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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.
01/03/2014 - 12:06 PM

Will I ever get it right ?

Will I ever get it right ?Hi Lelah,

is this a self portrait? It is hard to be accurate in metering then... Lighting is pointing the face correctly without causing problems with shadows; what does the pose seems to represent? why is the sitter looking away from the lens? This is disengaging in most of the times and here it doesn't favour the result you wanted to get from I suspect. Try to capture some character, if it is informal portrait, have some fun make your sitter laugh rather than smile or try to generate a reaction form them which you will stay on your film or camera sensor.

28/02/2014 - 3:40 PM

King of the Rut

King of the Ruthi,

the shooting angle is superb and the deer well exposed but the sky spoils it for me, it looks like an artificial addition to the shot moment.
If the clouds were to be moved as fast as this ''moooo'' call lasted I would also expect to see the grass moving too.
The light for the animal comes from the right but on the right we see a very dark vertical feature.

24/02/2014 - 1:48 AM

Zuoz, Switzerland

Zuoz, SwitzerlandHello to my friends in Switzerland Smile #

I think the trains should had arrived in the train station by 14:30, now is it the train late or the clock???
I'd take the second option as I am wearing an automatic swiss watch (but not certified as chronometer) and as far as I remember from my last visit there, the train services were punctual.

To the picture now! I like it Smile I have never seen a format as such 2:1 so I wonder is this a cropped image? A combination of two 1:1 pictures next to each other, maybe?

Exposure is tricky on the snow, you did lower it 1/3 but I think the day was cloudy or had sunny intervals, the white bell tower on the church looks white, the snow on teh roof looks white but the snow on the hill looks greyish - due to a cloud suppose.

Most of the importance of the total frame lies on the left square part - I tried a mod with only this part (on the left) and it looked nice - the extra right part adds some visual information as the horizontal line of trees up on the top right corner and a nice play of sunshine on a wall on the bottom right corner. It doesn't look like the station to me but architecture in Switzerland can amaze visitors so I might be mistaken. Another crop I did contained just the bell tower and the train, no other houses visible, it is as wide as the current frame, but less tall. as a frame it is big so it can give you various possibilities of cropping. I

I know it can reach easily minus 17 Celsius there so here is a hertzlich salut and a hot Ovaltine cup for you!
24/02/2014 - 1:12 AM

Porthcawl Lighthouse

Porthcawl LighthouseHello Sue.

I understand this is a difficult picture to take and you have worked a lot on it.
I shall skip the technicalities and I shall point that because I like the height of the crashing wave being taller than the lighthouse and almost reaches the sky, I would explore a shorter version of the picture. I tried a square format , I am not sure if it is big enough, for the site specifications, to be uploaded, will try that soon.

My suggestion is to stop worrying about every other procedure, everyone here tried their best. Print it as it is on a glossy paper to maintain the wide range of shadows and to bring out the best of the resolution used. Noise will turn to ''grain'' or a surface like matte paper. Do not put a glass in front, just frame it and hang it. Job done.

20/02/2014 - 5:42 AM


newbornSuch a cute baby! I'm buying it (the pic I mean). Hahaha.

Nice and eye catching. I like the angled framing. It is one of the strongest points of the picture, along withe the head band and the baby Smile

The weakest points of the picture are the cut-off of the legs and the reflection of the photographer in her eyes (if you were to enlarge this, would be even more present).

I made a mod and will try to upload it, I hope it is too big so it falls in the site's guidelines); I cut-off the picture at a point where it may be more difficult to distinguish if the white item at the bottom end is a daipers or bed-linen (hopefully). It also shows that the feet may not be a necessary part of the picture. You would still ave to do the work in here eyes though, I would have allowed someone's reflection it were her parents or just one of the parents taking the picture, creating a feeling of ''seeing themselves in her eyes'').
17/02/2014 - 9:04 PM

Lines and arcs

Lines and arcsHello!

Tricky subject, good effort though.
It is such a headache to find a line to grasp and align your camera to take such subjects... it could be the right top corner getting the plsterboard edge right in the middle? would it be the vertical of the window frame? You have obviously pointed the lens upwards, but a tiny 'tweek' on the horizontal axis between your hands (one or two degrees forward from the right) might had brought a rigid balance to the whole plot, especially if combined with the corner tip mentioned above.

Finding subjects is as important of taking pictures and this deserves a bravo!

13/02/2014 - 11:25 AM

village man

village manVery good for first attempt!

hello shashank, I like your picture, it suggests that the man is a shepherd I see sheep behind him. His hand gesture reminds me of resting on a shepherd's stick, but I fail to distinguish if there is such a thing which he might be holding.

