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05/11/2015 - 9:34 AM


UntitledI like the composition but it does need a little clockwise rotation to straighten the verticals. Good detail right through the image
05/11/2015 - 9:12 AM


BlendedI agree with the points raised above especially regarding the clipped plates and TV screen. I personally think that the image would have been better compositionally by trying to include the same amount of floor as you have ceiling. To me this would balance the image and make a better statement about the kitchen. Obviously you will have problems with available space in the room to achieve this.
I also think that a step to the left and a slight swing of the camera would have avoided the front worktop from overlapping the cooker. It would also show more of the cupboard layout. I would also eliminate the door altogether as this has no bearing on the kitchen layout and looks wrong. The colour of the blind is a slight clash with the colour of the wood.
The chair is a little unnecessary as you are not showing the dining area in your shot.
Finally the spurious reflection on the worktop to the right of the cooker top should be cloned out. The other reflections work very well.
Technically it is to a very superior standard but the composition needs a little work. Always difficult when you are working indoors.
Excellent blending of shots which has evened out the exposure perfectly...........painstaking but worth it.
27/07/2015 - 3:03 PM


DolphinsThese are great and it is so wonderful to have them playing around the boat. Years ago (days of film) I was in a similar situation off the coast of Greece. Loaded the film spool and fired off 36 shots before they departed. Only later did I realise that the film sprocket had torn out the first set of holes and the film never got transported through the camera. So make no apologies for quality.....at least you got the shots.

Can't see any exif so it's impossible to see what settings you used. In terms of getting sharper pictures in these circumstances there is no substitute for fast shutter speed. So wind up the ISO and use the fastest shutter speed possible. Try to brace yourself against something solid on the boat (not always possible) and follow the dolphins through the viewfinder trying to anticipate their motion. Set camera to continuous focus mode and you could also try continuous shooting mode although (I prefer single shot mode) it can rapidly fill up the buffer whilst writing to the memory card
26/03/2015 - 11:49 AM


dofI like the overall picture but I think the fact that the "in focus" foreground is to left and right means you are drawn to the further back central "out of focus" blooms. Perhaps the composition is a little unbalanced because of this.
27/02/2015 - 10:51 AM


UllswaterI think your HDR is about spot on for this image.........you have brought out the detail well and slightly enhanced the colour which boosts the image nicely. If I was being critical Wink then maybe your composition could have been a touch better by stepping to your right to give a little separation (by water) between the foreground tree and the trees on the outcrop. That said, it is a nicely composed image as it is.
16/01/2015 - 9:32 AM

shhh... she is thinking

shhh... she is thinkingHi Barbara..........I hope you do not mind a little criticism of this potentially superb image. For me the colouring is a little too heavy and I think that this has darkened all detail in the eyes of the owls. I feel that lightening the picture using levels and perhaps a little local lightening of the eyes would make good improvement. I would also crop the top so that the eyes are all on the top third grid line of the picture would improve the composition. It is still a very nice capture of the pair of owls and I like the contrasts in the backdrop.
The ineffable beauty of flight.Hi Martin.....this processing is a little different and it has the odd effect when you look at it for a long time it seems to deepen the tones. The composition is spot on....space for the bird to fly. If I were to be slightly critical I think the frame has too much contrast for the softness of the image and the longer I look the more intrusive it becomes. I do like what you have achieved with this one...................Phil
01/12/2014 - 10:57 AM


Creep.Hi Graham.........I have uploaded a modification which I have cropped to better position the subject and close the distance between the girl and the threat. I like your overall darkening of the background to imply dusk but felt that it did not illuminate the girls face enough. She is the subject and her expression is focused on the phone and not her surroundings so I felt the face needed to be more obvious. My only other suggestion is that the light flair above her head could benefit from toning down a touch (I did not do that in my mod as I have little time to do this justice.
27/11/2014 - 12:14 PM

"The B-Karloff Hotel"

"The B-Karloff Hotel"Hi Malcolm...........have uploaded a modification to illustrate the following points.
I feel that the composition is pushing the subject out of the frame. The heavy lean of the trees and the fact that the picture leans a little to the right gives this feeling. In my modification I have rotated the picture slightly anticlockwise and cropped the half tree out of shot together with a bit from the bottom to maintain some aspect ratio.
I have brightened the image a little using the "curves" tool and eliminated the black border which I feel is not quite right with this image. Try a wide white border as this will lighten the image and not compress it the way black does.
You could also crop much closer and eliminate some more of the trees.
Just my idea and hope it gives you a few more
27/11/2014 - 9:08 AM

Try as I may....

