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30/06/2009 - 11:05 PM


Bubblenice idea, i think that nice clouds and the bubble would have been enough without the distractions of the out of focus leaves. biggest problem for me is lack of sharpness and depth of field.
by your description you have selected a wide aperature, i assume you mean around f5.5. that decision that is the opposite of the choice i would have made, which would have been to select as small an aperature as i could to achieve maximum sharpness over the whole of the bubble and sky and not just a narrow band of the bubble.
just lacking that extra dimension to hit my button,
sorry if it sounds a little harsh, just my opinion.
30/06/2009 - 10:40 PM

Backyard Summertime

Backyard Summertimehi David,
its a different approach to photography and one that can work really well when properly constructed. its not a new idea, ive seen it done several times before with mixed sucess.
the ingredients are there but the execution is not totally sucessful, just a few minor details would have lifted this from a near miss to a good shot.
the first thing i noticed was there is no part of the image clearly defined as the main point of interest. obviously the pegs are that and should be razer sharp and saturated to be totally dominant, this would have put the houses further out of focus and more of a suggestion as a partially sharp subject. the clutter on the lawn is so obvious i wont mension it other than you should have moved it and not had to consider cloning, a key part of setting up the image is to look all around the viewfinder with the image preview button pressed to establish areas of focus and to seek out distractions.
i also think a little cropping may have paid dividends too.
the great thing is that you can do this on any fine day in your own back yard so good luck and stick with it, it can be a cracker with some planning
Buddy List Macro Challenge June - I'll Bee Seeing Youthe colours work nicely together and the whole arrangement falls into quite nice shapes. i like the big yellow band on the bee, it makes him look like Dennis The Menace.
there is a very limited dof which may or not help the overall effect but would not be great if you were making a large print. i would have liked a little more sharpness from his pokey out bits up front to the hairs on his back and possibly the wings.
a nice shot though, especially if like me, you feel dizzy looking through a macro lens.
all the best
23/06/2009 - 12:56 PM

Blue Blobs, Buddy Group2

Blue Blobs, Buddy Group2V1 works best for me because its a complete absract (if that makes sense) in that the colours work together well, there are no extranious elements, and the shapes fall into some kind of satisfactory pattern completed by the individual blob which plays a major part in holding the viewers interest. the textures are rather nice too.
i wonder if a little more zing could be added with a quick shallow s curve in ps or a sat boost. also possibly the pattern would be more eye catching if the bottom blue elements were complete and not heavily cropped into.
that said it fits the brief perfectly, and is a pleasant abstract.
22/06/2009 - 10:01 AM

Buddy List Macro Challenge 2009

Buddy List Macro Challenge 2009i love the rich blue tones and the tight framing make this quite an eye catching graphic arty piece of work. the shapes have worked well in your favour as this is no doubt where the photographers luck comes into play as opposed to the skill which i am sure was needed during the making of the exposure..

im not sure how it was lit, but the net result is a nice with even illumination and a lovely rim light on the right which sadly is not as well controlled on the left and has resulted in that heavily lit patch on the left side of the ball. this is a small price to pay on such a lovely shot, ill be honest that its so far off my area of photographic understanding that i have no idea how it could ahave been avoided but i expect that thats the whole purpose of this challange.

the shot is one i would be chuffed to death to have pulled off and an exciting upload for this buddy group excersise.

i have been out all weekend and havnt managed to upload yet but ill get one one later in the week.
19/06/2009 - 9:59 PM

"Peaceful heaven"

"Peaceful heaven"its a good record of the temple and flags and is a subject that appeals to me. in fact i would love to get the chance to take this.
not many subjects suit such harsh blue sky but in my opinion this type of architectural shot looks more striking as a result.
i think the subject has a lot of interest but the elements havnt been aranged in the viewfinder to achieve a best possible composition and i find the tower just a little too dominant by being placed dead centre. im not opposed to placing things central but think in this instance i would have moved further around or even forward and maybe lost some of the statue? which is in dark shadow on the left and then attempted to get the main tower on to the left hand third. this would have got you nearer to the prayer flags which is the bit of the arrangement i would have been drawn to.
as presented it could be improved by a little upward bulge in curves to brighten the mid tones and a straightening of the distorted verticals left and right side.
nice idea, needs a little more consideration to make it a winner. imo
all the best
19/06/2009 - 9:40 PM


