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06/08/2014 - 3:22 PM

Feeding time

Feeding timeHi lee
Nice study. The exposure around the face ( the most important bit) is spot on, however the white fur on his paws seems a bit hot. I really like the differential focus, makes him stand out. Lovely and sharp with nice contrast and colours. I really like the way the background is from the same colour palette as the subject.
I know its nice to have him looking into space, but for me there is a tad too much, making it a unbalanced. If you divide the picture into two, there's really nothing very interesting on the right side. If it were mine I might clone out that blade of grass on the left.
I 'm enjoying the narrative of the animal anticipating a nice snack.
18/09/2012 - 7:52 PM

The Hound

The HoundVery nice shot Lee. Very well lit and exposed, lovely quality. Good pose.
If it were mine, I would crop tighter, the body is not really telling us much, I would turn it more definitely into a head shot.
I really like it though.
17/02/2012 - 11:13 AM


PonderingHi lee
The title says 'pondering' but I've never seen anyone 'ponder' like that, well only on cartoons.
The way the eyes are suggest to me that he is looking at somthing.
It's not a flattering pose, but then I'm not sure what you wanted.
The light is harsh and contrasty and rather over lit.
You would have added much more interest by careful use of light and shade.
He's a geezer, therefore you have to work much harder to attract people's interest. You have just learnt a basic principal of photography....girls are more photogenic Smile
11/02/2012 - 9:22 PM

Punk Girl

Punk GirlHi Lee ,
best I've seen from you so far.
Very good. If I was to be picky, the stray hairs bug me a little, and i'm finding the image a bit cluttered with pircings and spikes. But that's just me.
Great lighting, pov, attitude, composition.
28/09/2011 - 9:15 PM

The moment....

The moment....Hello Johnny
long time, no you throwing insults at me. Smile
I've read all the previous posts, so far so good.
But I'm sure you will apprecaite an honest and frank critque.
You say you have captured a 'moment', well yes in so much a photo by its very nature is a 'moment'. You say you have caught an expression, well she's laughing. Yes it is quite charming, someone has said something funny, even the registar is laughing, and I like the way the groom is looking at the bride, with more of a wry smile, maybe the jokes on him?
( that's a rehtorical question)
So thats the good bit...

Shooting into the light, always tricky, the glare coming off the grooms head is a shame, and the bright burnt out window is distracting, but maybe just about within the realms of acceptability, I geuss if you really like the picture.

But what really lets this photo down, and for me would send it straight to recycle bin, along with with all my other heroic failures, is that you have used your zoom at the wide end, and this has caused all sorts of problems.

Firstly way too much floor, unless you work for 'floors r us' this is just not interesting. The focus of the picture should be the happy couple. Have you heard of the expression 'fill the frame'
it doesnt mean fill it with premium timber.

But even worse than this is what you have done to the newly weds. Look at the grooms legs!
He looks like he standing in one of those mirrors at a fairground, that gives you short little legs and a really long body. So much distortion.

The book case looks like its about to fall over, and the poor guy on the right looks like Van Gogh. I'm not sure a disembodied foot adds anything either.

On your camera you should try and steer clear of anything less than 85 mm as if you do , hello big foreheads, big noses, big arse. Brides generally want to look good on their big day.

I hope you will accept this crit in the sprit it was given. Deep breathes and relax.....
03/08/2011 - 8:14 PM

The Look

The LookHi Lee
Ok you have the lighting sorted out, i like the use of a hairlight. If i'm being picky, there are a couple of 'hot spots ' on her nose, and under her eye, and on her shoulder. You could calm these down in ps. or next time be aware of oily patches that reflect light, a bit of powder on her nose may have helped, or just used a little less light. Anyway on the whole very good.
Once you have the techincal side of the lighting sorted, then you can start to think how to use it creatively. This picture is fine, but it lacks drama, emotion , a narritive. You need to start thinking about what you are trying to say, acheve, to take your photohraphy to another level.
Remember its often what you don't light that makes an interesting picture.
05/07/2010 - 11:15 PM

Armchair Beauty.

Armchair Beauty.HI Andrew,
I'm looking at this picture as a stand alone, although looking at your p/f it may make more sense as part of a series, 'Hannah in a white dress in lots of different locations'
The problem I have with this shot is that it seems to be missing a narrative. Without this I can only look at it aesthetically, and my honest opinion- it hasn't got much going for it.
I'm not sure what the purpose of this shot is, she is a pretty girl, skin and hair, pose of hand behind head and halter neck suggesting glamour. But that's where it stops- Dress like a tent, scruffy chair, scruffy floor. So for me it fails on the glamour, and it certainly isn't a fashion shot, or a character shot ,or a deep and meaningful portrait. Looking at the photo, I have no idea what you are getting at. I can imagine the girl asking ' why am I'm doing this?' , I wonder what your answer would be?
Without that narrative or point, there is not much to hold the interest. The background has lots of distractions, the tatty floor, the shape of the floor given by your POV, the black bit on the floor in an otherwise 'white ' shot, the many vertical and horizontal lines.
I hate the way the dress is wrapped around her leg so that it spoils a nicely turned ankle.I hate the dirty arm of the chair.
I've done a mod which addresses most of these points I have mentioned. Smile
19/05/2010 - 10:53 AM

