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03/04/2015 - 11:18 AM

Lots Going On

Lots Going OnHi,

My modification is not in line with your tittle but I could not stop thinking that you could have got this shot vertically to include the feet of the three people at the bottom of your frame or having a square crop like the one I uploaded for you.

It shows less but it looks sufficient. Aww by the way, it keeps competition out also Tongue

03/04/2015 - 10:44 AM

Portrait 2

Portrait 2Hi,
I agree with Otinkyad, although initially to me your friend's skin veered to green (I might had been fooled by the foliage).
I don't mind the halo created at the back of your friend's head and I shall congratulate you for having succeeded in making him feeling relaxed.
You won't have a major problem with young people having their chin pointing down but if you start shooting elders keep in mind that this pose shows off their age more and it can create a shadow, so you would better start practicing of asking people to raise their ''chin up''!
Best regards
07/02/2015 - 9:25 PM

A priest.

A priest.Nice,

hey he seems to be a usual theme of yours. You have caught him really well in both instances I saw, in colour and in black and white.

Initially I thought of suggesting you to cut-off the top bright part pf the picture so you stay only with the woman and the priest, the temptation and the refuse of the temptation; the victory of spirit over flesh.

But looking at it I can see a different interesting theme on a diagonal arrangement; the man of the advert on top left with the priest on the right bottom of your frame. The contrast of materialistic lures of the world high on the ad with the monastic stance towards life, the spiritual world, humble, indifferent, approachable on the bottom.

Very well seen and executed. Bravo, once again.
03/02/2015 - 9:51 PM

Lost Childhood

Lost ChildhoodHi.
I will applaud your interesting point of view but I have my reservations for it as it has been shot.
The most distracting thing in your frame is the amount of white space near the top right corner of your frame.
I am not sure if you converted this in black and white after having taken the picture and returned home.
The overall ''play of colours'' here lies between the greys and the blacks, notice how well the black reflection below the glove matches with the diagonally placed blacks of the bottom of the van and the windows of the house; the only white permitted should be the ice on the glove, not the space between the buildings. The attention of the spectator is retained if there is some correlation between the elements of the picture; the stronger the correlation (even if it is ''chromatic'' like here) the stronger the impact. I think you might have had a picture with a stronger punch if you had shot this on a vertical frame that excludes the houses (and the gap between the houses) from your frame. Having found something on the road, does not mean you must shot it as you have found it; you can rearrange it in your frame by moving it around... it's a change done much faster than trying to do it later with software.

09/01/2015 - 7:47 PM

Walk on by

Walk on byHi,

it looks as peaceful as on a Sunday morning Smile

May I suggest to crop the bottom part a bit and exclude the metal cap of the draining water facility there?

Keep Justice clean Smile

17/12/2014 - 6:53 PM



I think you are too harsh to a beautiful lady. I shall agree about the missing jaw above.

A vertical frame would suit your sitter better.

Alternatively I would crop the top 2/3rds of the forehead, to balance for the absence of the missing jaw.

18/11/2014 - 5:40 PM


fashionHello Maya.

It all comes down to the time you have preparing the image.
I have a feeling you can do better.
Try to sharpen your eye and have your all of your senses alert;
try to understand the ''feeling'' you want to create from the image.

Here we have several objects that they talk about fashion and how fashionable the lady wants to look like.
A woman who wants to look good in every detail. She even has Two mirrors in One room!
-Having mentioned the mirrors, I like the idea of the old coal iron to be shown in the mirror on the right (although it appears in an awkward angle on the furniture) and I would have used the second oval mirror on the left differently (moving it either aside to cover the electric socket or) on the floor so the woman looks at herself as she gazes down at the floor, extra bonus: we get to see the ceiling too, it might had been nicely decorated.

I don't mind about the leg I don't see, she could have pulled it back towards the back of the chair. But I would like to see the whole of the foot and the shoe visible. It's pity that one part is missing.

Yes I am with the opinion that a vertical frame could be a good way to frame this. Noise? I didn't notice as much as in my last pic. I think the colour palette of the picture could be nicely displayed and represented in a Black and White version too.