Wells-next-the-Seai think the sky is fabulous and the contrast of the huts against it works really well, (as it always does at Wells) the lighting is difficult here as the light never gets fully on them as it rises sort of hard left and sets somewhat hard right and behind them for most of the summer. with this in mind it probably works better in this fairly dull overcast lighting without the harsh shadows.
its always difficult to know which hut to use as a fg but this is good against the sky and its protruding forward.
i like the dominant foreground hut but would probably have opted for a wider lens and gone in even closer pushing it hard to the right and leaving a longer diminishing line of huts to the left.

ps the candy striped one further down the line to the left belonged to someone i know and it was sold last sept for 60k believe it or not.

love the shot and i love Wells too.
16/06/2009 - 11:20 PM

Modern reading

Modern readingi like the idea and its a subject that is worthy of photographing, the execution here though is not as sucessful as it could have been.
main concern for me is the main centre of interest which is the person reading indoors, is unsharp and nothing you do now will recover that. the camera has obviously taken its focal distance from the window itself causing the distance to be out of focus.
also the composition is a little confusing by the inclusion of the exterior light which acts as a magnet to the eye pulling attention away from the interior. the outside block work is well rendered although slightly out of white balance and is probably vital to the composition but in this instance i think i would have cropped the light out at the taking stage and centred up on the window frame.
themain problems are possibly due to limitations of a camera with more restricted facilities . manual focusing would have helped save the day.
hope this helps
16/06/2009 - 10:21 PM


Fistssorry i didnt have much time before.
potentialy this is a stunning image (no pun) the pose and hard lighting are just beyond compare, McCabe would have been proud to have taken this.
the eyes say it all and the stark light is great.
i have a slight issue with the leading fist. either i want it sharper or if i couldnt get that i may have induced a little everso slight motion blur to make the reasoning descisive. the back fist and eyes are wicked.
i would also take a tighter top crop as i feel the illuminated area above the head is slightly distracting.
this i have to say is one of the few images i see that i feel really envious of, you have captured a mood and a spirit and thats damn hard to achieve.
play with it by all means and make variations which may be slightly stronger but you will not recreate this mood again, its amazing and thats not a familiar word from me,
03/06/2009 - 1:17 PM

Out to sea

Out to seagreat shot, nice and simple, nicely symmetrical, good tones and interesting sky.
if i have a problem with the composition its that its all a bit flat and nothing to focus on like a figure on the horizon. but thats just a personal thing,
a good tip with leading lines like this is to untick the maintain proportions box in the image size window of ps and whilst keeping the height the same, decrease the width, this will alter the proportion of the image into a square if you like and make the angles much steeper. often works in graphic shapes.
02/06/2009 - 2:49 PM

On a cold day

On a cold dayinteresting animals these, look ferocious but are quite placid, we have quite a few in the peak dist.
i like the way you have portrayed the wintering out element and you have him pointing in the best direction reading left to right, but i wish you had included the back side of the beast. it should have been easy enough as i have had 12mm lenses pressed right up to their noses in the past.
the other thing is the large area of white has fooled the meter into underexposure, pushing it into a dull grey, this could do with a slight lift in levels. doing so would also brighten the coat of beast and in turn may even show eye detail which is desirable in this kind of shot.
02/06/2009 - 11:58 AM

Ray of Light

Ray of Lightthe basis of the shot is lovely, i know the difficulty taking these as you are in near darkness, also about getting the kids to kick sand down to dust up the light shafts,
problem here is the inevitable burn out at the top and in the light pool is just too much for the eye and is really distracting from the otherwise beautiful forms of the red shapes. in fact i think you could have underexposed by a couple of stops and pulled it off.
would it be worth considering cropping from the top just below the seriously blown highlight. -- or even more daring crop off that together with the light pool to leave the central square of lovely red shapes and the light shaft which is acceptably bright but not totally lost.
hope you dont mind the comments as the base image is stunning and im not sure mine would have been any different, but i have seen some stunning versions of these caves.
02/06/2009 - 11:30 AM

izzie II

izzie IIi love the high key processing etc, and the basic form is strong but for me the strongest image is a crop just above the knees to keep the composition minimal and more abstract, i would also lose the dust bunny or blemish on the upper thigh and then i think you have a killer shot.
28/05/2009 - 9:13 AM

Windows of Haddon Hall

Windows of Haddon HallV5 and V6 for me, I particularly love the one with the blowsy clematis in V5. there is something about the light in that one on the flower heads that makes it a bit special, that one aught to have a slot of its own or be up front. if im being honest, i think the front cover V1 is the weakest compositionally of an otherwise super set even though the detail, colour and pattern in the glass is rather lovely.
01/05/2009 - 1:26 PM

