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Forum: Photo Critique 03-07-2016, 11:38 AM  
Macro Moss & Rock
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 15
Views: 1,286
Hi
As mentioned above diffraction degrades the overall sharpness. It's explained well here Digital Camera Diffraction – Resolution, Color & Micro-Contrast .If you go online and plug in the numbers you'll find the DOF is quite small. The closer you get the smaller it gets, down to fractions of an inch. In a situation like above focus stacking would work. Set the camera to manual, set the aperature to f8 and take several photos at different focus points an stack them in software. If things are moving it's a different proposition but here it would work as everything is static. Here's a link for a DOF calculator. It's also a really good site for explaining a lot of concepts. A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator
Regards
Forum: Photo Critique 03-07-2016, 11:23 AM  
Night Seattle skyline and ferris wheel
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 11
Views: 1,669
Hi
Nice images. As for the two of the ferris wheel: As they are composed and framed I think the first is better, stronger composition, also the color is stronger on the wheel itself. I like the second one for the strong color and a different view. In this one the actual ferris wheel and crane and such are distracting from the reflection on the deck. If you were to crop the top off between the hub and the top of the lights it would almost be a square crop which would remove the crane and make it a stronger and more interesting composition I think.
Regards
Forum: Photo Critique 10-23-2014, 09:08 AM  
People Cousin
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 9
Views: 1,469
Hi
You've taken some effort to find locations and pose the subject. The first two she seems a little stiff in her pose but that's common unless she's a model and used to posing. In the first two there is way too much space above her head. You manually focused on her face it looks like but didn't recompose afterwards and her face is left dead center. I usually use only a center spot to focus even with autofocus lenses, focus on what I want and then reframe the shot. I like the first shot best, she's attractive and has a nice expression. In the second the arm and hand seem a little more relaxed but I prefer the smile in the first one. I don't think HDR is needed here, the dynamic range isn't too extreme. I think the first one is pretty good with some reworking. First I'd crop down to square format as there's too much dead space above her. I'd crop in a bit on the left side, there is a thin strip of dead space on the edge. I'd correct the distortion. I'd use highlight/shadow correction to bring up the shadows and tone down the highlights. I'd warm up the tone, she's in the shade and its fairly cool. I'd clone out some of the distracting elements, the white disc below her hand, the drawstring on her hoodie and the bolts in the lower right. I might add a slight vignette and do a bit of dodge and burn on her face.
I took a quick run at the first one and posted the result here to show what I mean, not perfect but gives you the idea.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/15585256006/

Regards
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 10-22-2014, 08:19 AM  
Landscape Need opinions: which PP looks best ?
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 42
Views: 4,206
I like the second one best of the four if you are just looking for preferences and not a critique.
Forum: Photo Critique 08-22-2014, 09:31 PM  
Landscape Lake HDR
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 6
Views: 906
I think the composition works. It would be nicer with a more interesting shape to the stump but you have to work with what you find. The HDR has captured the range of tones . On this site it looks a bit over saturated. I did a screen capture and opened it in PS and it looks better than it does here. As it stands(on this site anyway) I feel it's somewhat over saturated in the reds and yellows, if you pulled them back a bit I think it would look more natural. The biggest problem here are the heavy magenta CA's on the top of the stump and some odd blurring. That would need to be removed and cleaned up. Some people just don't like HDR no matter how it's done. It's not like it's been cranked up to eleven with halos and horrendous colors .
Forum: Photo Critique 07-23-2014, 07:01 AM  
People Nana
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 11
Views: 891
Hi
Everyone has a different opinion and you'll seldom get a consensus. I find it much too contrasty. The eyes are dark and have lost detail. It's outdoors in the sunlight which is going to emphasize the wrinkles. Great for character studies of old men but I don't know that many women want that emphasized. They might be OK with being old but I'm not sure they would want to make it more pronounced than it needs to be. Softer light will help reduce that a bit like on a cloudy day or in a shaded area. The softer, more diffused the light the lower the contrast. You used some fill flash and it's unobtrusive but it's not enough to fill in the shadows. The framing could be tightened up as I feel there is too much area above her head. As mentioned a larger aperture or backing up and using a longer focal length would soften the background to have her stand out a bit better. The color is a bit cool and might be warmed up a bit. The jacket is quite a strong blue and dominate and takes attention away from the subject somewhat so a B&W version might be an option. I did a quick, rough edit to illustrate these points and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/14538659529/in/photostream/lightbox/
That's my take on it, others may have other ideas.