16/11/2014 - 8:59 PM



I would like to comment on your picture, purely because sharing opinions help us to ''see'' a picture differently from the way we have chosen to take it or present it.
I agree that the picture leans more towards ''fashion'' , rather than architecture or portrait, although t can be all three with clever use of the environmental space and deep understanding of a person's psyche, tastes or inclinations. I look at the hook and the implied metaphor. Probably it could work better if the model was to pose of the other side of this metal pillar.

A photograph is our attempt to catch the light or display characteristics of people or objects with it at a very specific point of time. Our frame is an amount of space where light and shadow should help each other to be displayed and come out effectively.

I think the current framing, posing and stylistic selections do little justice to the potential of the space and the model.

Framing-wise, the bright top part of the image, above this horizontal pillar, seems to be an excess, which offers little, if any, interest to the picture with the addition of a grey sky. The abolition of this space, would help our eyes focus in other bright areas, with the biggest one being the spot where the model has posed. In addition if helps creating a ''closed'' frame where the feeling of entrapment, enslavement or potential torture (due to the hook) is carried easily as a metaphor. Further cropping of the 2 most right pillars helps creating a composition of 3 verticals where the poser is almost in the middle, thus is clearly noticeable. Same-wise a slight trimming from the bottom at the bases of the pillars (which vanishes the lightly coloured path) closes the ''entrapping'' space holding the poser tightly. I understand that my cropping suggestion may imbalance your play of thirds there but I think the rules are not there not to be broken, they are mere suggestions which here were not fit for the concepts you seemed keen to explore.

Posing, apart from facial expression, which I like for not looking at the lens has to do a lot with the positioning of the body and I suspect here your model is standing on the wrong foot. The current positioning of the right foot hides the high heel of the shoe on the left leg, alike with the big grey strut on the pillar base which hides the heel of the right foot to be seen. It is again a play of light and shadow or silhouette which could make this more edgy. My suggestion would be to keep the left leg straight and bring the right foot backwards close to her bottom.

I shall agree that the top garment may create a thin figure but the amount on white at the back is almost lost in the grey background. The length of the blouse at the back covers a very nice line of her figure, shame. A monochrome black blouse might had looked better especially if the hair on the left were brought in the front too. A smaller ''frame within a frame'' could have been created if the left arm was closer to the top of the head.

I know that working with a professional model may be an expensive exercise therefore I think that careful planning and even sketching of the poses could address such issues early so your time is consumed in great shots.

30/10/2014 - 10:29 PM

look me close

look me closeHiya!

A couple of additional suggestions from me, worthy to explore as I don't seem them mentioned here.

Colour: A red leaf. Red as blood, would be a much more human-like feature with its symbolic meanings and messages.
A blue leaf. Blue as the sea. Until recently we believed water on Earth was an element which arrived after the creation of the sun, scientists now believe that water quantities on Earth are much older than we supposed.

A black and white version would make this a timeless classic too. Monochrome could display the features, shapes and patterns in a strong way.

An upside version of the picture. The leaf is hanging from the tree to collect light. Bringing it upside down would equal raising our hands to collect the sunshine or the rain, the presents from the sky. An upside picture would also imitate a tree with branches going up rather than down, as a conophore. Plus the fact that the pyramid like pattern now would turn to a more fair pattern where wealth (water) is lead to the centre for feeding the root which in turn would see the tree grow.

best regards
20/10/2014 - 12:11 AM

River 2

River 2Hi!

Tricky shot this one.... I have seen that you had another pic of this model in your portfolio, oblong and vertical; it really suited the model's figure.

This frame though makes me think if it is the optimal you could get from her. Square framing seems to have given just a bit more than the necessary empty space on both sides right and left, and the white of the sleeve is cut off abruptly on the hand we see on the right. Therefore I would suggest a vertical orientation of an oblong shape, here as well.

What makes this picture striking is the two colours, red and black, while the white acts as a elegant and stylish median with playful presence in her sunglasses. Yet the three dimensional space of depth could be stressed far more if she had not fixed the sunglasses on her nose but she acted as if she was adjusting them about 1cm away from the nose.

I would also like to suggest a strong light source lighting the background, which is too close behind her, and giving it a white value; the red and the black would look even more striking then. It would look like the whole figure was in an endless space, dominating the attention.

