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06/02/2011 - 9:34 PM

Great Tit

Great TitShowing some lovely detail with #1 Lillian and I think #2 is only a bit soft where it's turned it's head; do prefer the warm tones of #2 though.
Seeing these, it's also looking like you've only just got enough light, uing ISO 1000, and maximum aperture, so in better light the results will improve further with improved IQ from the sensor and the lens will probably be better stopped down a touch to f8 too.
05/02/2011 - 11:58 PM


Quote: This is a lovely low light street scene, and well exposed and composed. Unfortunately I am distracted by the fact that lens distortion is causing the buildings to lean in toward the centre, especially on the left hand side. This could easily be corrected in digital software, some of which is very powerful free off the internet ( eg gimp). However a sophisticated and easy program to use would be Photoshop elements - if you have it, open the picture go to Image>transform>skew and drag out the top corners until you are happy with the result. There are other ways to do this of course but this one is easy - and if you already know all this please ignore it. A.

My only slight dispute is that I see very little lens distortion here, where this looks instead to be almost entirely an effect of perspective from pointing the camera upwards.
Best corrected by holding the camera level when taking a shot; following accipiter's advice works a treat too, but you will end up needing to crop some of the edges
05/02/2011 - 10:54 PM


SistersLovely portrait and I like the happy smiles and dappled light from the forest.
I would prefer the tones a little warmer though; I'm guessing that the camera has picked an auto white balance based on the overall scene, but this has left them looking a little blue where they're in the shadows. If you can adjust the white balance, try a 'shady' or 'cloudy' setting and see if you prefer it?
03/02/2011 - 5:16 PM


FrogLovely portrait and the detail is excellent, although I'd personally prefer the frog less central in the frame by taking some off both top and left?
03/02/2011 - 12:26 PM

Highland cow

Highland cow
Quote: A little over-sharpened where you can see the distinct halos around the horns; but everything else just beautiful
Congrats on the HC
Tim,I think this is a problem which seems to arise when I save it for the web, I've had this on a few images, doesnt show on original or printing, I never use any sharpening at all.


Hi Phil; just shrinking an image for the web can effectively result in sharpening too - if you're using photoshop, when you're resizing, you have a dropdown with 3 levels you can pick depending how aggressive you want it to be. If you pick the suggested option for shrinking an image it does give these issues along the high contrast edges. To prevent this, pick the method it recommends for enlarging an image(!!), and if you don't mind the extra work, with a layer and a mask you could just apply that version to these already sharp edges.
02/02/2011 - 3:10 PM

St Malo

St MaloExcellent shot; what a fabulous little church and I love the drama with the sunset.
Assuming it's the blue of the snow that you don't like, you could roughly select the snow and then reduce the saturation of blues/cyans with a Hue/Saturation layer?
02/02/2011 - 2:12 PM

"Old Shep"

"Old Shep"Hi Carol
Sadly I was guessing that might be the case given that it was both the shadows and the highlights being clipped - nowhere to go once both ends of the range are exceeded in a high contrast scene like this.
RAW instead of jpeg would have given you a bit more scope, but I see your camera doesn't have that (despite an early review saying that it did Sad), but reviews do mention an "i-Contrast" mode that might be worth a try in cases like this when you got both very dark and very bright elements in the shot?
28/01/2011 - 8:22 PM


CupidA beautiful portrait Dave with that lovely expression, the green eyes and that one raised ear. (somehow feeling similar to one raised eyebrow!)
Being very critical, the focus looks to have just missed the eye - the suberb detail around the mouse and nose shows that in contrast the detail of the near eye and the fur around it, is good, but not quite as sharp - just enough that extreme fusspots would notice Wink
24/01/2011 - 4:21 PM


RoadNice view down the avenue of trees and off into the far distance.
The purple fringing in the treetops is caused by the high contrast edges, but is easily solved in PSPX2 if you want - right click the Background->Hue/Saturation/Lightness then from the Edit dropdown select 'Magentas' and reduce the saturation (probably all the way). If you've got purple objects that you want to preserve, then just select the trees before doing this.
23/01/2011 - 12:46 AM

Red Sunrise

Red SunriseLovely to see you back and two great images with that lovely sunset and proud portrait of the eagle.
I like the idea of putting them together too, and you've done a great job with the masking, but apologies for being awkward; I'd want the temperature of the light to match between the two, as well as the angle of the shadows before it feels quite right to me
12/01/2011 - 10:45 PM


RelicsLovely details of the slowly decaying boats and the muted colours fit well - do feel I'd like to see just a little more bottom and left though?
28/07/2010 - 8:45 PM

"Keeping Watch"

