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17/07/2011 - 11:56 AM


ListeningFor me the shot is great, I don't mind the slightly overcooked contrast (it's certainly fashionable right now) and the look and eye contact from the model is nice. I'd like to see something done to just emphasize her lips a little more - a little less red in the mono conversion would just take care of that.

Where the light parts of the image join the border there is quite bad pixellation / tearing which detracts from the smooth curves of the subject. At the top and right edge where the border joins a dark region you have a brighter line which I find a little distracting. It's a minor thing though and as I say, what's inside the border works well.
23/06/2010 - 3:10 PM

Grace 2

Grace 2FT pretty much hit on most of what I was going to mention.

Going for a 'tight crop' is a brave decision and you have to be bold and think differently. In many ways the way you crop might have to change... Most people I know look at the picture from the outside-in, asking "what do / can I lose?" but it's almost the other way - the question becomes "what MUST I keep?"

* stay tuned for mods... *
19/02/2010 - 10:07 PM


chipmunkIf the lens is "hunting" back & forth and won't settle on a subject that's often because there isn't enough contrast in the target area to lock on to.

That could be because the polarizer has eaten a big chunk of the available light or because the AF system is trying to target an area of limited contrast. Possibly a combination of the two.

Manually selecting your AF points and using the focus & recompose technique may help you . By focus & recompose we mean you find a sharp point or edge detail of the subject or something at the same distance, half-press to focus, keep the button at half while you realign the shot to what you wanted and then fully depress the shutter release.

There may be some Canon specific behaviour happening too which I'd have no idea about - maybe that model's AF system is a little twitchy? I know some systems do say a polarizer can cripple the AF capability but I've never actually seen it happen.
18/02/2010 - 12:43 PM

cobble songs

cobble songsThis shot is a great exercise in storytelling, you can get a feel of what it's like to be there from this image.

Like QuinnyA I also find the sign to be very intrusive but I'm not sure there's a clear way to deal with it. I don't feel that you can crop it out as that area is necessary to keep the buskers as the centre of interest, retain the flow of the kerb to the bottom right and the wall / doorway behind the buskers which gives them more context. Differential focus would have just turned the sign to a light blob, so again that's not viable. Moving to another shooting position would have got you noticed and lost you the smoking dad and man exiting on the right (both anchoring the edges of the image nicely as well as adding more life). The only remaining option for me would be some pretty heavy lifting in post production to clone in the details from another source which is not something I'd attempt lightly.

The ideal option would be sending your trusty assistant to move the offending sign the 3 or 4 feet you needed to get it out of shot, without being noticed naturally... On second thoughts maybe that's not so practical either!

Great image overall, in terms of edits - the 'spot colour' version is by far my favourite.
18/09/2009 - 11:44 PM

Senior Portrait II

Senior Portrait III am loving the relaxed look of this portrait and the angle - this was absolutely the right angle to go for with this subject, I don't think getting level with her would have worked in the same way.

You did a very good job with your choice of subject too.

Given the choice of colour v mono - I think mono wins hands down, the colour one looks a little unnatural.

There are a handful of little elements in this image that I find distracting - mostly because of the eye's natural tendency to concentrate on bright areas.

First are her eyes, her pupils and irises which are over sharpened (producing a really nice effect by the way) are swamped by the extreme whites. At end of her hair there is quite a bright patch set against the delicate floral patterns in her dress.

Finally there is her dress strap right on the edge... I'm in two minds as to how I would go about dealing with the strap if the image were mine. I'd try a crop and see if I lose some of the hair detail at the top, or clone it away which could end up being more visible if not done well.

Overall I like it though - very good work!
18/09/2009 - 10:01 PM

So.Cal set

So.Cal setI'm enjoying this shot, I think this image is really two seperate images - one at the horizon and another at the shoreline and that neither one is particularly dominant as it is presented.

The image might benefit from heavy cropping to keep only the top 1/3rd and with a careful application of a little burning / contrast to bring out the industrial buildings on the opposite coastline because to me they make the image.

If this is somewhere you visit regularly (and you don't mind getting sandy) then I'd be tempted to see what the shot looked like from beach level. Right down on your belly the shoreline may then work as a lead-in to the horizon, the waves might seem more imposing and the midground where little is happening would be compressed.

It definitely paints a picture of a nice place to go for a walk though!