I like the careful repetition of colours -white, red, black- in the face as in the dress.

13/10/2014 - 11:12 PM



I shall agree with the comments above but I thought of a tighter frame as well, that matches the amount of painting on the wall: hat, head, hands, torso with the same amounts of the walking man proportionately.

The black area on the far right may seem neutralised by the brighter trousers the man is wearing but it could be easily omitted should you had shot this a fraction of the second later ; I think that this is shot a fraction of the second too early.

But the good thing is that you have found a spot where you can be shooting interesting people who are wearing hats, yep I had someone taking a picture of me while I was wearing mine.

tips hat
06/09/2014 - 10:23 AM



I think this was taken in one go and it's not a composite. So I would applaud the effort. But the effort doesn't mean as much compared to the originality of the idea and the composition Smile My command of your language didn't help me understand the explanation you are giving. It doesn't matter.
There is no need for explanation in creative fantasy to my opinion. The picture is surreal and I am quite sure that the ones who baffle with this baffle with works made by Dali. Yes it does have similarities with Dali's colour palette and the blending of the colours is very elegant, with contrast as well as variation of tone. The use of the specific aperture conveys depth of field and explains itself as a unique take.

Mucho bravo
17/08/2014 - 11:51 PM

They're Off.

They're Off.Hi.

Your action shot reveals the spur of the moment and horses' behaviours varied.
Although the response of the horse on the left is interesting, most of the action you want to reveal lies on the right of the above mentioned horse. Should this horse be in your frame? it is already distanced from the horse next to it, I would consider cropping it too.
Banehawi has mentioned the horse on the right and the numbers, his suggested cropping is one I considered myself as well, but I would try to capture the gate numbers wholly. You could have gone wider with your lens, 120mm would allow space for the horse on the right and the numbers on the top.
Most importantly for me the picture could benefit from an even lower shooting angle which would allow the whole stature of the horses to be displayed in its grace and powerfulness.

19/07/2014 - 10:04 PM

Glasgow 2014

Glasgow 2014One of your best pictures Mohikan.

I like the colour popping and the contrast of the old with the new.

Being shot with a wide lens the verticals (as the wall of the building on the right and the column on the left) have suffered from distortion. I don't expect this is the reason for the Town Hall to lean a bit t the right though, but the big G sculpture looks alright. I find the model being a bit pushed back on the sculpture I might had brought her forward where the red circle sees to dive into the wooden surface the statue is standing, this making her more prominent. The picture looks like being shot from the head height. I suspect shooting if from the hip would have made the G sculpture (and the model) more imposing.

Kind regards
25/06/2014 - 2:57 PM

Traditional Jawa "kebaya"

Traditional Jawa "kebaya"hello Wimpy

I like the composition and the shooting angle.
I forgot to say the model too.
I have my concerns about the aperture, model pose and the lighting.

The aperture used has created a soft background (which is what you'd expect a f/2.8 to do). This is not a simple portrait of a woman against a simple and uninteresting white background. It is a showcase of a certain culture, of architecture, music, dress making, of tapestry and carving which contains a beautiful female in it. Therefore everything should have been shot and presented clearly with an even smaller aperture of f/8 at least. The model can stay still to compensate for the longer exposure time. She could also be instructed to look more engaged in the music she supposedly plays, she looks like seeing this instrument for first time in her life, rather than enjoying the music of it.

From the model to her shadow on the tapestry(?) behind her as a prelude to the lighting part of my critique. Still visible despite the aperture used and the fall of the shadow mostly on the brown part of the tapestry(?) behind her. The light from the right is too directional. Was it covered with diffuser? I think it might had been better if the main light was coming from the left and placed not against the model as now but almost in parallel. I might also had used another one with a slave to light just the background, positioned behind her. Or I could have used a desk lamp down on the floor level, pointing upwards to brighten the background , if no slave flash was available.

07/06/2014 - 9:49 AM


It's a beautifully lit frame, no doubt.
Often in portraits people are being asked to pose off-centre
and this is how you asked your sitter to pose.
This frame has another two possible more narrow formulations
1) cutting off the black space on the left, at 1/5th of the total width, the face appears in the middle and light & shadow play remains the same
2) cutting off the white space on top right at 1/5th, you exclude the ear and the stray hair, making it look more tactile.

