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07/01/2014 - 8:43 AM

Wall on Winshields 2

Wall on Winshields 2Hi Nigel,

I agree with Alan that the wall is a Lead in Line that takes your eye to Crag Lough but I then find my eye's trying to leave the image, never a good thing. Now, I do not know ther area so I'm talking hypothetically, if there was also interest to the right by turning more that way it would make a better image compositionally. The wall would then still lead you to Crag Lough but your eye would not be lead towards the right hand side and out of the image.

Nigel, forgive me for butchering your image Wink but i've put togeather a mod to show what I mean.

I'm not saying you will ever be able to capture that image but it will give you another idea on how the lead in can be used.

As with any form of art it's all subjective what works for my eye will not work for another's

Take care
06/01/2014 - 11:31 AM

Wall on Winshields

Wall on WinshieldsHi Nigel,

I understand your concern about the foreground rocks, I along with many others love capturing scenes in the Peak District and you would think with the ammount of rocks it would be easy to get some great foreground interest, which is not always the case Sad , although I do think in this image the rocks work and they are not over dominant.

My concern is the wall, for me it's not acting very well as a leading line, a leading line acts as a path for the eye to follow through an image. Usually they start at the bottom of the frame and guide the eye upwards and inwards, from the foreground to background, typically leading toward the main subject. When using lines to direct the viewer’s attention there are two simple rules that work to make a stronger image. First, make sure that the lines always point toward the most important object or area in the image, this will take the viewer’s eye directly to that area and secondly, make sure that the lines never point outside of the image. Lines that point outside will make the viewer’s eye leave the image, not something you want Wink and weakens the image which may result in the viewer losing interest in the image entirely.

Of course leading lines can be Vertival, Horizontal, Diagonal and Curved, in fact any shape.

For the wall to have worked in this way I think you would need to be a lot closer to it and if there's a gate or style in it use that as your foreground interest and have the wall leading you to the water and distant hills.

This is just my view and what works for my eye may not work for other's.

Take care
05/01/2014 - 7:12 PM

Rising tide

Rising tideHi Steve,

I like this, in fact I wish I was in an area to capture a shot like this, I think you have foreground interest with the grass, the waves breaking and a stormy sky. What more do you want Wink

I do think you have a cleaning job on your hands as there are some spots in the sky, I've posted a mod with the three most prominent ones but I think there is more.

If you have photoshop this is what I've done with the second mod. First make a copy then go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Levels" I slightly lightened the image by bringing the white pointer in towards the middle and then moved the black pointer also towards the middle, the values in the boxes were Black 8 - Midtones 1.00 Whites 198 . Then make another copy and add a layer mask, click on the layer mask to make it active and slecet your "Gradient" tool making sure it has the default setting of black to white. Now click on the image opposite the mask to make that active and draw a line from just below the horizon to the top of the image, if you hold down the shift button on your keyboard as you do this it will draw a straight line. If you look at the layer mask it will now show the gradient as black at the bottom to white towards the top, this is just a quick way of making a selection of the sky. Now go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows / Highlights" and slightly alter the midtones and whites to add a bit of stormy drama to the sky, you can also alter the darker colours it's just a case of playing until you like the result. After merging the layers I then made another copy and added 10% saturation, I normally use vibrance but in this case saturation gave a better result to my eyes. I did think there was to much sky so I made a small crop to the top. Wink

Keep playing Steve you do have an image with potential Grin

05/01/2014 - 4:15 PM

Dawn at the Coast

Dawn at the CoastHi Fiona,

Nooooo, don't bin it Wink

I guess your using PS and I'm sure you know that when you open your RAW file it opens in the Basic Adjustment Panel and any "Red" warnings on your image are
pixels clipped in the highlights and any "Blue" areas on your image are pixels Clipped in the blacks/shadows. When using the basic sliders to recover any detail that may be there hold down the "Alt" button (or Option if using a Mac) while clicking on a slider and this will turn your image black but allow the areas to show through that need adjusting, red and blue areas. Once you open the image into PS make a copy and select "Overlay" from your blending modes and reduce the opacity to suit (I reduced it to 25%) This mode makes the dark colours darker and light colours lighter and should give you a stronger silhouette against the yellow in the sky.

In the V1 mod I also lightend the midtones very slightly in levels and cropped some off the top.

Looking at your pf Fiona I'm possibly telling you things you already know Grin .

Take care
03/01/2014 - 2:13 PM

Pensando na e sobre a vida

Pensando na e sobre a vidaHi Henrique,

That sun looks bright and it's hurting my eye's coming off the water Wink Be carful when shooting towards the sun Henrique, you don't want ot hurt your eye's (sunset and sunrise are okay but still be careful).