Bridge Over Calm Waters

Bridge Over Calm Watersthe problem here is there are too many interuptions to the horizon to make a good blend of a sky and foreground, also the final result has a detailed sky and no cloud reflections in the water,
as a basic image its nice but the new sky didnt help and only in desparation is it usually worth the effort unless its an easy selection,
you can make a good effort using the background eraser on single sampling and sliding the new sky under the original layer by making a second duplicate of the initial layer and dragging the sky under the top layer and then use one of the blending modes to drop the new sky in, i think its screen that usually works best or multiply,
then use an erarser to remove any unwanted bits of the new sky from beind the main image.
its difficult to do well and a last resort in my opinion. go back on a better day and be totally happy would be my advice.
12/04/2009 - 11:05 PM

New York sunset

New York sunsetAndy, this is an exceptional exposure of a fabulous scene in outstanding conditions, how can you fail. i wish it were mine and im sure there is some income from a shot like this.

i have uploaded a mod showing very minor changes to just pull out the best from an already great shot, and all shots need a tweak here or there so please dont be offended by that.

there is a very bright cloud far left which is slightly distracting whihch i have cropped and at the same time i have taken a strip off the base to tighten the composition, the main tower is in exactly the right place , and the lighting falling on the mid distant buildings is sublime. to enphasise that gorgeous lighting i have put in a black grad from the base up which increases the contrast. hope you like the tiny tweaks.

if it were mine id have a great big canvas printed. in fact i just added it to my favourites.

best regards,
12/04/2009 - 8:21 PM

Devon Stream

Devon Streamnice shot, good composition, it has a good few positive points but also a few problems otherwise i think this would pick up a good click count for you.
the flare ball bottom right and the dust bunny could have been cloned out and the focus on the area of cascading water is not as sharp as it may have been. i usually find it better to focus manually to prevent hunting with falling water.
the dappled light on the grasses and ferns is actually rather nice, but this sort of light usually comes at a price and often the best waterfall shots are taken in the dullest of weather, it helps reduce the contrast and prevent the water from burning.
best regards,
07/04/2009 - 2:08 PM

Shahi Mosque

Shahi MosqueAbid, welcome to epz.
i have looked at your image and also at your website, you have some nice images on there and Pakistan indeed looks a magnificent landscape to explore.

having seen that you have a similar shot on your website, i am a little surprised that you have chosen this version which is not a striking as the former.

the saturation is lovely and the construction of the building magnificent but you have no significant focal area in the foreground to justify its total inclusion, additionally it has resuted in the horizon being on dead centre which is not the strongest point compositionally. Also the towers are leaning inwards due to distortion and the horizon slightly off horizontal. these could do with leveling in photoshop or similar software.

all is not lost, if it were mine i would crop into a pano strip and correct the verticals and be happy with that. if i were re taking i would include less of the plain foreground and include more sky or crop in significantly tighter as you appear to have done on the website version.

good luck with your photography and we hope to see many more uploads and i know there is some stunning work particularly of shangrilla and paiyu already to upload on your hard drive.

best regards,
07/04/2009 - 9:38 AM

Spring at Last

Spring at Last6 of one and half a dozen of the other for me, compositionally it works well even though it perhaps shouldnt, the balance of the tree each side of the track is good together with the horizontal bands, and its these bands that make it work. its really all about the skyscape and leading the eye up to the sky and that is without doubt its crowning glory but it all comes together and makes a complete image with the interest arrangement of elements in the field. from this point of view the mono has more impact or power and as such is probably in front.
has that strong saturation that suggests spring which is afterall the title and presumed purpose of the shot wheras the mono version is not so suggestive of spring. in this version for me the sky loses dominance and the eye catching features are the 2 red strips leading vertically to the horizon.
so i like both for different reasons and cant seperate the two except to say to me they make two very different pictures and not one picture with colour removed if that makes any sense at all.
06/04/2009 - 12:05 PM


Seascapei love the black rocks and the water, i even like the sky but somethings tearing at me visually. hope you dont mind me saying so.

the headland is too tight over to the right and with the addition of the heavy black band top and bottom i feel its all compressed up and not in its true ratio as taken. as if it needs extending to the right side somehow , and then the 3 masts niggle at me.

as presented i wonder if the sky is required and if the bottom of the image up to the water line level is enough and is strong enough without any sky at all no matter how lovely a colour it actually is.
i think the true beauty and focus of interest is on those fabulous wet black rocks and water.

this way you could get a second image by cropping some off the bottom and having the sky and less of the rocks

theres a lot of special qualities here but maybe a little adjustment would bring out the best it has too offer.
best regards,