03/06/2014 - 5:58 PM

Rail Road Flowers

Rail Road Flowershello Roselyn, '' it does what it says on the tin ''.

It is not surprising to me that the flowers grabbed your attention, they have a tendency to persist our preference as photographers. I love these stray ones which search for light and bloom to non expected places, although these may be part of the floral decoration of the station. Subconsciously you may have shot a theme of ''breaking out'' or freedom...

I shall tell you what I like in your picture first. I like the blending of the colours, this shade of green on the fence blends well with the purple of the flowers, the greens again match well with the limestone colour of the building and the grey of the pavement. The presence of three panels is not objectionable, but you have a tiny part of building on the most right of the frame that can be excluded fro the picture.. the title of your picture and the meaning wouldn't have changed at all. The reason I refer to that tiny part of your frame is because if you were to frame it it would look a bit disproportionate to be there, fence-flowers, fence building, fence. Use the fence as a natural frame, a visual full-stop. Look at your work.. there is no sunshine, right? the sky is not blue, but .. grey/white... compare to the rest of the colours... does it look good match or interesting? No and maybe mean you can crop it out with no burden in your soul. Crop the minuscule part horizontally, keep only the interesting parts in your picture.

Then think again... does the frame show the very centre of the flowers? Just one... Then walk and work around your subject; examine possible angles, practice and shoot. Being your own pictures first editor will help you sharpen your skills and photographic instincts. Then you may know how to answer your question ''why have I shot that?''

26/04/2014 - 3:11 PM

Curlew at sunset

Curlew at sunsetHi,

No clouds for me, thank you. I might had to crop a bit from the left, the wire only.
I thought of the pic with less land visible (my first thought was to crop above your signature on the bottom right corner) too but that is up for you to decide.

On a strictly colour aspect I'd stay with quadrochromia (As cartoon magazines only used 4 prime colours in printing).
A solid square. Boop. There you have it. A Pic with a tonne of impact Smile

14/04/2014 - 9:57 PM

Lord of all he surveys

Lord of all he surveysWelcome on board Rosina.

I like the fact that you present this picture in black and white. Good tones of shadow are recorded. Bravo.
My only suggestion would be to crop a bit from the space above the farmer.
Consider for a moment the current setting of the elements in the picture.
It shows land and the farmer in the bottom half and an almost empty sky on the other half.
Does this sound doing justice to the importance of the farmer in your frame?
Especially in square frames unless you shoot geometrical patterns avoid splitting your image in two parts
split it in 3 horizontal or vertical parts and place your main subject to any two superficial stripes of your frame
avoiding the very middle one.

09/03/2014 - 11:54 PM

|Fruit mix.

|Fruit mix.Hi. Personally I don't know why stacking is necessary on a pic like this but there you go, practice never harmed anyone in photography.

Regarding movement I can't see any but I have not examined the picture thoroughly. You are correct not to use image stabiliser whilst using tripod. If you sense movement and you don't own a remote shutter release mechanism, use the self-timer to allow the camera take the picture 10 seconds after you pressed the shutter, this would eliminate your involvement into camera shake. You can also lock the mirror in some models, I don't know if yours offers this feature. Everything like lens focal length, ISO, aperture, shutter speed are interrelated into getting the light and its reflectors reaching the film or the sensor of your camera, digital offers immediate result and chances to rectify things on spot.

I know you worried about movement but I think you could also pay attention in creating a ''clinical'' still. A well ironed tablecloth squared, using the markings as guiding lines and assistants in balancing your items on it, or creating perspective. A reflector positioned on the right to bounce some light from the window on the left to the far right leaves would balance the level of darkness on the wall behind. I am not sure if the feeling of the tilting to the left, superficial as it is, is because of your shooting position or your angle towards the table. Spirit levels can go on the hot-shoe of the camera to assist you on that. I would also expect to see the glass with the wine that is missing from the jar to be there.

In stills you have all the time necessary to produce perfect final images. Aim to do that.