Forum: Photo Critique 07-10-2014, 09:40 PM  
People children & football
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 13
Views: 1,058
Hello
I can't say I like the processing here with the strange color. I'm not sure what the intent was with the color shift but if it was to make the boys stand out I might make the surroundings monochrome and leave the boys in color. I did a rough edit to show what I mean and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/14625134145/in/photostream/
I tried to get the color back to a more natural hue. I also straightened the horizon as it's sloping down to the left.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 06-24-2014, 06:23 AM  
Nature Please help me choose best photo for contest
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 24
Views: 1,607
You never know what someone will choose as best and why they chose it. Basically you have two judges, a professional who will winnow out the entries and a bunch of people, most with no expertise choosing the winner. Which, as with all contests leave you wondering why was that one was chosen over this one. I don't know if the destination of the photo will come into play ( a company calendar ) or not. With that being said my order of preference would be # 3, #2, #1. Number 4 would be out of the running. Of course others will have differing choices.
Good luck
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 06-13-2014, 10:17 PM  
Landscape My first attempt at Landscape
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 6
Views: 851
Not too much to add. As mentioned f22 will give greater DOF but diffraction will lead to lower sharpness and you don't need to stop down that much to get everything in focus. If you were stopping down to get a slow shutter speed a neutral density filter would be a better option. You can get apps for your phone that will give you the numbers, the focus point, the DOF at different f stops etc. On android a free app is DOF Calculator. In this instance for example you could have used f8 and focusing at 10' you would have sharpness from 3.17' to infinity or the hyperfocal distance of 4.66' and have DOF from 2.33' to infinity. It's quite handy for landscape photography, you choose the lens focal length, aperture and focus point and it tells you how much is going to be sharp. As for CA's it varies depending on the lens, the lighting and the high contrast edges. In this photo you have magenta CA's along the edge of the foreground rocks. You use lightroom so when you develop the photo scroll down to lens corrections, click the color tab and your sliders are there to remove it. You could also try the profile tab. If your lens has a profile you can download check the Enable profile corrections and it will automatically correct lens distortion and CA's for you with a click.

---------- Post added 06-14-14 at 01:36 AM ----------

Not too much to add. As mentioned f22 will give greater DOF but diffraction will lead to lower sharpness and you don't need to stop down that much to get everything in focus. If you were stopping down to get a slow shutter speed a neutral density filter would be a better option. You can get apps for your phone that will give you the numbers, the focus point, the DOF at different f stops etc. On android a free app is DOF Calculator. In this instance for example you could have used f8 and focusing at 10' you would have sharpness from 3.17' to infinity or the hyperfocal distance of 4.66' and have DOF from 2.33' to infinity. It's quite handy for landscape photography, you choose the lens focal length, aperture and focus point and it tells you how much is going to be sharp. As for CA's it varies depending on the lens, the lighting and the high contrast edges. In this photo you have magenta CA's along the edge of the foreground rocks. You use lightroom so when you develop the photo scroll down to lens corrections, click the color tab and your sliders are there to remove it. You could also try the profile tab. If your lens has a profile you can download check the Enable profile corrections and it will automatically correct lens distortion and CA's for you with a click. The DA 15mm ltd does have a profile by the way.
Forum: Photo Critique 06-12-2014, 06:12 AM  
Landscape Distracting?
