautifully set up, posed, model, MU, costume etc etc....a real cracker. But, the interlinking of the arms, in principle, is really very good. But, as it is, the larger arm looks a little dismembered, as though its not actually attached to the big Holly and sort of just come out of the body of the little Holly. Its cleverly done in terms of the processing and I am definitely not the person to be talking about that and the image and idea is quite wonderful (especially the big Holly....that is utterly gorgeous). But its not quite there, simply because of the "arm" issue for me. I could be wrong and happy to stand corrected by others and yourself, it just was the first thing that hit me when I saw it. John, your work of late has been utterly outstanding and trully beautiful and for me, this has the potential to be really, really close up there with those others....with a couple of tweaks... Wink
18/01/2011 - 8:30 AM

In The White II

In The White IIThe muted tones and the washed out feel of this work very well indeed. I like this a lot. Reminds me of some image I saw of a movie star a little while ago...I can't remember who it was, but someone like Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow or Claire Danes.....something like that anyway. I am not sure if its because the model has a look about her that could be any of those actresses, or the treatment of the image, but either way, this is top, top class. Love the softness the processing and light has brought to this, the angle and intense look in her eye make it very warm and inviting, despite the inherent coldness of the tones. A beautiful and very dreamy image. I want to jump in there!
17/01/2011 - 10:54 AM

Secret Love

Secret LoveWonderful stuff......I can't help but think that these shots get better and better....this has a real intimacy about it, almost like we are viewing something we shouldn't be seeing or the before or after that is something very private.....its oozes sensuality and depth, the processing works wonders with it, making it warm, inviting and not at all gratuitous. I would tend to agree with Andy a little on the texture at the bottom of the frame, it makes it look like she has a little bit of fluff on her stockings or something like that! lol! But the vignette draws you further and further into the image, letting you view her in detail. I love the crop actually (see, Andy and I DO disagree sometimes! lol! Don't worry Andy, I agree with the rest! lol! Wink ), as it gives it a real intimacy and I am a sucker for a tight crop anyway.....I have always liked images that just fill the frame. Its a taste thing (you can see it in my own PF) and not to everyones liking, but for me, this works.....probably, in terms of real emotion from the image, this is the best one yet.....glorious stuff!