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07/05/2009 - 3:47 PM

Seven Star

Seven Starlooks like a wonderful place!

Did a mod.
just straightened it and lifted the shadows 30% to show the spotlights as I feel they balance the image up more.
27/02/2009 - 6:35 PM

A Bit Ropey

A Bit RopeyAgain, and excellent image, you have such a good eye for a shot.
The advice above is great, I've just multiplied a little, desaturated a little, dodged and burned a little, and completely cheated by simply making it widerSmile

From my own experience I've found...
1. Leave the finished image, go away and have a coffee, come back, open, and just look for the weakest part, it it the richness, contrasts, composition, etc.
2. Try and remember what made you press that shutter button, how did you feel at that moment, was it the light, the depth, the seasonal colours. Forget about what you think you should be producing and get back to that magic moment.
3. Lifting shadows is a great option, but shadows are important as they give the image dimension. Try making a layer, lifting shadows no more that 30% on a bottom layer, then just erase the shadows on the top layer with a soft 50% eraser; then you won't lose the richness of the colours in the image.
Hope that helpsSmile
just one other thing, when I sharpen, I make a layer first, then if I get the awful white (over sharpened) horizon, I can run along it with a small eraserSmile
27/02/2009 - 4:02 PM

Loch and Ben

Loch and BenOK, here's the Velvia effect...
Make a duplicate layer.
Image>Adjustments>Channel Mixer>
Output channel RED>Change the red to 150, green to -25, blue to -25.
Output channel GREEN> '' '' '' green to 150, red to -25, blue to -25.
Output channel BLUE> " " " blue to 150, red to -25, green to -25.

Now your image is as the modification I did. OTT. You have several choices at this point to tone it down a bit.
1. Reduce the opacity of the top layer until you have what you want and merge down.
2. Go to Image>Adjustment>Hue/saturation. Change the top to the colour that screams out, often red, and reduce the saturation until it's OK.
3. Use a soft eraser at 25 or 50% and erase the seriously OTT bits (such as the blue tree trunks on the left.)

The other thing you have to look out for when punching up the colours is chromatic aberrations. I've done a bit in Techniques about how to sort them out.

Just one more point. This is not the way to go if you want to keep fine contrast in colour, such as in flower closeups. over saturating always robs fine detail.

Hope all that helps. Most important, have funSmile
27/02/2009 - 1:14 PM

Rolling Hills

Rolling HillsBeautiful scene well captured, nice light too.
You've asked for crit but there's precious little wrong really, it's a lovely natural image.

You could, of course, spike it up a bit and make the absolute most of the colour and light (I've done a mod).

Ignoring the sky for the moment.

Levels are fine.
I made a layer.
Curves, I pushed the centre of the curves up to make a soft C, this lightens the mid tones.
Colour controls, I moved the highlights slider into the yellow (away from the blue). This lightens and brightens the upper end of the mid tones and adds to the light effect in the image.
Saturation, I saturated the greens, reds, and yellows 10.
Dodge and burned the trees and tree shadows.

Now the sky, it's a bit weak and turquoise and lets the image down just a tad, I feel.
Close eye on top layer.
Working on bottom layer, make duplicate layer. Multiply (layers pallet). Merge down.
Open eye on top layer, select sky, erase sky and clouds.
Now go back to bottom layer, Hue/saturation, slide the hue right a bit until you get a better sky colour.
Merge layers and use the blur tool on 3 hard to run over the hill/sky join to get a natural bit of blur on the horizon.

Hope you like it.
Good luck!
27/02/2009 - 8:07 AM


JOK, Dave's absolutely right, technically it's a pretty bad shot...but you know what, I'll bet there isn't a photographer on this site who doesn't have a few of similar quality kept safely on disk. Bet they never show them to anyone, but get a great deal of pleasure from looking at them occasionally.
Why? Because the moment was special.
So what to do? Well it's not difficult to fix it up a bit with photoshop. I've done a quicky, but with a bit more time you could make it good enough to pop in a frame and have on your deskSmile

Then I changed the canvas to black and erased all the distractions.
Then I changed the canvas to the colour of her shirt.
Then with a soft eraser on 20% opacity, erased the corners and cropped a bit from the left.
Not bad, I like it in fact, there's a saying, it's not what you've got-it's what you do with it, LOL!
The image has a lot of good points; the body language is lovely, the eyes straight into the lens are great, and it tell a story...always important.
Hope that helpsSmile
27/02/2009 - 7:33 AM

Harbour Bridge

Harbour BridgeIt is a good capture with a compact, but you've asked for crit, so here goes...
The problem is the colour temperature, I"ll bet the sky was full of warm colours, yet this image is quite cold, mostly shades of blue. You could see if there is a sunset mode on the camera for next time... or even try a shot with your sunglasses over the lens. You'll need something to set the camera on though as it will slow the shutter and if hand held you'll get an interesting but almost certainly blurry image.
I've applied a red to yellow gradient to the image to warm it up and give more of a sunset feel. A simple rescue but nowhere near as good as getting it right in camera.
Hope that helpsSmile
26/02/2009 - 1:59 PM

The Three Sisters

The Three SistersEveryone above is right, it is a lovely shot, well composed and with lots of detail.
Nevertheless, you asked for crit, so here goes...
Looking at the large version I'd say it was a bit over-cooked, there is a lot of colour noise in there and some chromatic aberrations which spoil the final image, and also a bit of over sharpening.
I wonder if you are using contrasts and saturation instead of levels, curves, dodge&burn all in conjunction with layers?

