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09/11/2013 - 9:29 PM

A 'Clem' revisited.

A 'Clem' revisited.
The actual look is exactly what I planned using several layers and layer masks in PSE. I changed the original background to plain black, then thought it really was a tad plain so included an effect from the choices available in PSE. Then I used a graduated effect from top to bottom, having the top fractionally lighter than the bottom half of the BG. The top is the deepest purple down to black.

My Take MozzyBlush From a peer to a peer...and remember I dont always know what Im talking aboutWinkTongue

Great work with the 150-500 first of allWink

I cant honestly believe that you intended to create what appears to be noise in the BG....

I can see the gradiated BG that you intended to create but by over processing and probably over sharpening of the subject the noise has appeared in the BG

To me the gradiated BG should be a smooth clean transition from your choices of colours.

Had a quick gander through my PF and my attempt at a similar style Took me far to long to muck about with this but I still am proud of it

Hope this helps Mike
07/04/2013 - 5:07 PM


LanzaroteI agree that the colours work well and the framing of the scene is good for me.
However you seem to have focused very near to your feet which doesnt lead the eye to rock structures in the back ground which to me should be the main focal point of the image.
The iso setting also seems to have been quite high with noise visible in the blue sky...With the light you had you could have shot at your cameras lowest settings which would have eliminated the noise.
Also your sensor needs a clean as they are visible dust spots in the Sky.
Just my opinion and hope this helps.
All the Best
28/03/2013 - 5:20 PM

canada goose landing

canada goose landingSharp as a razor but then it should be with the equipment used so to me no issues photographically.
It may sound simple and condescending but with a fixed focal length prime lens you are always going to be hit and miss in composition with a Canada Goose landing in a lake as you never know they will land,
If they are landing in a pattern that you have researched at a certain water where they land in the evening after feeding then give yourself room to capture them with a little more distance between yourself and them.
The 1d X will happily take a good crop retaining sharp details throughout.
Another thought would be the 300mm 2.8L with a 1.4x and 2x convertor would give you 420mm and 600mm and a lot more scope to adjust focal lengths whilst retaining exceedingly sharp images.
Hope this helps and if you have any questions ask away.
17/09/2012 - 5:32 PM

Buchan Park

Buchan ParkHello Sharon.

For me the horizon/level of the lake is wonky and looking a tad more like river.
Im sure you have read somewhere that a longer exposure will give deeper saturated colours and movement in clouds etc.
This is best done with ND filter (of which there are many) which will slow the shutter speed in increments and give you more control of the image....By that I mean the bulb exposure at iso100 has increased the noise and put your lens down to its lowest f stop making it unsharp....its probably at its best between f8 and f16 before it degrades image quality.
I do personally like the dead tree in the image..

All the Best

20/06/2012 - 2:59 PM


BashfulHello Mike
A lovely model and set without doubt.
But for me the flash at the rear, on her rear!, is slightly overpowered causing quite a big over exposed patch on the image and a big shadow under her.
The same over exposure is visible on her arms.
Perhaps powering the flashes down slightly or a touch more aperture would have killed the Over Exposure, also maybe a speedlite on camera would kill the shadow.
Its a superb image all the same.
All the Best
19/02/2012 - 6:57 PM


Coppice CCCXXXVIIQuite simply splendid light on the subject Adrian
Sharpness and detail are exemplary.
If Im honest tho...theres a tad of OE on the snow...But hey...whos complaining!!
All the Best
16/04/2011 - 6:58 PM

My best Robin

My best RobinVery nice capture, perhaps the dof is a little thin leaving the back foot and tail out of focus but a couple of stops added should get the boss tack sharp in your next session.
All the Best
31/10/2010 - 6:02 PM

Woodlouse Whiskers

Woodlouse WhiskersHello Stuart

Its a very interesting subject but I am a little lost on your definition of being shot in a "soft portrait style"

The images to me lack depth of field and critically no discernable sharpness in any area of the subject.

I would put this down to the subject moving and you are trying to shoot wide open (at f2.8) to create a shutter speed high enough to freeze the subject which imho hasnt worked at all.