Try as I may....Thought I might add a tip..............but I think Nathan has covered everything anyone needs to know. I never take a tripod out with me and have the same problems you have encountered. The only help you can look for is to find a solid object and place the camera on that or alternatively use it to brace your elbows on. (I find vertical columns the most useful....but that usually means a portrait format shot) It does give you enough stability to take a pretty sharp shot of a well illuminated image. I would also go for manual focus as low light often defeats the auto focus mechanism. Also make sure that the flash is suppressed to avoid looking like a numpty when taking a long shot of the Eiffel Tower WinkWinkWinkWink.
This shot has one very good thing going for it and that is that the sky is still a shade of blue and not totally black and the composition is good for the subject. I won't say its good ............ but it aint too bad WinkWink
05/09/2014 - 9:53 AM

The Beach

The BeachHi Kurt
My problem with this shot is I am torn between subjects..........the guy central or the people in the sea or the others walking out of shot on the beach. I assume the main subject is the guy looking out to sea and have loaded a couple of mods for your consideration. The first one is how I would see the picture had I taken it. Just a couple of ideas BlushBlush
24/06/2014 - 9:33 AM

Sunrise over Dartmoor

Sunrise over DartmoorLovely capture of the silhouette on the horizon and the great sky colour. I do feel however that there is too much black foreground and this rather dilutes the image. Personally I would make a crop of the right corner (keeping the same aspect ratio) but bring the horizon down to a third of the height of the image. This would balance the picture and I think improve it enormously.
06/06/2014 - 10:46 AM


PeacockA good angle for this tail shot and the background is not too bad, being one of trees rather than anything else. Maybe you could have upped the shutter speed or lowered the ISO to open up the aperture a little. This would have reduced the depth of focus and put the background more out of focus. Always so much to think about when a quick opportunity presents itself
04/06/2014 - 3:01 PM


ThistleI rather like this but the bit at the top in the centre seems out of kilter...........my suggestion would be to crop just on top of the spikes of the central "flower" which also would lose the raggy tips of the leaves. Hope you don't mind my suggestion and always feel a little uncomfortable when doing so...........but its only an idea BlushBlush
It is a rather strange and very appealing manipulation and I must look to my software to see if I have such a filter
30/04/2014 - 9:24 AM

SPINBALL In action

SPINBALL In actionHello Paul
Glad you thought my comment to be of some use.
Regarding the use of Photoshop.............There is one thing that you will come to appreciate as your hobby progresses and that is that software (not necessarily Photoshop....there are many simple free programs available) is a useful tool and in no way should you consider it as cheating or changing a picture into something it was not.
Most jpg images can benefit from a little "sharpening" as many cameras tend towards producing slightly soft images.
"Cropping" is a useful tool for fine tuning your composition........sometimes you do not see something which detracts from your in camera view (as in the case with the mod I posted) also you may decide that what you originally intended when you took the shot does not quite work when you get it on screen.
Auto "White Balance" on your camera is usually quite accurate but night shots can easily confuse the camera and the final shot ends up not how you saw it in real time. Slight adjustments can improve an image.
"Levels" is a great tool to ensure that the contrast of an image is improved and you will learn to check the histogram of your pictures to ensure accurate exposure.
"Cloning" can be essential to eliminate features which you cannot avoid no matter where you stand to compose your shot. As a hypothetical case..........what if you picture above had discarded litter in the foreground that you could not move out of the way?...Your final image would be true to life but not very attractive.

I could go on and on...........My conclusion is that software is a valuable aid to getting the best from your pictures and should not be dismissed in any way. It will not recover a bad photograph but it will get the very best out of good ones.
Always try to get the picture right in the camera but do not join the league of so called "purists" who consider any such tuning as being taboo. After all your camera adds many software tweaks to produce the image in the first place....all you are doing with software is controlling the final outcome.

Also you may find you like the effects that can be produced from your camera shot..........I quite like converting some shots into an artistic "painting" effect. There are many photographers on here who use software to create some incredible surreal images.

As for this specific picture........apart from my "crop" I would perhaps add a very small amount of "sharpening" (always use "unsharp mask" (sounds odd I know)) but this used sparingly give a better effect than some of the other tools

Regards Phil
18/03/2014 - 4:58 PM


Cats..Very good detail in the fur and eyes. I think the bottom part of the window is not too relevant to the picture and you may find the shot looks better if you were to crop it off. (just an idea). Otherwise its very good
10/03/2014 - 12:59 PM

BT on a branch

BT on a branchThe blue tit is nicely detailed but the noise of the background spoils the full enjoyment. Also the foreground twig is a little intrusive.
The modification I have uploaded was done as follows;
Duplicate the background layer and apply either average blur or gaussian blur to smooth out the digital noise. Mask or erase the blue tit and then merge layers.
Select clone tool and carefully clone out the foreground twig and other areas which detract (bottom right and top left in my opinion)
The modification was carried out in a few minutes and needs a little more care and time to create a seamless image.
Hope this gives you an idea.
27/02/2014 - 11:23 AM

Beautiful Donegal

Beautiful DonegalGreat land/sea scape, bags of colour.............although there is a bit of a problem with the blown out clouds. I think you could crop way down below this and end up with a more panoramic style shot with still a lot of rolling cloud action. Additionally this would position the distant cliffs on the upper third making a better balanced composition.
It's still a fine photo and the sea is really good
07/02/2012 - 10:36 AM

Austerity plan...

Austerity plan...I have decided to give my award to this picture. It is given in relation to many of your pictures in this series and not just for this one in particular. I very much like your style of work which is quite unique (in my eyes). There are many images on this site which are technically brilliant but they have much in common with many other photographers. Landscapes, birds, posed portraits, still life shots etc, etc. All are truly excellent but I like to see something different and so far I have not seen your style replicated by others. The thing I like in particular is that each time you look at one of your photographs there is always something you did not see last time.
03/02/2011 - 3:16 PM

Point to Point

Point to PointExcellent detail in this shot. Just wondering if a crop of the left side to put horse and rider on a third and a trim at the top and bottom might bring a little more impact into the image. Just an idea on what is already a very good shot