Because of the bright sun there is not a lot of detail to be gained from this image but one thing you could do is straighten the horizon before the boats fall off the image to the left Wink

As a point of interest if your shooting into the sun:
If you were to use a point-and-shoot camera you will probably damage it as they keep the shutter open and there’s no mirror to redirect the sun’s light. The image sensor and the screen on the back are linked together. It sees what the sensor sees.

Most digital SLRs have a mirror in the viewfinder, and it actually covers up the sensitive equipment most of the time. It also redirects the sun’s light away from the sensor and through the viewfinder. So when you’re looking at the sun through your camera, you’re only damaging your eyes. It’s not until you actually take the picture that you’re exposing your camera’s image sensor to the sun’s rays.

Try not to point your camera at something which is so bright that it hurts your eyes to look at it you will probably damage your camera and eyes.

Take care
02/01/2014 - 12:57 PM

Famous Grouse

Famous GrouseHi Andrew,

You can get a similar effect to HDR in PS by going to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows / Highlights" . This adjustment can be used for brighten shadows in an otherwise well‑lit image. The Shadow/Highlight command does not simply lighten or darken an image, it lightens or darkens based on the surrounding pixels in the shadows or highlights, there are separate controls of the shadows and the highlights. The defaults are set to fix images with backlighting problems althought this is not always the best result.

The Shadow/Highlight command also has a Midtone Contrast slider, Black Clip option, and White Clip option for adjusting the overall contrast of the image, and a Color Correction slider for adjusting saturation.

Have a play, with a copy of course. Grin

Take care
31/12/2013 - 1:29 PM


ContactHi Geoff,

No, in my opinion if you remove any of the sky it would appear like the top was coming down and about to squash the plane (mod 1) Of course you could always remove some of the sky and some of the foreground giving you a "letter box" look (mod 2) And then you could also crop but make sure you have "Original Ratio" ticked to remove a similar amount all round or position the image within the crop box (mod 3). But to tell you the truth Geoff the one I prefer is the original, to my eye's you have it sitting just right.

Take care and a Happy New Year

29/12/2013 - 5:02 PM

Golden Fields

Golden FieldsHi John,

A nice harvest countryside scene (does that make sense ? Wink )

To my eye's it looks like you may have added a touch of saturation has to me the greens and golden staw are to intense, I opologise if this is not the case. John I've posted two mods, in one I have reduced the colours slightly by first making a copy then turning it to black & white before lowering the opacity to 18% allowing the original to show through but with muted colours. Of course I could have just reduced the staturation but this is just my preferred way of adjusting an image like this. I also think the small slither of sky does nothing for the composition of the image and while you could crop the sky out just leaving the trees and fields I think more sky and slightly more room on the right would make for a better composed image so in the the other mod I've added more sky and more to the right , the cloning on the right foreground is not very good but you'll get the idea.

With all forms of art what works for one person will not always work for another and the main thing is to capture and process your image to your liking Grin

Take care
27/12/2013 - 2:08 PM

The entrance

The entranceHi,

Nice shot, you saw the image and captured it well.

This is a type of commercial shot that could be offered along with others to a perspective client to use for advertising on their website etc. I would adjust the lighting inside to make it more warm and welcoming also slightly on the brickwork by adjusting the tones a little. This can be done easily by first making a copy then going to "Image" > "Adjustment" > "Shadows / Highlights" this helps to bring out details in the shadow and highlight areas, you can then add a "Layer Mask" and erase with the "Brush Tool" set to "Black" the effect from the areas that you want to leave unadjusted. Although this option was once a favourite with photographers and digital retouchers I think it's now a little used feature as you need to learn how the sliders effect an image, it does have a default setting but thats not always the best result.

This is just one very quick way of making an adjustment, in PS there are many ways to achieve a similar result.

You can't do any harm by playing around with a copy and it's a good way to learn Wink

Take care
24/12/2013 - 2:14 PM


Nightmare!Hi Paul,

There are a few simple ways to make a better selection but I'll go through the one I did with the mod. After you've made your selection always go to "Select" > "Save Selection" just in case Wink Then go to "Select" > "Refine Edge" in this window you have a few options, first check the "Smart Radius" box and make sure the icon box (possibly on the left) as the "Refine Radius Tool" showing, if the "Erase Refinements Tool" is showing, right click on the box and select the correct tool. Then move the "Radius Slider" to the right a liitle but keep your eye on the selction, you'll know when you've gone to far. Once your happy close the box and press "Ctrl" + "J" (windows) or "Command" + "J" (on a mac) to place the selection on it's own layer. Next get your background image and go to "Select" > "All" then go to "Edit" > "Copy" , make your figure layer active and select "Edit" > Paste" (Paul, I know you know how to copy & paste but someone may read this that isn't sure Wink ) The background layer will appear in your layer pallet, click on it and drag it below the figure layer, you now have your figure on the new background. Next go to "Layer" > "Matting" > "Defringe" and set the width between one and two pixles, you can also try "Layer" > "Matting" > "Remove White Matt".

