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23/01/2011 - 9:59 AM

Stone faced

Stone facedI think you have captured the monkey very well indeed, especially its expression. Indeed, in my opinion, this would be a great photograph for a caption competition.

I like the contrast between the animate and the inanimate.

If I were to criticize, I would say that I do not like the background. However, by definition, as you were not able to move the inanimate object to a position in front of a different background, this citicism may be a little unfair. You have tried to make your main subject stand out by throwing the background out of focus, however I would suggest that the background could have been more blurred, perhaps in post-processing?

If I were you, I think I would have tried desaturating the background, obviously in post-processing, to introduce colour contrast with the main subject. And I would crop the right-hand side of the photograph.
Another Masterpiece in Lime stoneArchitectural photography is very unforgiving. All those straight lines, they just have to look straight in the photograph. But lenses, especially zoom lenses, tend to bend straight lines. If you have to use a zoom lens to photograph straight lines then set it to the middle of its focal range, when its optical elements are symmetrical front to back, to minimise the distortion.

In this photograph, the straight lines look straight to me. And the horizontal straight lines look parallel to the top and bottom edges of the frame. I think I might have tried to "unconverge" the verticals in Photoshop so that they were parallel to the left and right edges of the frame. Nevertheless, in my opinion, this is a very competent record of the masterpiece.
15/01/2011 - 3:14 PM


FilflaI think there is no shame in post-processing photographs. Indeed, if you shoot in RAW you have to post-process. Photoshop is the modern darkroom.

Most images straight from the camera benefit from some sharpening. But am I the only one who thinks this image also needs some straightening?

Anyway, with some post-processing, I think this photograph would be a real winner!
09/01/2011 - 7:21 PM


FarahTechnically, I think this photograph has been well-taken. The available light suited the subject. Given this lighting, in my opinion, the exposure is very good, especially considering you were photographing a dark subject on a light background. And the focus is on that dark subject.

Artistically, you have done well to limit the depth of field to the main subject, throwing the background out of focus. However, that said, even out of focus, I must admit that the tree behind the horse's head looks to me as though Farah has one hoof on a Van Der Graaf generator, so that the static electricity has made her mane stand on end. Therefore I would have cropped about a quarter off the top of the frame.
09/01/2011 - 5:31 PM


d.I must admit that, like lonely_oryx, I agree with achieverswales. As it is, because the background is so distracting, your model does not stand out in the frame. I think your model would have stood out better if the photograph were in colour.

Furthermore, I think you have done well to position your model according to the Rule of Thirds, near enough. Well, not exactly in the centre of the frame, anyway. However, on the right-hand third, she is looking out of the frame. If she were to be positioned on the left-hand third, she would be looking into the frame, a better composition?
09/01/2011 - 4:49 PM


ElementsAs it stands, in my opinion, this landscape photograph is easily worth a vote. I think you "have done it justice".

However, if I were asked how I would add value to this photograph, I would suggest that it would benefit from some foreground interest. The textbooks say that good landscape photographs have interest in the background, in the middle ground and in the foreground. This photograph has something to look at in the background and in the middle ground. Clouds, mountains and trees. However there is nothing in the foreground. I think the cows by the footpath could have provided the required foreground interest. But, by the time you had walked closer to them, so that they appeared in the foreground, you can bet the light would have changed.