Macro Photography critically needs a sharp point of focus somewhere upon the subject which you havent achieved.

Keep at it and enjoy the Macro experience

All the Best
31/10/2010 - 5:35 PM

Female Bullfinch

Female BullfinchHello Dave

First of all I have to congratulate you on capturing a Bullfinch.

As for the image the sharpness is perfectly done as are the colours as all songbirds at this time of year are a little devoid of colour.

The Background is perfectly out of focus but does show some noise on my monitor which could be a result of sharpening the whole image opposed to selecting just the Bullfinch with the lasso tool in PS.

A quick run through Neat Image would have smoothed this noise out perfectly and highlighted the Bullfinch from the BG.

That said it is an excellent capture and one I would be very proud to have in my PF.

All the Best
30/10/2010 - 7:50 PM

Great Tit

Great TitThe Great Tit is very sharp indeed but I do feel that it is still over saturated....The background also is full of noise.

The kit you use is perfect for this type of work and I think maybe your trying to do a little to much in photoshop after the capture which can introduce noise on the resulting image.

Its best to get it right in camera so I would suggest setting up the 7d manually in Aperture priority at f4 which will be dead sharp...set the iso to 400 and then let the kit do its work....Its also a good point to set the jpeg sharpening value to 7 so you dont need to use the raw convertor at all....I rarely do.

I hope this is Helpfull and best Regards

24/08/2010 - 6:08 PM

Moths and Butterflies

Moths and ButterfliesHello Ray
What a set of captures all worthy of an upload in thier own right.
Im amazed at the species of moths and butterflies Buddlia attracts in warmer regions.
The focus is spot on in V4,5,6 and 7 and they are just superb considering the lens you used opposed to a true macro lense.
V1,2 and 3 are just as amazing as you have caught this wonderful moth inflight twice. (I am so jealous!!)
Capturing inflights of insects is sometimes easier with a longer lense such as yours compared to a macro lense as you have the ability to zoom in and out until you get the sharp focus which depends on the minimum focus distance of your lense.
Shutter speed is what counts combined with the sharpest aperture your lense works at..Im guessing about f6.3 or 7.1 on the 100-400.
Light is the key issue to get the shutter speed and tinfoil reflectors work a treat anywhere in the world and you buy foil roll virtually anywhere as well...
Just watch the little fellas and see where they land most often and point your reflectors at it to get the light you need.

I hope this helps and PM me if im a little unclear on what I said!!
15/05/2010 - 8:00 PM

looking back over my shoulder

looking back over my shoulderI really like the pose and the title,
The only point I would make is to crop a bit off the left hand side to to remove background that isnt needed and then the Robin will be looking into space on the right hand side and drawn straight to the viewers eye,
The best way to achieve this in the future without cropping the photo is to select a focus point on the left hand or right hand side when taking the picture (Im guessing you used the centre one here)
That said it is a stunningly sharp capture and excellent photography.
29/04/2010 - 5:13 PM

Party Girl

Party GirlIn my honest opinion there are 2 major faults with this capture.
The iso speed has been set far to high which combined with the heavy sharpening has created a lot of noise in the image.
And the background does no justice at all to the model, It looks a bit like a beach to me. If thats the only background available stand the model a good distance away from it to reduce its presence and smooth it out more.
All the best
09/04/2010 - 5:47 PM

Nutty II

Nutty IIHi Jonah

A fine capture without doubt but one point I would make is your focus point which appears to be the end of the tail opposed to the eye where it should be in this type of capture.

Select just the central focus point or a bank of focus points to the right or the left (dependant on your camera of course but I believe the d300s has this option) of the subject to cover the eye which should be achievable with a feeding station in your garden.

All the Best
06/04/2010 - 4:10 PM

great tit bird

great tit birdHi Abigail

If I can make a suggestion try prefocussing just in front of the feeder so when the bird leaves with food he will coming into your focus point and be sharp all over and the feeder will be out of focus.
Its a cracking shot all the same and those Great Tits are really fast flyers, Stick with it and Im sure you will nail the perfect shot soon.