"Keeping Watch"Beautiful shot Lillian and bringing back memories of a great day; thankyou for organising it.
Detail and focus look absolutely spot on to me - checking out the eyes I make make out a sharp reflection including you, so I can't see how the focus could be any better.
And the blacks of the eyes also look deep, so I'd be happy with the contrast too - looking fluffy feels so appropriate of where they were in the soft light
09/04/2010 - 12:38 PM

Yellowstone (V)

Yellowstone (V)Excellent shot Dave and in a lot of ways I prefer this to the previous one where the oraange and blue are offset by the almost mono rocks.
The bacteria makes a nice sweep, round and up the corner, but I can't help feeling I'd like a little more on the left to accentuate this and show more of the triangular outcrop?
31/03/2010 - 6:26 PM

Seacliff Harbour

Seacliff HarbourGreat shot and I love all the striations in the rocks, that castle on the horizon, your work with the torch to lift the shadows and the effect of the long exposure on the sky.
I think Ade has hit the nail on the head regarding the composition though; a step back and two to the left to include the whole of the harbour would have made a lot more of the shot for me and would have helped make the boat more pride of place. As it is I can't fail but like the blurry effect, but without the whole boat and harbour I'm just not entirely sure on what is the subject of the image.
And personally would have liked it a little darker for the dusk feel - maybe you and I just have slightly different monitor settings Wink
13/03/2010 - 1:38 AM

Great Tit

Great TitA lovely shot Colin and a definite keeper in my book; good DOF, I like your composition and focus spot on.
And the original in #2 is showing some excellent detail and sparkle in the eye; apply your colour changes from #1 to #2, recover the highlights a little and I think it will sing.
For my money, I almost never apply noise reduction to fur or feather details as the baby goes out with the bathwater and you lose all the fine detail. A little noise gets lost with all the feathers and so isn't a problem; although if it's distinctly coloured you may want to correct just the chroma noise or desaturate in the blacks and whites as an alternative.
The lovely smooth background you've got though, is a different matter entirely - here the noise stands out to my brain and is noticable - so I would simply output from the RAW twice; once without noise reduction for your subject and once with the noise reduction for your background (probably with all sharpening disabled too) and then layer the two together - it's all about knowing where the software does a bad job and not giving it the opportunity! (PM me if you need a hand with the layers and masks)
Seems like you've the perfect image here to practise on and hone your bird editing skills to match your photography Smile
10/03/2010 - 2:22 PM

"Is that you"?

"Is that you"?Stunning shot Lillian, alert pose and beautifully crisp colours and details.
I've done you a mod with three really tiny tweaks:
- reducing the highlights above the eyes a little
- brightening the eyes a touch
- cropping just a bit off the right
Hope the differences show up in the smaller version and that you like it
(new lens now on order, hopefully getting here in time for my sister's and niece's birthdays; but very frustrating not to get it at the show price)
02/03/2010 - 1:31 PM

I am smiling !

I am smiling !Great portrait Colin and I love that eye contact and sunny details.
A little wide, but I personally like the space and the landscape crop. And if you're already at the limit of your zoom where turning portrait would give you no more detail (except for the ephotozine upload), landscape would then be my preference.
And some excellent advice from Geoff on the highlights, which will often come in handy - but as an alternative solution for this example, I've added a mod where I've just darkened the whole image - recovering the highlights and effectively boosting the contrast too
27/02/2010 - 1:53 PM

Mini Mountains

Mini Mountains
Quote: doesnt look over sharp to my inexperienced eye at least

Hope Dave doesn't mind as he was the first to point out the over-sharpening, but If you are interested, look down the right hand edge of the highest peak. You'll see a thin white line which the sharpening has added, which are often referred to as halos. Can be caused by either over-sharpening, or by an over aggresive resizing method - i.e. photoshop has a bicubic-sharper and a bicubic-smoother etc and PSPX2 has a percentage sharpening to apply when doing its bicubic scaling. Keep a particular eye out for high contrast edges and adjust the method used if you spot these extra white or black lines occuring.

26/02/2010 - 8:51 AM

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)Great shot Sylvia, nicely cheerful and a perky pose Smile

Reading Dave's comment, I think the things that caught his eye are a few patches within the cones that are still noisy and so don't match. (under the birds leg, two around the green cone, and bottom right) A small smoothing brush should fix this and the dark edge he mentioned is most prominent along the underside of the bird and a bit of cloning of the background replacing the shadows only should clean that up too.
Hope this helps

26/02/2010 - 8:37 AM

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)Lovely shot Sylvia with that great composition, and pose.
The slight distraction for me is some slight sharpening/resizing halos on the high contrast edges and the shiny highlights reflecting off the branch, which I would darken a little.
But in contrast to Dave, I really like your background which to me has a faded oil-painting kind of feel. Not to disagree with Dave as it's personal taste, but I prefer this sort of background to a plainer one. It has overall colour and interest, but no specific feature to draw my eye from the bird.