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29/10/2010 - 2:42 PM

Two's joy

Two's joyhi xiaoli,
this is a lovely subject for the shot, I couldn't help but play a little with it, hope you don't mind. I totally agree with the advice given above, regarding sharpening settings, the truth is, it takes a lot of time and practice and playing around in order to start understanding how this works. I'm not very much into sharpening, but I have to admit the original was, in this case, a bit blurry. I tried a mod in order to give some small hints which might help when trying to bring the subject more into focus: first of all, a slight change could be brought by exposure adjustment. This does not literally sharpen the image, but it often helps to emphasize on some details which weren't visible at first. A slight increase in contrast contributes in approximately the same way (you can try it yourself on photos which look a bit dull at first; just keep in mind not to abuse it; when processing images, you can try to compare the current version with the original, or with an "intermediate" modification, which would be 1-2 adjustments before). This will help make a balanced modification.
One more thing I did in the mod was slightly decreasing the blue levels, for warmer, natural and more vivid colors. Especially in a case like this, where the subject is mainly red, saturation or tone adjustment could help.
Then I went on to sharpening, which was very slight in order not to create additional noise. As mentioned above, very low radius (in my case, it was: radius 1, threshold 2 and amount: 90, but this can vary in a certain measure.)
Another hint, which takes more time to achieve and which can help a bit with images where ever since the original the subject was not sharp (and where sharpening doesn't help too much) is "tricking" the eye: you can selectively blur the background instead of sharpening the subject -but this is only for extreme cases. I chose a blur vignette which allowed blurring the margins and keeping the deer head and neck into focus, just for a touch of background blur.
Hope this helps (I must also mention that color and levels adjustment caused a bit of colour noise on the wing of one of the birdies; that should be healed or cloned, but unfortunately I only noticed it too late, after the upload... but apart from that, I hope my suggestions weren't that bad. They're not necessarily "straight from the book", but they might work as small hints and tricks).
Good job, again Smile and thanks for sharing!
28/10/2010 - 6:42 PM

Patricia Routledge OBE

Patricia Routledge OBEgood portrait, but i have a slight comment to make: either this was s very very tight crop, or there is just a bit too much sharpening, but there's a bit of noise, which should not occur normally with just 64 ISO. apart from the grain (a bit bothering for my taste), i must confess that the spark in the eyes is -repetitive as it may sound- brilliant. good job.
17/10/2010 - 3:26 PM

Another Beauty

Another Beautynice composition, but i would have some slight critique, if accepted Smile. First, this seems to have been taken with the flash turned on. This is good, since it provides enough light, but there is one disadvantage too: the model's left foot grabs all the attention, because of the overexposed area under the toes (and because it is very close to the camera, too). A light source placed in a different spot would have helped Smile.

Secondly, the model's left leg is rather dark and the skin doesn't appear very smooth. again, i tend to believe that a different location o the light source would have helped a little with this... And finally, the model's blouse is a little overexposed and drags the eye rather to the chest, and it's a pity since the model is so nice ad there should be other points of focus for the viewer here...

A nice attempt, overall, with good composition, colors, and -suprisingly- a natural touch, in the model's attitude and in the general atmosphere. Just a bit more attention to details, and this could turn out good.

Hope this hasn't been harsh, I'm just trying to help . Good job and keep it going Smile
15/07/2010 - 6:16 PM

Taking off

Taking offthe "portrait", as opposed to "landscape", is the kind of shot you initially took: the one with the vertical sides longer than the horizontal ones... now that i gave it a second thought, perhaps square crop would have been better than portrait, but with the background you had (the descending lines of the fence) it now dawns on me that your crop is probably the best choice indeed, as Pamela suggested. (I still consider the WB adjustment necessary, though Tongue). You can do this with the processing software... depending on what you use, you can look for the white balance button, and then it's all about playing until you get the best white balance. (by selecting different color areas from the photo, if you try you'll see what i mean.) Apart from that, you could also improve the tones in the shot by adjusting the RGB channels until the blue shade fades off. Perhaps you already knew that, but I mentioned it whatsoever, to make sure.
Looking forward to seeing more shots Smile
Kind regards.
14/07/2010 - 7:50 PM

Taking off

Taking offa nice attempt; above what was suggested above (higher shutter speed for sharpness, lower aperture and, if still necessary, higher ISO), I would add a bit of white balance adjustment. the photo as such has a very strong blue shade, which makes me think of a photo taken early in the morning, but i don't think this kind of shot needs the cold morning atmosphere. for more impact, i think that maybe a portrait crop (and not landscape) would also add.

that's all Smile
12/07/2010 - 8:12 PM

the viewer

the viewerconventionally, the viewer should be looking straight at the scene.

unconventionally, a viewer is someone standing apart. someone who is not as involved as the participants.

conventionally, a composition such as the one suggested by nick bring the subject into focus. if the subject is a viewer, the title does not fit the mod. or the mod does not fit the title.

unconventionally, the subject can be the one chosen by you.

