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Christmas Prize Draw 2017

Activity : Photo Comments



Hope you like the variety I have tried to bring in my portfolio. Most of the images have been put here for comment and that is always appreciated. I spend quite a bit of time in the Critique section and I know many visit my portfolio because I have passed comment on their work. Hope you think my work is of a reasonable standard.

I know that, even with 50 years experience there are still things to learn and that technology changes quickly.
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  • Gravity

    I like this and, for once the wide aperture works to give clinical sharpness in exactly the right place. Not too sharp for me, but that goes without saying. I would simply leave it alone.

    • 17 Dec 2017 5:10PM
  • Old Man of Storr

    A bit heavy and blue for me,even as a 'condition' shot. there is camera movement and at 0.4 sec it is likely to be wind. Why not up the ISO a couple of stops, go to f8 and gain at least three stops shutter speed for the same but sharper result?

    • 17 Dec 2017 4:55PM
  • Home time

    Why mono for a natural history shot I wonder? Colour for me. I realise how difficult birds in flight are, I do quite a bit of it, and high ISO is not a good idea for any natural history shot and, in decent conditions should not be used even for birds in flight. Decent panning and servo auto focus should do the job. I use 400 or, at a pinch, 800 ISO.

    Quality and sharpness is everything for flying bird shots an the high ISO and wide aperture has resulted in a degree of softness. High shutter speed does not guarantee sharp images in these circumstances.

    Ideally, you need better light and the result here is not really not too far off in low light. Composition is good, although I might have reversed it left to right which would not mater and be visually better to the eye.

    • 17 Dec 2017 4:49PM
  • Ride my bike

    There is a good image in there, but what is she doing? You really do need eye contact here as she just seems to be doing hr hair? Wait for the moment.

    • 17 Dec 2017 4:40PM
  • Charlotte 4

    John covers it. Not a bad shot in general although slightly more crisp for a magazine cover. You must know the magazine and the cover design preferences when shooting specifically for the cover. You need space for the title and all other bits and pieces that go on a cover without compromising the image.

    I've had a few cover images. All were shot to the magazine requirements. A friends Weimeraner bitch for a dog lover magazine and a pheasant for a country life publication come to mind - both national and both demanding.

    It is a pleasant experience to see one of your images looking at you from Smith's shelves.

    • 16 Dec 2017 5:16PM
  • Sunrise on a cold morning

    I like this. If there is a touch of HDR in there, it is not apparent and I really do applaud that - it ruins so many images! You have handled the exposure very well indeed and it looks reasonably sharp top me, and if anyone will jump on unsharp images, it is me! No sun flare or burn out.

    Good stuff. Well done.

    • 16 Dec 2017 5:11PM
  • The motion

    All said above. A good try at something different, which I do applaud, but I'm not sure the end product is terribly eye catching. What would you actually now do with it?

    • 16 Dec 2017 5:07PM
  • Sand patterns Talisker Bay

    This is very subjective, and as you might expect from me, as a technically trained photographer, I struggle with the content. For ME, and I stress the ME, very heavy and blue with little to look at. After all the technical stuff, content decides like, or not.

    • 16 Dec 2017 5:05PM
  • Jerusalem

    Good strong image in general, possibly just a touch on the heavy side. I ike the landscape format with left offset - much better than portrait in these circumstances.

    Wish you would loose your logo on these - I find myself looking at it.

    • 16 Dec 2017 4:59PM
  • The Dome, Edinburgh

    As above, the basis of a pleasing general image but that old semi-HDR look again. There is a pastel effect which looks slightly odd. More punch and contrast will just lift things a bit.

    • 16 Dec 2017 4:56PM
  • blackheaded gulls in winter

    Yes, good one. Don't mind the part gull, you look at the flying ones. Nicely done.

    • 13 Dec 2017 3:09PM
  • Lara -

    Better because of balanced tones and interesting. I'm not sure I like all the scratchiness round her though although the eyes demand the attention. I think a conventional image might well be superb.

    The pastel shades are nice, but without that hatching.

    • 13 Dec 2017 11:56AM
  • Compare.

    I was about 5 to 6 meters away. 840mm equivalent and a monopod. They were being fed near the public boundary fence. I do find this quite interesting and an eye opener. The flash shots have a very much better tone and I have not noticed such a dramatic difference before but have never done this before with the Fuji, only Canon.

    I could, indeed, have shot RAW, but the Fuji conversion software is not very user friendly and I shot some 500 odd frames. I know I could batch process but life is not long enough! As I've said before, I tend to shoot RAW + Best Jpg for really important stuff, but even then rarely need the RAW files.

    My 4500 shots at Scampton air show were all JPG. Imagine the card and computer storage space for RAW! And a number have already published so JPG was good enough for purpose.

    It's just the variation in tone that I find amazing here.