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 7
Views: 776
I agree with the above about it being an ugly shrub that is distracting. Having an element like this helps give some perspective and depth to the image but in this case it's too obtrusive. I don't know if there were any other more photographic shrubs to use or not but maybe a different angle or vantage point might have worked better. The one piece of grass extends into the sun and is distracting too. I would assume the subject is the sunset over the city. The size and location of the foreground is competing for attention in this case. That's my 2 cents.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 06-12-2014, 05:55 AM  
Nature Dafs
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 5
Views: 597
Hi
Nice sharpness, soft light and a neutral background. I like the framing and the variation of tone in the background. With a mass of flowers it's very hard to get a framing that doesn't crop out some flowers. I don't know if having all of the cut off flower at the top in the frame would work better or not, one of those things you'd have to compare to see if it's better that way or not. It might come down to personal taste. As for a focal point it's hard with a subject like this.The eye is drawn to the brightest part first but that's a mass of flowers with nothing for the eye to settle on. The flowers on the left are more separated and might make more of a focal point but are in shadow so the eye keeps going back to the brighter area. Perhaps if the orientation was reversed with the left hand side facing towards the light and the mass of flowers falling into shadow would work better. Of course it depends on the setup. If it's a tabletop shot easy to try. If it's light coming in a window and the background is a wall not so much, unless you turn the flowers around to face the other way but that changes the composition and the way the light falls on the background. That's my take on it.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 06-06-2014, 10:40 PM  
People Still Learning
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 15
Views: 1,399
Hi
As mentioned above the WB is off. Of the two I like the pose and expression of the second one. The first is off balance, too far to the left and the smile is too big if you know what I mean. The second has a great wistful look. She's looking off to the distance and it has more impact. The flash is harsh and has cast hard shadows which is a shame. If you were to try it again something to soften the light would help. The legs are quite dark, and I find distracting and would just crop them out. I did a rough edit to show what I mean and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/14363066814/in/photostream/
Changed WB, lightened the shadows some to show how it might look with softer flash and show my choice of crop in this instance. You have put some thought into the photos and gotten a number of things right. Flash off camera, non distracting background and a good time of day. That's my 2 cents.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 05-21-2014, 09:27 AM  
Not Work-Safe Accident Scene In Pano
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 7
Views: 464
Hi
Nothing wrong with the subject, it isn't sensationalized, it's something you'd see in the paper or on the news. My only comment would be the left hand side is so dark, my eye keeps being drawn to it because it is so dark in relation to the rest of the scene. I know it's in shadow but lifting the shadows would help a lot. Actually one of the comments above was the car was missing. It's there, just to dark to see it.
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 05-21-2014, 09:16 AM  
Abstract Lone Tree
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 8
Views: 601
Hi
The composition is OK. There isn't much color other than the sky which competes for attention since the eye will be drawn to color. I might try it as a B&W which I think might make the tree stand out more. The other thing is that in a seascape the horizon has to level here it slopes down to the left.
Cheers
Forum: Photo Critique 05-18-2014, 08:17 AM  
People Portrait
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 6
Views: 683
Hi
Without the story behind the photo the viewer is left to wonder what is going on. Why are these people kissing in garage behind a big engine? For you it has context and a meaning, the viewer is left to go "huh?". With to story behind it the garage is fine as a location. The lighting as mentioned is wrong. It's low "Frankenstein lighting" which has caused hot spots on the engine and heavy shadows on the bodies and ceiling. Getting the flash off the camera, diffusing it and getting it higher and a bit off to the side would help. That would require some expenditure of money, light stand, diffuser of some kind, (umbrellas are cheap or make your own softbox. You said when you bounced it, it was underexposed. There are only dark surfaces to bounce off of and a small flash wouldn't have the power. You need to raise the ambient light and use to flash as a supplement rather than the primary source of light. As for the pose it's good for you but for the uninformed it might be better with the two of you facing the camera. If it's a commemoration of finishing the engine perhaps a small printed card with the event and date and your names wouldn't be amiss. I offer that because my wife is into genealogy and comes across family photos of grandparents and relatives is left trying to piece together who the people are, when it was taken and what was the occasion. Sometimes successful sometimes not. I have a box of family photos from my extended family with no idea who they are and what relation they are to me in many cases. I went through them with my mom to give what information she could remember but even so some of them were guesses. It makes sense to the immediate family but as soon as a generation has gone by it's lost. So future generations might be grateful for some info. Of on a sidetrack here.