In the mod I set defringe to 1 pixle

As always with photoshop Paul there are many ways to achieve the same result.

Take care
23/12/2013 - 11:55 AM

Big Ben

Big BenHi,

Love this shot and it's one I intend to capture if ever I visit London at the right time.

I know selective colour or colour popping is a bit "old hat" for some tastes but it can be quite effective with the right image, it's all subjective Grin As you shot in RAW you have a very simple way of selecting colours, when you open your raw file click on the "HSL / Grayscale" tab and you will have three options "Hue / Saturation & Luminance" select the "Saturation" tab. Decide what colour (s) you want to keep then reduce the sliders on all the other colours to -100, in the mod I reduced all colours to -100 except the red which I made brighter by increasing the slider. You then need to increase the size of your image and check to see if any muted reds etc are still in the image, in this image the building still had a slight colour hint so to remove this go to and select the "Adjustment Brush" reset all the sliders to 0 except the "Saturation" which needs to be at -100 then paint over any area that you need to remove colour from. Finish off by adjusting the contrast if required. Grin

It may not be to your taste but it's always good to play and learn a little.

Take care
22/12/2013 - 4:37 PM

Desert rain

Desert rainHi Alda,

Well done, it's sometimes boring not being able to get out with the camera but it's good to play and learn a little in your photo editing programe.

This time of year Alda instesd of rain (although that's very apt Sad ) try adding a snow effect. Open your image (in PS if thats what you use) then add a new blank layer and fill it with "black" if your default colours are set to black and white and the black is active (on top) press "Ctrl" + "Delete" to fill the layer with black or if whites active (on top) press "Alt" + "Delete" (to reset your default colours press "D" on your keyboard). Next go to "Filters" > "Noise" and select "Add Noise" I added 100% to your image but on a larger file you may need to play around a little, then go to back to "Filters" > "Blur" > "Gaussian Blur" again with your image I set the radius to 1 pixle but you may need to play a little. Now go to the "Blend Modes" in you layer panel and select "Screen" this will remove the black colour and leave you with the snowflakes. Add a "Layer Mask" to your snow layer and select your "Brush" tool and increase the size so that it just about covers the glass then set the "Opacity" (strength) to around 70% and with the colour set to black click once on the glass, this will reduce the snowflakes and help to give them that look of being behind the glass. Then reduce the brush size, increase the opacity to 100% and remove the snow from the the church and foreground. If you want to increase the ammount of snow press "Ctrl" + "J" this will duplicate your snow layer.

Take care Alda, keep playing and a Merry Christmas.

21/12/2013 - 3:24 PM

Down Came the Rain

Down Came the RainHi Kurt,

I don't know if you use photo shop but if you do you will probably know there are many ways to achieve a B & W image and there are also many ways to make it "pop" . What I've done in the mod is use a gradient map, to use this click on the gradient map icon which can be found with the other icons just above the layer panel or across the top click "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Gradient Map". When the adjustment window appears your image may look like an old negative, if this is the case tick the "Reverse" box then click anywhere inside the black - white gradient and your "Gradient Editor" window will appear. One adjustment you can make is to the "Smoothness", this will be set at 100% and if you reduce the ammount it makes the image less contrasty but thats not to say you should always adjust the %. To make your B & W bespoke and stand out use the two pointers (White and Black) located along the base of gradient, by clicking on the white pointer on the left and dragging it to the right it will make the whites whiter and by clicking on the black pointer on the right and dragging it to the left it will make the blacks blacker. Once you've clicked on the white or black pointer another pointer will appear in the middle between the two this will allow you to adjust the midtones.

Kurt, in the mod I left the smoothness at 100% and made slight adjustments with the sliders.

Keep playing Grin you can't harm a copy

19/12/2013 - 1:27 PM

An hour into sunrise

An hour into sunriseHi Lena,

There are many ways to process an image, it's just a case of finding what you're happy with and reading your description I guess you're not quite 100% with this one.