    • 12 Dec 2017 4:30PM
  • Depression

    Moira really covers everything. You went a very long way round to achieve the effect and really didn't need to. Having said that, subjectively this is not my kind of thing. Whilst Moira's mod improves, I still struggle with the content.

    • 12 Dec 2017 3:17PM
  • Ella in water colour

    I rather like the image in general but the stumbling point is, as above, the very large bright area on the right. I don't mind the composition at all, but that area needed tone. It completely drags the eye from the rather nice model.

    • 12 Dec 2017 3:14PM
  • Eye effect.

    There was a fence between us! A very large wire mesh with 8x6 holes. The deer would be 5 metres away.

    • 11 Dec 2017 6:08PM
  • Stretching Out

    Content and timing superb, the 6400 is just showing, though, even with the excellent XT-2.

    • 10 Dec 2017 5:39PM
  • *

    The apparent poor quality would normally put me off straight away but this has a strange appeal. Probably because it is so basic. However the boat being right in the middle doesn't work so well and I would have much preferred it to the left, then a top and bottom crop to near letterbox to concentrate the effect.

    • 10 Dec 2017 5:32PM
  • Passionate Call

    The content and composition are fine, the quality is not I fear. When you scan a print, slide or negative you MUST clean it as best you can prior to the scan, Then retouch any remaining dust off. This is covered in dust and hairs and you should not present images without finishing.

    The effect is under exposure. Is the original dark or is it the fault of the scan? the image should be a good stop brighter to give that punch it deserves. look at other such shots on the site, but do clean things before scanning.

    • 9 Dec 2017 4:36PM
  • Pebbles in the snow

    Not a bad effort at all and very difficult conditions. Blue snow is better than yellow, so you went a bit far. The snow is a bit over but the dog spot on. I might have tried a touch of flash, exposing for the snow then filling the dog in with the flash.

    • 9 Dec 2017 4:29PM
  • Model nude

    It could be a really nice shot and you have superb equipment yet the image is soft, especially her face, and rather flat - photographically. Why the terrible light and need for such high ISO? I've said it before, you get some excellent subjects yet fall short on technique on most occasions.

    You really should step back and sort out your technical ability then much of your work would be very good indeed. Getting the exposure and focusing right are mandatory in most images.

    • 9 Dec 2017 8:30AM
  • Star Wars Poe Dameron Cosplay shoot

    Your EXIF is very strange - which part of the image does it apply to? Figure or background. You need to be very careful with very wide apertures with respect to focus.

    The idea is very good and the composition OK for me. The quality is not so good. The main figure needed to be sharp and better defined. Nothing is truly sharp and in a composite it should be the main subject without doubt, the pilot.

    I suspect focusing error at f1.8 in the first place.

    • 9 Dec 2017 8:26AM
  • Juggling Fire-Extinguishers on the Moors

    The idea and content is excellent. The whole thing is a touch dark and lacks contrast/ A brighter image would add even more impact and strength. However, good try and very close.

    • 9 Dec 2017 8:21AM
  • Which One?

    My kind of image. I do a lot of this kind of thing. Sharp and nice tight composition. Might just brighten a touch.

    • 9 Dec 2017 8:18AM
  • "Kite Surfing"

    The version you present is strong and quite satisfying but obviously processed, your mod. 6 is very good and rather better than the initial presentation.

    you are trying too hard. The vast majority of outdoor/landscape images look best when natural.

    • 7 Dec 2017 9:07PM
  • River companion

    Not bad at all. John shows my set up here and if you are very serious about macro, you do need specialist equipment to deal with all the problems. However, you have done well and a phone does not know where you want to focus.

    You have a better image than many with the 'proper, gar get!

    • 7 Dec 2017 8:50PM
  • Step

    It needs quite a bit of work. The bird needs to be bigger in frame if only to get rid of the over bright area at the top and the depth of field could do to be greater. No ISO shown but you could do with f8 or 11 and a touch of sharpening.

    Looks to be a feral bird but has a single leg ring?

    • 7 Dec 2017 8:46PM
  • G en

    The image is very sharp and I applaud that,but I wonder about your composition. It needs to be portrait to balance in a case like this. It is NH record and the blank sides are not needed.

    • 7 Dec 2017 8:41PM
  • Tanning Lines

    For me, -2 was not enough! More exposure would just burn out the sun and associated sky and add more flare. I would have gone down even more and made the shot of sun and highlights. Better if the sun had been behind light cloud or a little subdued.

    • 7 Dec 2017 9:36AM
  • Public footpath

    Decent content but you are very over exposed left and top and that cannot be. Grad filters would be no good due to the shape of the skyline so you need to expose for the highlights, then brighten shadows in software. You must expose for highlights, because if they burn out, as here, no amount of processing other than cloning will sort it.

    So, lots of good stuff above, but if you do not get the technical bit right, the rest becomes superfluous. Less exposure and wide bracketing.

    • 7 Dec 2017 9:33AM