Forum: Photo Critique 05-11-2014, 10:55 AM  
Pets Cat profile - Improving beginner photography
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 11
Views: 1,073
Hi
Lots to learn. Apart from the things mentioned above I'm wondering about the settings on the camera. The EXIF data shows you were in program auto and it looks like it was a bright time of day so I'm wondering why the shutter and aperture were chosen by the camera. A slow shutter speed and wide open aperture. The background is blown out and the white balance is in auto also but the color is off. I don't know if the color of the fur is accurate or not but the greens are definitively off. I'd check that the camera is working properly. Are other photos turning out better?
Forum: Photo Critique 04-15-2014, 09:14 PM  
Abstract first try b&w
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 3
Views: 635
Hi
A casual portrait. A few thoughts. First was this converted from a color photo or a B+W jpeg from the camera? If you shoot RAW + jpeg you will have the best quality RAW file to convert to B+W and you will have a B+W jpeg to review on the LCD to get an idea of how the tones look. Converting a color photo will give you a lot of control over the tones of the various colors. As for specifics on this image. The subject is basically centered in a horizontal format and there is a lot of dead space on either side. A vertical might have been a better choice with a single person or framed tighter with the subject off center. Or cropping it after the fact in PP. It's rather dull and muddy in tone and results in a low contrast image. The histogram shows most of the tones are all in the lower half with only the highlights on the right. Lifting the shadows and brightening it would help spread out the tones and give more contrast. I don't know what you use for PP so how you do it depends on the program you use. Curves or image adjustments shadows and highlights etc. Looking at the exif data it looks like it was fairly dim. ISO 1600 and 1/00th with limited DOF and round OOF lights looks like you were shooting wide open or only slightly stopped down.
I did a quick edit to show what I mean with the above comments and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/13886742613/
That's my take on it others may different opinions.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 04-14-2014, 06:57 AM  
Abstract Watcher in the Evenin
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 3
Views: 510
Hello
The first thing I thought looking at the photo was is was very underexposed. I captured a screen grab and opened it in PS and the exposure lightened up quite a bit so you could see something. There's a person on a bench and a flower pot in the lower right. It's frustrating that images won't show up like they do from one program on your computer to another like here. I'd suggest if this is up for a critique that you alter it so that it shows up onscreen here as to match what it looks like on your computer even if you have to alter it to do so because if someone just judges it looking at the image on screen here you're going to get different responses. Now having said that I'm assuming that's the case, I'm not sure but this sort of thing happens a lot. Color shifts, exposure etc when things are uploaded. If that isn't the case then I'd say it's very much underexposed and lacks detail. When viewed when it's lighter there is a distracting red thing (a flower ?) poking up from the bottom at center.The person sitting on the bench makes the image, it wouldn't have much interest as it's framed here without him/her. The image is rather flat though I feel. Some don't like to alter images much and put them up without changes or very minimal changes as you've done here but I like to play around to see what can be done with them. Anyway I did a quick edit to show what I mean and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/13847624553/in/photostream/
That's my take on it, others may have other thoughts.
Cheers
Forum: Photo Critique 04-11-2014, 12:51 PM  
People Portrait in black and white
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 4
Views: 749
Hi
I'd agree with the first post. I thought it was a duotone because the pink in the background and the foreground looking a bit cool. Converting to grayscale or adding a saturation layer and sliding it to the left would fix that. The subject is placed dead center with a lot of wasted space on each side. A square crop might be a better choice here. The subject is also a bit dark and lightening the midtones might be in order.