In such situations, I get the wife to admire the view. Then I take a photograph of her admiring the view. She is the foreground interest in a lot of my landscape photographs, so many that I suspect she may be getting bored with being my forground interest. What's more, I think the books say that landscape photographs aren't supposed to include people. You can't win, can you?
Stone decoration, sure not a football trophyI think there are lots of photographic opportunities in cemeteries. However, where I come from, the cemeteries are getting to be very crowded places; I mean, people are dying to get into one. As a result, photographers in cemeteries, especially those photographers who are still breathing, have to be very careful with backgrounds. For example, in this photograph, the stone decoration does not stand out from the background. Rather, the bottom half of the stone decoration does not stand out from the background. Therein lies the clue as to how this photograph may have been improved: I think if you were to have taken it from a lower viewpoint so that the background was the tree or the sky the decoration would have stood out.
Moggy on a fence in Bury St EdmundsTechnically, I think this photograph has been well taken. I think the exposure is appropriate for the image and the focussing looks sharp on the cat's eyes. However, that said, I might have tried to dodge the eyes in post-processing to lighten them a bit so that it doesn't look like a hellcat. Furthermore, I must admit I think the hellcat also looks a bit like a glove puppet to me. I mean I can't really see how the cat stays on the fence.

I think the brick wall background is a little too distracting. In order to minimize this distraction, perhaps you should have shot this photograph in aperture priority mode with the aperture set wide open (the lowest f number). Then the background would appear as blurred as possible.
11/12/2010 - 11:37 AM

The pigeon

The pigeonIt looks as though this pigeon has been paddling in red paint! Smile

As far as technique is concerned, I think both the exposure and the focussing is good.

As far as artistry is concerned, I think the crop is a little tight on the tail. While I am on the subject of cropping, I think the composition would benefit if you were to crop a fair bit off the top of the photograph.
21/11/2010 - 4:20 PM


+++In my opinion, this is a textbook example of how to photograph seascapes.

I can see details in both the highlight and the shadows, so I reckon the exposure is on the button. Everything in the photograph looks sharp to me, so I think there can't be much wrong with the focussing, either. And what better lighting can there be than a sunset?

As I think this is a textbook example, in my opinion, the rules of composition have been used in the photograph. For example, the horizon has been placed in the frame according to The Rule Of Thirds. The curve of the beach leads the eyes of the viewer past the foreground interest into the frame, adding a sense of depth, necessary to such photographs. The diagonal lines of the cloud formation reinforces this impression.

Well taken!
07/11/2010 - 9:30 PM

Another alley in Mdina No2

Another alley in Mdina No2I'm sorry, I can't resist. I've just got to muddy the waters.

They do say you should expose for the highlights because, apparently, it's easier to recover details from underexposed shadows than it is from over-exposed highlights.

Anyway, I would suggest you put the camera on a tripod and bracket your shots; that is to say, you take one shot at the exposure recommended by the camera, another shot under-exposed and a third over-exposed. The three resulting intermediate images can be combined in post-processing to produce one final image, using the under-exposed image for the highlights and the over-exposed image for the shadows.

If you could shoot in RAW, then you don't need to put the camera on a tripod because you can produce three images, similar to those resulting from bracketing, from one RAW file.
07/11/2010 - 12:08 PM

Another alley in Mdina

Another alley in MdinaEither you have invested a good deal of your hard-earned cash in an expensive tilt-and-shift lens or you took this photograph perched on the top of a stepladder or you corrected camera distortion in post-processing; either way, you have avoided the bane of architectural photographs: converging verticals. Your verticals are perfectly parallel to the edges of the photograph.

However, I must admit that I feel this photograph lacks a heartbeat. I think it needs a figure to be included, if only to give scale to the buildings. Indeed, as a general rule, I think street photography should involve people. I mean, I don't think streets would exist without people.
07/11/2010 - 11:09 AM

For art's sake

For art's sakeI googled 'Taj Mahal'. Your photograph was unique when I compared it with the images resulting from the search. And that, I think, is the point of travel photography. Otherwise, you might as well just buy a postcard. To take a unique photograph is difficult, especially when you travel to one of the usual tourist destinations, such as the Taj Mahal. So I would like to congratulate you for taking this unique photograph of the Taj Mahal.

However, I have looked at James' modification, which, I'm afraid, I must admit I might just prefer to the original. On the one hand, the people give the original photograph as sense of scale but, on the other hand, they distract the viewer's attention away from the main subject, the Taj Mahal.
31/10/2010 - 10:40 AM

Small Tortoiseshell

Small TortoiseshellMacro photography is very difficult, especially out of the studio. Because of the short camera to subject distance, the depth of field is very restricted. In this case, the head of the butterfly is sharply in focus, but the depth of field does not extend to its tail.