IMHO the cyan snow and road need saturating. I'm inclined to think it was underexposed, to get the sky(nice job), and then you did 'lift shadows' which caused the noise? Personally, for landscapes, I find evaluative metering works best, but I bracket 1 stop either way for safety in case I blow the sky or burn the shadows.

I'll try a mod to show.
Not sure if I've been any help, If you'd like anything I've said explaining, please PM me.
Good luck, P.
25/02/2009 - 4:09 PM


surroundedHi Wayne, and welcome to ePz, hope you enjoy it as much as I haveSmile
You obviously have a good eye for a photograph. I really like the way you have your subjects face surrounded by flowers. A really nice frame. The colours are good too, not to garish yet nice and bright.
The focus seems a bit soft, but I don't know the camera so cant advise you on settings.
Now the composition... if this was mine I'd crop it (I'll do a mod to show what I mean) perhaps it would have been better taken in portrait mode (longways) with a little space left in front of her to look into.
I've done an article in TECHNIQUES about composition which might interest you.
That's about it really, crop and sharpen and you have a winnerSmile
PS, if you have another chance, eye contact with the lens is always good (but not always necessary).
24/02/2009 - 1:52 PM


Carnevalereally FAB candid!!! love the red and red.

Dave is right about the background, it is a bit distracting. However I wouldn't blur it as it give a good sense of place which is very important.
The distraction is the white/very light bits and if they where toned down it would leave the eye in peace to enjoy the subject.
There are several ways to do this.
1:Carefully burn the mid-tones with a small brush over the lightest parts.
2:Make a layer, increase the gamma, then erase the woman and merge down.
3:Make 2 layers, close the eye on the top one. Multiply the middle one and reduce opacity until the lightest parts are correct for the final image (ignore the rest). Merge middle layer down. Open eye on top layer and softly erase the lightest parts. Merge down.

Actually there are heaps of ways, you probably know them all too, LOL!
Still a FAB image though!
24/02/2009 - 1:17 PM


assmarWelcome to ePz Nadin!

Good first upload. The eye contact is spot on and the look of concentration captivating.
Good portraits are more than just technically 'right' they should tell the viewer about the person in the photograph, and if really successful they should make the viewer almost feel as though he knows them.
You have achieved this. I see a good looking young man who cares about his appearance; not short of a bob especialy when it comes to spending on fashion labels. Quite serious but with a hint of mischief. The big watch on view tells me he like to make a statment... bet he doesn't drive an old banger, LOL! The strong block wall suggests he is solid and ambitious.
So quite a lot of information, well done.
The composition adds to the above and is pretty standard. If you wanted to add more interest you could have chopped him in half on the right frame, in portrait or landscape mode, and had a width of wall.
It's difficult to advise on post processing without knowing what editing program you have...
Also difficult to advise on camera setting not knowing what you used.
It seems slightly under exposed...which is so much better than overexposed and could be rectified in PS or elements, or most other editing programs.

I've done a mod.

Good luck!
16/02/2009 - 3:05 AM

Trail Away

Trail AwayDone a mod, hope it helps.
As the tracks (nice lead in too) are your subject personally I feel there is to much sky and the horizon should be on the upper third.
I adjusted the white balance (see techniques, above). multiplied the sky, cropped the top and adjusted the cyan hue, desaturated the snow, and stretched the image to bring the horizon nearer the upper third.
16/02/2009 - 2:44 AM

Bridge into what?

Bridge into what?Good effort, but it hasn't quite worked because you wanted to show the huge girders, (and you have captured them very well) but you have made the woman your subject, so the eye is a bit allover the place.
If the girders are subject then the person needs to compliment the image by showing the perspective/scale (which she does perfectly) but not be so central and distracting, (perhaps outside the thirds box).
Now the light, (sorry, not giving you a slating, just trying to help).
You wanted to show the light but I'm afraid it has just burned out the detail. Try keeping a pair of sunglasses in your camera bag for situations like this. pop them on and you will see if the light is coming down in shafts, this would be spectacular in this case.
If you use a tripod and a grad grey filter (upside down) you would capture the light and the detail. It would slow the shutter speed, the woman would have some motion blur, and I think the result would be outstanding, also, if you use a remote in situations like this people tend not to duck/look out of the way and continue walking toward the camera, which makes a good shot.
Hope that helps.
08/02/2009 - 5:42 AM

sunset at nash

sunset at nashNice composition with those lovely stones leading in. I think perhaps you could make more of them.
Have to agree entirely with carabosse about the colour cast.