Not being there I can only guess what the scene was like so in the mod I have reduced the blue by selecting "Colour Balance" and with the "Shadows" box checked very slightly move the "cyan - red" slider towards the red and the "yellow - blue" slider towards the yellow I then did the same adjustment with the "Midtones" selected, the amount you move them is all down to personal taste. Next open your "Levels" window and slightly lighten the "midtones" by moving the centre pointer to the left, just keep your eye on the dark areas in the background not on the highlights in the trees. Once you have the background as you like add a layer mask and with a soft brush set to "black" sweep across the highlights in the trees and background, this will remove the lighter effect from these ares that you added in levels. Finsh (or not) with 20 - 30% vibrance not saturation Grin

It's all subjective Lena, have a play.

Take care
02/01/2013 - 9:32 PM

Clyde Sunset

Clyde SunsetHello Jack,

Nice sunset with some foreground interest but for me you have a little too much sky and not enough foreground, although I can only guess what other foreground there was to capture. Maybe a "letterbox" crop could work along with lightening the sunlight on the static caravans which is easily achieved buy going to "Levels" and lightening the "midtones" then using a layer mask and brush set to black erase the effect from the rest of the image. Leave it at 100% when erasing the sky but lower the strength (opacity) to around 25-30% for the water to help blend in the adjustment.

Hey what harm can you do to a copy.

Take care
22/12/2012 - 6:04 PM

Fun Ride

Fun RideHi Mike,

Nice lowlight capture, well done.

Mike you can make it "in ya face" a touch more with a couple of simple adjustments in PS (which you say you have). First make a copy then in your blend modes select "Overlay", this will make the lighter colours lighter and the darker colours darker, remeber you can always erase the effect from areas that you don't want to alter. You can also reduce the opacity but to show you the effect I left it at 100%. Next make another copy and go to "Filters" and select "Other" > "High Pass", High Pass acts as a sharpening tool so don't go overboard with it apply just enough so as not to get any haloing (remember you can always reduce the opacity) and again in your blend modes selct "Overlay"

These two adjustments are the only ones I made in the mod.

Take care
02/09/2012 - 9:05 AM

the moors

the moorsHi Robert,

As Dave say's a very moody scene captured, nice shot.

Robert if you have PS/Elements etc try giving the foreground a reduced bleached look. First make a copy then in your adjuments select Hue/Saturation and check the ‘colorize’ box, leave the Hue and Lightness to 0, while altering the saturation to +30. Next in your blend modes select "Screen" then erase the effect from the sky and to finish off use your burn tool set to "Shadows" at 4% and sweep it over the foreground grass and lightly over the hills in the background.

Posted a mod with these adjustments made.

Take care
29/08/2012 - 5:17 PM


puffinHi Garreth,

Well spotted and now you have an image of a Puffin to use as a yard stick for the next time you are lucky enough to spot one. I guess you were in a similar position to me when I captured my one and only shot of a Kingfisher, no tripod, hand held and ended up with a slightly blurred image which unfortunatly there's not a lot you can do about. There are things you could try with the "Emboss filter" if you have PS which will fix a very slight motion blur but I don't think you will get a sharp image in this case. Garreth what I'd try first is the "Shadows & highlights" adjustment if you have it or in "levels" darken the midtones a little and erase from certain areas until you've strengthened the image to your liking.

Well spotted Garreth and I look forward to your next Puffin capture.

Take care
17/07/2012 - 8:08 AM

The glory of nature

The glory of natureHi Billy,

Excellent colours and composition, it all works very well. I'm glad you did not put this up for mods, it's a good capture, well done.

Billy set the dodge and burn tool to 4% and lightly run the dodge tool (set to highlights) over the sea, this may bring out a little more sunlight, then use the burn tool on both midtones and then shadows and run this over the image (be careful not to overdo it) this may give the sea a little more definition

Sorry i've not been around much but I bought a D700 so i've been out and about playing and I have a lot of processing to do before we shot off to Bulgaria with the kids and grandkids for a week at the end of the month

Take care
04/07/2012 - 11:22 AM

Reflective mood

Reflective moodHi Graham,

I like the angle of the building, it takes your eye's deep into the image, well done.

Graham I've never been to Alcudia but with the lights being on and reflecting into the water I guess it may have been a little darker. You can darken the image a touch by going to "Levels" in your software and moving the middle pointer to the right which will darken the midtones, you may also have this option in the "Default" box. Then by adding a touch of vibrance you can strenghten the colours.

Made these adjustments in the mod and sharpened slightly

Nice shot Graham.

Take care