No FT, no comment

No FT, no commentI really like the way this shot looks so different to the last one. The last one he looked friendly and approachable, this one like he wouldn't suffer fools gladly. And that's all down to you.
I like the pose and the newspaper prop, well thought out.
Some small things that strike me. On my monitor I've lost his arm, so a hand appears with no arm. If it were mine I would go into shadow/highlight, bring up the shadows until you can just see the arm/suit, make a black mask, and paint the arm back in.
The composition strikes me as a bit 'long', bringing back the arm might help this. His face is just a tad bright again.
You could do with a little space above his head.
I know you were only practising, but if this was for real, I would worry about that ill fitting shirt. I think you are duty bound to point out something like that to the client, put diplomatic hat on.
18/05/2010 - 9:43 AM

Desk job

Desk jobThink of a CEO shot, you think conservative and sober. I would think that's the shot you must get in the bag first. Then when you are confident you have that and if there is any time left, then you try something a bit arty and with more fun or character.
As this one stands, why did you use such a wide lens? Were you looking for distortion? I would have thought that's a no no for a business shot.
I'm not enjoying the big arm, but I really like the pose and the expression and the contrastry light ( ok you should probably tone down the right a little). You have given the subject personality which I really like. A business shot?.... Risky.
02/05/2010 - 9:05 PM

Monika V

Monika VHI Geraint
Good shot, I much prefer the higher contrast mono version.
There are only two things which spoil it for me. The pearls I'm finding distracting, they complicate a simple image. I'm visualizing this shot without them and in my mind it's much better. A case of less is more.
The other thing is that the crop on the left, looks a bit messy and unconsidered. That arm and hand coming into the picture from the left looks a bit clumsy and awkward. I don't like the look of the hand much either, in that position it looks bony and rather unfeminine, especially contrasted with the rest of the shot which is very sensuous.
24/03/2010 - 12:58 PM

Next Generation

Next GenerationNice set of shots.
The first one seems a bit 'hot' in places, the back of the hand, the belly, the nose, the cheek . This I think would be a better picture, if you could 'cool' these down a bit. The second one is less affected.
I 'm not sure about the way she seems to be holding her boob up, rather than just covering it.
I agree with Paul about the jeans( both sets as the holes are distracting as well ) , I think naked would have been better, but there might be modesty issues!
15/03/2010 - 2:48 PM


If...Hi Howard,
The light on the face is nice.
For me this pictures falls down on the composition and pose, the left arm going off into space for no reason, just doesn't look right. The right arm is clumsy as well where it goes out of the picture just leaving a sliver of shoulder and then comes back in again with a hand. I'm not sure about the way her hair merges into the background. You could probably get a bit more detail in PS, if you wanted. I'm finding the dress a little unbalanced as well, below the hand is just black, you may think about cropping this out.
The expression seems quite aggressive, not helped by the tension showing in the neck.
Apart from that I like it.
15/02/2010 - 10:34 PM

Station Man

Station ManHello Johnny,
Not a lot of comments here, so I thought I'd help out. Smile
What's holding this picture back, is a lack of narrative or drama, and a few technical issues.
Firstly the narrative. A photo shouldn't need a long description as you have given. The photo should do the talking, tell the story.
We have to look at the photo as we find it. Here we have a bloke reading the paper (somewhere foreign by the newspaper print, although not necessarily). He could be anywhere, at work or at home,here or abroad, there are no clues ( apart from the title) A bloke sitting down reading a newspaper is just not that interesting, there is no narrative or drama or emotion.
The cat doesn't add much interest either , and the two aren't interacting. This might be a good photo for you as you remember the scene, but not for the casual viewer.
I scan around the picture looking for interest, a focal point of interest. But there isn't one, we can't really see what you want us to look at. There is nothing for the eyes to settle on, and you quickly get bored.
Technically, the light is a bit flat and rather dull, and the shot could probably do with a sharpen. The picture is at an angle ( easily fixed) , the door leaning to the left, the equivalent of a wonky horizon. You have cut his feet and the newspaper, which doesn't look considered. The white patch on the chair is distracting, if it were mine I'd probably clone that out.
Not much to hold the attention, I'm sure you can do better.
13/10/2009 - 5:08 PM