(from your pf, the best shot, if you ask me.)

conventionally, a photo should be sharp; unconventionally, it is not.

The only issue here is, stock photography is full of conventions. I, for one, admire those who break the rules, as long as their work is efficient. And i like the innovation in your work; it is efficient for those who can feel out of the box.
10/07/2010 - 12:22 AM

Rush Hour in the Underground

Rush Hour in the Undergroundi saw the tension and movement in it even in the gallery, as a thumbnail.so i'd say yes, you caught the feeling of movement excellently. a very good one: high contrast, movement blur, mono, falling diagonal...everything works just great.
28/06/2010 - 2:11 PM

The Sculptor

The Sculptorhi Cosmin,
This is a nice attempt you've got here, the idea is fine and the pose is quite suggestive. However, you've chosen a very mild and soft approach, while this kind of shot is usually supposed to have a powerful impact on the viewer. I had a play with it and uploaded 2 mods on your previous photo. They're quite extreme, but just to give you a hint of what i'd see them like.
First, the composition is ok in this upload, but I think that a tighter crop would emphasize the spiral -or the swirl in the model's contorted position. I also increased a bit the contrast and highlighted a little the left side, to add a hint of turning towards oneself as an artist, and that of creating oneself alone, in the dark, with just a memory of the light outside (the outer world, the reality, call it as you wish).
As i said, my mods are quite extreme, but I hope this would give you a clue of how to improve on conveying strong feelings. If, on the other hand, you wanted a very soft approach to the subject, your version is fine.
22/06/2010 - 6:37 PM

Family out

Family outhello,
it's nice shot you've got here, with a natural point of view but also with a bit of perspective distortion. i personally don't mind that, but some might; it's up to you whether or not you want to correct that.
apart from this, there is a very strong red cast to this image. i suggest that you try to adjust a little the RGB. if you do so, take note as some parts might go burnt (the image already seems a bit overexposed on the whole). if the original affords you to do so, try to brighten it up a bit less.
one more thing is that the image looks a bit crammed up... my eyes went straight to the silhouette in the far end... perhaps you could clone that one out.
i guess that's all i can suggest at this point. hope it helps and hope you don't mind (i tried not to be harsh or anything).
i'll give it a click whatsoever because i personally like the idea and, as i already said, the POV. Smile
26/05/2010 - 3:44 PM


Charlie!!!a very nice candid shot, but i find it a little underexposed; that, together with the rather cold tones, gave me a rather sad feeling. i don't know if my mod fits your taste, but i just tried to cheer it all up a little; i adjusted the exposure to make the color of the eyes more visible (as it's a wonderful shade of deep blue) and then decreased a little the blue channel, to warm it up... i would have blurred a little the hair on the forehead, as it is obvious that is where the focus point happened to be, but i didn't have the time to do so. i'll just mention it here, as a suggestion...
All in all, a very nice shot and a very sweet nephew Smile
Wish you all the best!
16/01/2010 - 3:13 PM


I DID TELL YOU!hello, Lilian
you've got here a really nice shot, well spotted and captured right on time. i uploaded a mod where i tried to make him look a little more fierce, by emphasizing the folds of skin: a little exposure adjustment, with a little lowering of the shadows and midtones...and a slight contrast boost. i also applied a little blur on the margins and sharpened a little the center of the face, as there was quite a lot of good detail there... i have also tried a bit of crop, as i would have preferred just a little more space on the right (in this case)...or, thinking of the original image, on the left, to leave enough space for the look and the jaws;
it turned out rather different in the end, but i think it suits the fierce look Smile
kind regards
16/01/2010 - 1:03 PM

young cheetah at Chester ZOO

young cheetah at Chester ZOOhello, sylvia
i thought i'd have a go with this one, as there were two things i would have liked to suggest. first, the colours were quite faded, and it is a pity, for the cheetah has such wonderful tones... i just increased a little the saturation and the contrast, in order to get brighter colors... as for the focus, it only took seconds to give it a little sharpen and then manually blur the background... i used acdsee, it has a tool for manual blur where you can select the nib width and then just applied it on the background, little by little.
hope you'll like itSmile
wish you all the best
30/12/2009 - 7:56 PM

