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26/07/2015 - 10:15 PM

Male Sparrowhawk with prey

Male Sparrowhawk with preyA great picture, KP.

The white balance seems a bit off - there is a lot of purple in the darker areas (plumage of the bird and tree bark to the right)
15/06/2015 - 9:42 AM

Unstrapping the ex-champion

Unstrapping the ex-championDespite the lack of 'action' there is still quite a lot going on and is dynamic in an understated way. This is very well seen and a shot I think some would sideline in the final edit.

I prefer the mono version because it really makes you follow the boxer's gaze and enhances the title of unwrapping the ex-champ; red is a very dominant colour visually and the gowns of the ringmen distracts from it

I also prefer the 16:9 verion as it enhances the lines of the boxer's arms and, again, the direction of his gaze.
07/10/2014 - 9:51 AM

Morning Mist

Morning MistI think the shot is a fantastic one and agree with everything Winton says. My one caveat is the slope bottom left - it acts like an interloper to what is bascially a series of layers where the very bottom left is what looks like a bare (muddy?) slope and this gives an abrupt stop to the green-and-mist horizontals elsewhere. Can you try cropping just above the treetops at the bottom edge and then reeduce the highlights on the slope to reduce its visual impact? .
A gentler alternative may be to clone some grass onto the slope to reduce the highlights.
26/09/2014 - 8:41 AM

In-flight meals

In-flight mealsI agree with Paul about initial impact and then things not 'looking right' and the first thing that strikes me is that the light on the bird does not seem to match with the lighting on the d loud - whether it is the apparent angle of lighting or that there is too much on the bird I don't know but it just look odd. Maybe pull back the intensity of the colour in the cloud so you have enough texture to stop the original being a blank sheet but not enough to really grab the intention. At a recent meet at our camera club the landscape photographer discused this and he said if he has large burnt-out areas of cloud he copies across some from an area that has texture and uses 10-20% opacity.

The other thing is the edge on the birds wings. I always liken it to the old movies where people are 'dirving' a car against a scenery backdrop and you could see a hard border between the backdrop and the actor - I see the same here. This may be due to the lighting discrepancies I mentioned above or it may be that the selection needs a bit more feathering (Blush).
06/11/2013 - 8:58 AM

Autumn Berries

Autumn BerriesA nice capture with the background offsetting the colour of the berries. Could you have moved a few inches to the right so all the berries were against the gold background with the branches forming a frame? If the leaf to right intrudes too much I would move it out of the way.
05/09/2013 - 11:20 AM

Oh NO .. Not Another Bee!

Oh NO .. Not Another Bee!A nice image, Mozzy.
I think the problem with the background is the hard division between pink and green and I am not sure which I would have preferred as a background.

The aperture is about right, and going wider would have probably made the DOF so narrow you would have failed with getting the bee in focus - it looks to me as thought the focus is actually towards the front of the sedum and you have had to ramp up the sharpening to bring out the bee (compare the stamens on the front edge with the stamens in the same plane as the bee).

Nice idea with the black treacle, though Smile
03/09/2013 - 9:42 AM


SailboatsA lovely image, and I like the large expanse of sky which was a brave thing to do.

Because the sky is a main feature, I think it could be improved by selectively reducing the noise in the sky and you can be quite aggressive of that because there is little fine detail there. Maybe also saturate the blue a wee bit (probably by reducing the exposure, again selectively).
30/08/2013 - 3:04 PM

Evening Sun

Evening SunNice light - but you need to straighten the horizon.
07/01/2013 - 12:02 PM

Lonely house......

Lonely house......A beauiful scene indeed and one worth capturing.

I see it was shot at ISO 125 - you should not have much noise at that setting. One thing you could try is turn the camera portrait mode, then shoot an overlapping sequence and stitch the images together: if you don't have a tripod, use a wider angle and crop to get the composition you want.
Two things emphasise noise: recovering an underexposed image (was it?) and oversharpening, and to me it does look oversharpened (look at the white border round the tree line and the mountain edges) - have you tried to compenate for camerashake? If so you should be able to get shoot at ISO 400 with little or no noise, and that would give you a good shutter speed as well. I see there are some dirt marks on the left hand side on level with the rooftop which could be cloned out.

Regards composition, it is potentially a very attractive shot but unfortunately there is not a lot to grab my attention. Having the building dead centre like that will work if the water is flat calm and the reflection symmetry is the main narrative of the picture, but in this case the rippled surface means it does not really work which means that my eye hits dead centre and stays there. If you want to move the building off centre, the sky and the water are too featureless so moving the composition upwards or downwards probably will not work; so maybe you could have moved it rightwards to have more geography and use the shoreline to bring the eye round the picture.
17/12/2012 - 5:06 PM

Queen of Hearts

Queen of HeartsFor me this is a 'close but not quite' image: I find the position of the white candle with its highlights quite distracting and the I don't know if it is my monitor but the processing has not done the skin colour/texture of her thighs any favours.
10/07/2012 - 7:56 PM

Getting Closer

Getting CloserNice first go, Andy. I like the composition and exposure is spot on.
You have already discovered the joys (ha!....the challenges) of a shallow DOF: the EXIF does not show what aperture you were using - something in the f11 range? If possible I would risk higher ISO to get the depth of field because you can always reduce noise with careful but you can't correct poor focus.
Despite that it is a shot well seen so good reactions! Just don't expect it to happen every time Tongue

Using handheld, a good camera technique is essential and there is one technique used by rifle marksmen where you inhale then exhale, but halfway you hold it then press the shutter button smoothly. It is surprising how you can improve your steadiness with practice.

When shooting macro even the merest breeze can move the main subject out of the focal plane so patience is a definite virtue. However if conditions are difficult, and if the light is good enough, you could try using the continuous shooting mode where you set the camera on the highest shooting rate, focus as best you can then rock ever so slightly backwards then forwards while gunning the shutter - it is not pretty but of the 10 or so shots you get, hopefully one is near in focus.

As for focus stacking, yes that is a very useful technique if the subject will stay still long enough. You can do this in one of two ways: change the focus point of the camera very slightly or change the position of the camera very slightly and for the latter you can google 'focus rails'.