I've done a mod to remove the cast, selected the foreground and saturated it, 30, smart sharpened it 30/.9. and dodged the super light on the stones.
To remove the colour cast see the short 'techniques' article I wrote recently (menu bar above).
Hope that helps. Still a cracking captureSmile
07/02/2009 - 11:35 AM

sammy awan

sammy awanwelcome to ePz Jim! hope you enjoy it as much as I haveSmile

This is a nice capture and you did well not to burn out any of the swans feathers. There is a nice catch-light in the eye too... always important.

You have asked for crit so I'll do my best but it's difficult to advise when not knowing what editing program you have.
First, the composition: cropping the half bird would give you a vertical panorama with just enough room for the swan to look into. If you wanted a portrait you could crop some off the top too. There is a vague rule about not having white touching the frame unless it is the subject as it spoils the ambiance if the picture.
I have photoshop and this is what I'd do. Crop. Adjust the levels to bring out the white feathers. Perhaps a slight curve and a little saturation, then unsharp mask, but not too much.
Hope that helps. I'll do a mod to show what I mean.
Best, Patricia.
06/02/2009 - 1:46 PM

peek a boo!

peek a boo!We all agree it's a really nice portrait, the composition and pose are a little unusual but they work well. The skin tone and clarity are very nice indeed and unlike Paul I rather like the softness of the eyes and mouth and the light background as it gives a very feminine feel to the image, but that is just a personal preference.

You asked for crit and I only have one...
As the eyes are the focal point everything else should support them, or at the very least, not take attention away from them. In this case the clothing and hair, while complimenting the eye colour very nicely, seem bolder and sharper than the subject. If you squint at the image you'll see what I mean. Also the focal point is usually given some space or subtle frame and that strand of hair resting on the eye lashes imposes on that. If the hair fell below the eye but not touching it, it would give a sexier (sorry can't think of a more subtle word at the moment) and more of a peek-a-boo look.

To sum up I think it has a lot going for it, and the clothes and hair could be softened in PS or the like. Hope that helps, P.
31/12/2008 - 10:30 AM

Boxing Day Beach

Boxing Day Beachref to forum post:
Again, a nice capture, just a couple of pointers. The circular composition is nice, goes with the subjects, a complete picture of a family walk. but the composition itself is slightly off, needs a little space all around and that is what is missing from the top, and there is too much at the bottom.
Or quite simply cropping the foreground almost to the dog would work.

I see from your portfolio your images are wonderful and sharp, but landscapes are also about atmosphere, and perhaps this is what you are finding difficult. A slower shutter speed here would have given you more feeling of the racing dogs.

Hope this helps, but don't take what I say as gospel, others have different, respected, opinions. You'll find your style, just keep at it, you have a great eye!
31/12/2008 - 10:13 AM

River Deben

River Debenwith ref to your forum post.

Try posting the original, and asking for mods. both will help you get more advice and understanding about where things went wrong.
You can still post the original shot in versions.

This for example is a good landscape, well composed with lots of interest and detail. Lots of kind folk will tell you just that. But it has a colour cast, and the sky? and it looks a little underexposed.

Honestly it's a wonderful capture, honestly, it needs the right 'tweaks' to bring it to full glory.
Allowing mods it your best bet, methinks.

Good luck, P,X
27/12/2008 - 8:11 PM

In Safe Hands

In Safe HandsI do like the vibrant colour images in your portfolio but I have to say this mono is my favorite.
Absolutely loverly tones and the pose is delightful. That turn of the thumbs shows pride with the slight tension of caution. The left leg completely supported by the hand...yet the other is almost supporting itself...the way things will go.
I like that you haven't cloned out the birthmark too. Gives it the baby's signature. Perfect doff, everything.
Wonderful! Wonderful!!!
27/12/2008 - 12:01 PM

Cart and Horse

Cart and HorseReally nice shot, perfect timing...another second would have been too late.
Love the way the statue and driver seen to be communicating. And the shadows and light couldn't be better.
Nicely edited and not over sharpened.

The only crit I can give you is the sky. Looks like it's had the 'burn mid-tones' treatment. Fine, but I'd de-saturate it a little or select it and push the hue slider a little to the right to give it more of a Mediterranean blue colour, rather than the turquoise.

Otherwise, a great shot, one to be proud of...wish it was mine, LOL!
Hope that helps,
Best, Patricia.
19/09/2008 - 6:46 PM

ambyr and steven

ambyr and stevenHi Alicia.
I see you have just this minute joined ePz. Well you made a great choice!
Seems you jumped in at the deep end by trying a composite and I'm sorry to say it bottomed out.
Why not start with a single image taken on the best quality your camera will allow and take it from there.
It's obvious that humour and portraiture appeal to you, and you have an eye for a good image. There are many friendly folk on this site that will help you to reach a really high standard.
It's good to post in the crit gallery, but when you are starting out perhaps it's good to post in the regular gallery too and just ask for help with every image.
Anyway, welcome to the gang. If you enjoy half as much as I have you'll have no regretsSmile