When you are out and about during the day you work with the natural light from the sun, too much sunlight straight on the subject causes discomfort (but you can tell them to close their eyes and open them when you are ready to fire the shutter, people usually laugh when I tell them so, see the picture of two people laughing in my portfolio so you understand). I see that the sun was hidden above the upper left corner of the frame, judging from his turban. Dare to suggest to people to take the position that gives you the best light to work on, since this man posed for you, he must have discussed being photographed, so why not suggest him to walk to the left turn a bit to the sun and have again his herd (?) behind him.

It seems to me you are a good communicator, good people photographers do have that characteristic...

11/02/2014 - 4:09 PM

Cole Scavenger

Cole ScavengerMr mmz_khan, let me remind you that a photographer with the latest Nikon gear may not be an every day occasion for the children, you somehow have entered their lives without asking them how they would feel about it. They care for their work to be done and you at the time are not buying their Coal - are you sure you were right to spell this Cole? - I think you could explain them, and print to give them the picture too.

Otherwise, use a longer lens and shoot from far away Smile

10/02/2014 - 12:38 AM

Los fotografós de Antigua.

Los fotografós de Antigua.Los tres caballeros y me!

A bit too dark?
I'd be tempted to use flash, having seen the result in the back of the camera.

08/02/2014 - 2:24 PM


Trianglehello Louise.

It is very good of you to play with natural light and explore its magic with still nature, it's a good idea to work with it and then go to artificial lighting, afterall, natural daylight illuminates your subjects with free solar energy! You are immediately ''green''!

The subject chosen here is an intriguing one, a pyramid consisting of 4 triangles and a square base. This little plastic object holds a vase with two flowers inside, ''engraved'' by laser. To most, it can work as a decorative item, or paperweight, it can also become a study object in photography, like in your case.

I would refrain from suggesting you to put it in your portfolio, as is.

Close-up photography because of the intensity of space displayed in your frame requires the photographer to be vigil of even the smallest details in the frame. here your black resting/backdrop material displays 3 spots, two white on the left at the base and the back of the pyramid and one bigger black like a not fully dried water droplet on the right base of the pyramid. You should pick these up and deal with this matter before hand but thank Gd we are at the era of digital technology and you can clone them out.

The pyramid itself had a bit of rough life too, its peak and bottom left corner have been dented, again, try your objects to be as much as near perfect for your portfolio. It's surface doesn't look polished to me, it needs to be, if you think this was a model, she would probably wear make-up wouldn't she? Preparation would give you better results than impromptu pictures, here you have lots of time to prepare and try, so use this time well.

I shall applaud your single background approach which lets us focus on the pyramid without introducing any other background edges, which would be reflected on the pyramid surface (Another idea would be to use of a soft, flexible fabric rest on a table surface and a chair to make a curvy, edge-free background).

Far too many colours of the surrounding environment are on the pyramid surface, I see red and green and a bit of yellow, be ware of the surroundings too. If the yellow was introduced by yourself wearing a yellow top, I would suggest to wer something black so you are not in the picture, unless you want that effect. Notice how the lack of light at the base of the pyramid makes the bottom surface look totally different that the black surface around the pyramid (unless this object had a felt on its bottom surface). You can do with all the colour mix by turning this to black and white, I'd reckon this would look more interesting then.

Reflections part two: your shooting angle shows four vases, with the bottom two having no flowers... tough luck? Have you tried an even higher shooting angle? I would suggest you an even lower one, almost level with the surface of the pyramid but not from the same angle where your light comes from, so your lens is not reflected on the pyramid surface. Think of it as you are in the egyptian desert walking and seeing the pyramids like small hills in front of you. You would have just one or two reflections of the vase then.

Framing aspect.... You can crop to square cause I think you are too wide on the sides and too low on the bottom now.

Hopefully you find my remarks useful, I don't mean to discourage you but to encourage you to try more and new things too.
06/02/2014 - 3:07 AM


Who??It has surely lifted but it's not a take off yet. Hold the horses space-cowboy!

I like the square format and I like the contrast of lines on top with triangles and squares at the bottom. It's the in between that spoils this for me. The Bostadsbutiken and the rest of the buildings are too defined, I can even see the red light looking at me saying this is not a black and white picture.

You have such a nice foreground and middle space interest so I would keep it there with a misty/mysterious f/2.8 rather than a clear f/11. And it'd better be on a tripod. A lower ISO, slower speed, and this chap, whoever he is, would look like a ghost figure. Now we're talking.

p.s. They are already here.
04/02/2014 - 1:13 AM

First jump #2

First jump #2You have produced another fine shot Carl. The muscles of the horse appear well, the rider has got a nice posture for the jump as well. Your shooting angle did not allow for the full of the tail to be in the frame but that is just a tiny issue. I might had chosen a value below f/8.0 to make the background either more blurry, but that would in effect ask for a higher firing speed. Exposure and composition look fine to me. If you decide to shoot her next time again, remember to go further back if you want.