TrialsI had to comment after reading Jane's post.
Never in a month of Sundays is that a 'soft porn pose', that suggestion is ludicrous. I don't normally comment on other peoples posts, but as you have been on a course and are learning, I would hate to see you led astray.
As the bride is on her own, it's a portrait; right? That's how I would judge it. The day was obviously not very bright, great for getting the dress nicely exposed, harder to get a bit of 'life' into the skin and eyes. The eyes particularly the left (our) one are quite dark, with no catch-lights to give her a sparkle; a reflector or a flash would have helped this.
The other big problem is the pose, the railings are great for giving the hands something to do, and people can look less formal when leaning against something. However with this pose and pov the picture is dominated by her arm, made worse by the fact that it's quite pale and therefore bright. It's also obscuring her neck. If she was to lift the arm slightly away from her body, it would probably look a bit slimmer, but that's by the by.
The fact that this girl had not modelled before is a good thing as it's more realistic, I'm assuming most brides haven't been married before.
I have to say she doesn't look very relaxed, its your job, to relax her, that's half the battle. I find the best way, is to encourage constantly, over and over.You probably didn't have very long, before the next person was chomping to have a go. But I guess in a wedding you don't have long either, so good practice.
If this were mine, I think I would tidy up the skin blemishes a bit, a lot of photographers I know, do this as a matter of course. It makes pictures more saleable.
09/10/2009 - 12:02 PM


EdHI Cathy
A good shot, nice black and white treatment, well exposed, I like the composition.
A couple of things, I'm not too keen on.
The multi catch-lights for me are a bit distracting, I mean the bottom ones, probably from a reflector. We are used to catch-lights from above cos that's where the sun normally is. If this were mine I would carefully clone the bottom ones out.
I not sure about his posture, he seems a bit hunched, which to me, gives a him a rather unconfident air.
08/10/2009 - 4:35 PM


Honey7HI Yellowduke,
Some nice shots in your p/f.
Can't help feeling that you need to put more effort into lighting your backgrounds. A white background needs to be lit properly to look white. Your backgrounds aren't white, which is fine if that's a creative decision, however yours are unevenly lit which makes it look unintentional.
In this shot the background looks coloured, down to under exposure or colour balance. Your model is pretty much on the same plane, so I can't help thinking she must also be underexposed or the wrong colour.
Two suggestions, make sure the background is exposed properly, then drop the model in and using more lights, expose for her separately. Be sure not to get glare from the background lights by moving the model far enough away. Use a grey card held by the model and set your white balance by it.
If you haven't got enough lights to light a white background, ideally you need 3/4, then I would suggest use a black background which doesn't need to be lit.
07/10/2009 - 1:57 PM


divaIt's an attractive image; I like the eye contact, the pose, and the imaginative use of a softbox ( can I have that by the way)- which works really well with the skirt.
Without wanting to sound like a camera club judge( which I am):
I would have liked to have seen her other leg so the crop looks more intentional. I would also liked to see a hair light used to avoid that dark roots look which is a pet hate of mine.
07/08/2009 - 6:48 PM


MidgeThis is much better than the last one, its sharper and has better light giving more contrast. The exposure is very good seeing as it looks like a very bright day, all the detail in the white coat has been held. We can see he has 2 eyes and 2 ears that's good.
However what really lets the shot down is the background, the unknown person with one hand and no head is distracting, especially with that check! Bear in mind when you take the shot, whats in the background? eg is there a tree sticking out of someones head, anything distracting to be avoided. Position your self to get the best background, or if you cant zoom in tight.
Its a shame you couldn't have got the dog to look at the camera, as a general rule, eye contact is good. I find a squeaky toy is good for this, also it makes them **** their head to one side, which makes them look cute which owners generally like.
This shot doesn't really show the dog doing anything, and it looks like he's being held. Capturing an aspect of the dog's behaviour can really lift a shot, like Cathy's shot of a dog running. The possibilities are endless, jumping in water, shaking off water, in a jack Russell's case chasing a squirrel or rat, jumping for a stick, barking, howling if its a husky etc etc.
05/08/2009 - 10:22 AM


MidgeHI Luci
My feeling is that the crop is too tight, you have cut his ear off, which just looks clumsy, and the shot has no room to breathe around the nose and chin, again you have cut the whiskers on his chin.
The light is very flat and the shot is not particularly sharp.
As a portrait its poor. Better to try and capture some of the dogs personality or behavior. Try to get the dog to look at the camera it makes all the difference, but takes a lot of patience and encouragement.
A portrait of a dog is much like any other portrait, strong well lit eyes are the key.
29/07/2009 - 9:12 PM


KristinaQuite nice, nice mood and colour palette. However to me she lacks a little contrast and depth, her right arm has a strange tone( have you tried to dodge and burn it?). Biggest problem with this picture for me though which kinda spoils it, is the arms. Always difficult to know what to do with them, this pose for me needs a bit more work to make it look natural.