More Natural Self Portrait

More Natural Self Portraithello, caroline
there are lots of things to be said about this shot... not really great ones, i'm afraid. first of all, the portrait is not in focus; the background is sharper. even when using a small compact camera, this can be avoided. secondly, there's the date; adjust your camera so that it doesn't show the date on every picture; it doesn't add any effective or artistic look. Thirdly, i'm not very enthusiastic about the composition; the elbow is left out completely, maybe it shouldn't have been cropped out...or a different arm position... and then, there's the fold of skin on the right side of the image which doesn't contribute in a pleasing way... my opinion, try these minor changes and the result might turn into a good start for editing Smile
happy new year!
02/11/2009 - 6:17 PM

old timer

old timerbetter in black and white, for me, as the colors were too intense in the previous version. However, i would have enjoyed to see just a bit more of the hand and cigarette; hand are usually expressive too and in my opinion the fingers would have added a great deal to a feeling of "completeness" of the character.
But the old chap himself is stunning whatsoever and the expression is very well caught, indeed.
27/09/2009 - 9:55 AM

past it's best

past it's bestHello, Valerie
I agree with Susan, this is a wonderfully pleasant image, the lighting is fine and the atmosphere speaks for itself. I saw you had wanted the center to pop out, if i can say so, and i tried my best with this.
Shooting in macro automatically blurs the background and sharpens the subject, but if you want to go for even more emphasis on the subject, there are some post-shooting hints that may help.
What i did first was to play a little with the exposure. because of the fact that usually the eye automatically focuses on the bright ares first, i darkened a little the background (by adjusting the midtones and the shadows) and then increased a little the highlights; i also removed the very small overexposed center of the plant in order to recover some detail.
Then, i went for some warmer tones, by adjusting the rgb; a little boost in red and green makes it all warmer.
A little bit of sharpening to make the center clearer and then a blur vignette and this is it!

I hope i have managed to help at least a little.

Congratulations for a nice post, well composed and pleasant for the eye to watch.

Have a nice day!
12/09/2009 - 1:38 PM


Quote: Plenty of varied textures in this yet I feel side lighting of some kind would help lift the image i.e. sunrise/sunset.

i agree; i tried to create some warmer tones in the mod i've uploaded, as it all seemed cold and maybe not enough fleshy-like. I also adjusted a little the exposure and the contrast, boosted a little the saturation and added a little of sharpening on the wood and some blur on the bottom to make it stand out...
hope it helps

Congratulations for the nice observation and wish all all the bestSmile
12/09/2009 - 1:29 PM

a lady

a ladygood use of depth of field, but i would have liked a little more space on the right... and the bottle could be cloned out, i assumeSmile but anyhow, it should have got more votes...
12/09/2009 - 1:26 PM


A wonderful natural close up you've got here... the water lily is overexposed, but the effect it creates is quite ok, however, i thought i'd give it a try to recover some detail or colour. I also wondered if a mono version hadn't worked too.
These are personal variations, but what i dare to suggest however is a different crop. i found there was too much space allowed to the leaf at the bottom so i straightened the image a little to keep similar composition lines and then cropped it a little..
I also tried some soft tones, i don't know if any of the mods is ok with you, but, anyway, these would be my suggestions.
However, this is a really good shot and pleasant to watch.
Wishing you all the best
lead miners old stone built henhouseA nice place to take a shot, and the house has a lot to offer, as the texture of the walls is nice, the green grass is a good background and the weather was great.

However, I found the image a little overexposed; it seemed to lack clarity, depth, contrast and strength; for a miner house, i would have expected something a bit darker, deeper, some visual suggestion of what miners live like...i thought it had little impact on the viewer, so i went in for some exposure adjustments, i also added some contrast, increased saturation and blurred a little the margins, for the eye to focus on the house... maybe not the perfect modification, but i do hope it has helped you a little Smile
20/08/2009 - 4:05 PM

'From the Earth'

'From the Earth'Interesting theme to reveal; the colours are fine, i personally also like the round lines and the way the light falls on the edges of the bowl - just enough to underline them. I had a small problem at first with the metal handle that appears in the foreground, but after giving it a second thought, i started feeling comfortable with it.

It looks like a great macro when viewed small, yet, when opened large, it looks a little blurry for a high quality macro. The camera seems to have gad some slight problems if finding the right focus point; in yesterday's photo, there was enough light on the subject and the camera found it easier to focus with good detail and sharpness. For the picture, I would suggest a bit of Photoshop work with sharpening on the points of interest Wink good job and keep it goingSmile we're looking forward to some more.