Furthermore, another problem with taking a photograph of a butterfly on a flower is that the flower competes with the butterfly for the viewer's attention. In this case, the red and violet of the flowers distracts from the orange and brown of the butterfly. Also, in this case, the flower on which the butterfly has settled is in focus as well.
30/10/2010 - 9:03 PM

The monument

The monumentI think this photograph ticks all the boxes as far as photographic technique is concerned. I mean, the exposure and the focussing look all right to me.

Also, I think this photograph ticks a lot of the boxes as far as photographic composition is concerned. For example, the horizon is placed lower in the frame, drawing the viewer's attention to the glorious sky. Typing of the sky, the blues get lighter the closer to the horizon, adding depth to the composition. The curve of the beach draws the viewer's attention into the photograph, adding to the illusion of depth.
Mum what is that over there - dont worry dear you will see a lot of them !!I think you have done well to press the shutter button at exactly the right time, when both of the cows were looking at the camera. The cows look sharply in focus to me and the exposure appears correct.

The colour contrast between the main subject and the background makes the cows stand out. However, if I were you, I think I would have opened up the aperture, reducing the depth of field so that the background would have been thrown out of focus. Also, the main subject fills the frame ensuring the viewer's attention is inevitably drawn to the cows.
30/10/2010 - 12:19 PM

Keep clear

Keep clearWhereas the focussing looks sharp enough for me, as I can clearly see that I should KEEP CLEAR, I think there are problems with the exposure, as the sky appears burnt out.

I am glad to see that the composition has a beating heart. I must admit to being prejudiced: I prefer photographs of people to photographs of anything else. However, while I am on the subject of composition, I do wonder whether this photograph needs straightening? Also, I think the composition would have been improved if you were to have positioned the lady in the frame according to the rule of thirds: that is to say, more towards the bottom left-hand corner. I think it is better to show more of where she is going than where she has been.
17/10/2010 - 5:46 PM

Bat lantern

Bat lanternThe dynamic range, the difference between the lightest and the darkest part of the scene, is large, too large for the sensor of your camera. The advice in these circumstances is 'to expose for the highlights' because it is easier to recover more details in the shadows when processing the image file on a computer. (However, The Photography Rule Book does state that it is allowable to burn out a highlight, provided that the highlight is a light source, such as the sun or a lamp.) Usually, this occurs when you are photographing a landscape on an overcast day: the sky is very light and the ground is very dark. In order to 'expose for the highlights', you measure exposure from the sky - point your camera directly at the sky and press the exposure lock button - and over-expose by one and a half stops, using exposure compensation.
17/10/2010 - 11:04 AM

montserrat spain

montserrat spainI think you have succeeded in adding the third dimension to your flat photograph, a good thing as your photograph is a landscape. Diagonal lines add depth to a composition; in your photograph, the diagonal lines converge to a vanishing point, giving linear perspective to the composition. Also, as you look deeper into the photograph, the colours become less saturated, giving aerial perspective to the composition. If I were to criticise, I would suggest that your landscape needs something in the foreground, maybe a tree or a rock, whatever. They say landscapes need something in the foreground, something in the background and something in between. You have the mountains in the background and the buildings in between. Something on the left in the foreground would complete the composition, in my opinion.
01/10/2010 - 8:02 PM

Appius Claudius Pulcher

Appius Claudius PulcherThe trouble with macro photography is that the depth of field is very shallow. In this macro photograph, the bottom of the coin is out of focus as a result, because the bottom of the coin is closer to the lens than the top and, unfortunately, the depth of field does not extend that close to the lens. If you were to photograph the coin square on, so that it appears circular in the viewfinder, then all of the coin would be in focus, because all of the coin is the same distance from the lens.