Regards
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 04-11-2014, 09:27 AM  
Abstract white or not
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 13
Views: 923
Cute, a nice pose and expression. Of the two, the first one is much too dark and blue. The second is better but still dark and the skin tones are greenish. The white of the fabric seems to be neutral but dark but her skin tone is off. I'd lighten it up some more and warm the skin tone if you want a color photo. Personally I think it would make a great monochrome as there isn't much color to begin with. Lots of options with monochrome, warm, cool, high key etc. just play around till you find something you like. I think it's a nice photo just needs tweaking.
Forum: Photo Critique 04-07-2014, 08:36 PM  
People Soak up the sun
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 12
Views: 1,053
Hi
A nice sense of her enjoying the sun. A couple of thoughts. I'd try to recover the blown out highlights on her forehead. The other thing is the exif data, it can't be right. ISO 100 1/2000th at f22? It doesn't add up. There is hardly any DOF so I don't think it's f22. The sunny 16 rule would be 1/100th @ f16.
Forum: Photo Critique 04-07-2014, 12:14 PM  
Macro Tabletop photography - Marvin Rouge
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 8
Views: 946
Hi
Good shot for just starting. It's interesting and fun to do. There are tons of things to try. A lot of the items used as props, lighting or modifiers and can be made yourself or purchased cheaply. Of course you can spend lots of money on things too but if you like to tinker it's fun to make or modify things yourself. You mentioned YT. There are thousands of videos on pretty much anything your interested in. I typed in DIY tabletop lighting and got this result.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=diy+tabletop+lighting
Another site for making things yourself is http://www.diyphotography.net/. Great place for how to's on making lots of stuff.
You can photograph using strobes or flashes but that is expensive. Continuous light is great because you can see the affect it has on shadows and reflections and such. LED's are nice. You can adjust them, they don't get hot and some of the better ones have adjustable color temp. Compact florescent are good too. Get daylight balanced ones and put them in Luxo type lamps that you can move around. You can adjust the intensity if you get variable ones and a control or you can just change the distance. I have a variety of lights and modifiers. LED flashlights are good too in some situations. Really the only limit is your imagination.
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 04-01-2014, 11:22 AM  
Abstract Bowling Alley
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 21
Views: 1,681
Hi
Welcome to the forum. Since you're new to photography there is a lot to learn, in fact you never stop learning. First is to learn the controls of the camera and the basics of how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work. Then there is composition and then there is post processing, etc. Then as you get more knowledge you start refining techniques, approaches to take photos and better processing of the images.
Here is a link to one of many sites for basics but it explains things well I think.
Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community
As for processing check out YouTube, thousands of videos. I typed in "basics of photoshop elements editing" and this is what came up. Some are better than others but something to work with plus you can bounce back and forth to try them on your photos as you follow along. Here's a link to what came up.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=basics+of+photoshop+elements+editing
As for this specific photo. When we start out we make mistakes and aren't even aware that we are doing so. In this case as mentioned the shutter speed is too slow. You say you were trying to get some motion to show but in this case there isn't enough motion to stand out and has resulted in a soft slightly blurred photo. The processing is really dark and contrasty. There isn't any detail in the dark shirt and her face is quite dark. She is centered in the frame which in most cases is a giveaway that it's a novice's image because that's where they always put the subject. If you look at the photo there is a lot of empty space that doesn't help the composition. Thinking about the framing beforehand is best but things can be done in pp. In this instance cropping in and moving her off center and lightening the subject and tweaking the color will help. Slightly blurring the background more will help her look a little sharper in comparison. You can do a lot in pp but it's best to start with the best image and the resulting image will be better for it.
Since describing things is rather vague I've done a quick edit to show some of the points I've mentioned and posted it here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69407470@N06/13565577574/
Cheers
Greg
Forum: Photo Critique 03-31-2014, 05:53 PM  
Landscape Spring flowers
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 5
Views: 560
Hi
Of the two the second one is better. The first one has no real center of interest. The yellow flower draws the eye but there are distracting elements like the OOF flowers at the edges of the frame. Flower photos are usually best with either a wide view showing hundreds or up close. Middle distance ones like the first often include things that make the composition messy. Also the first photo was shot at 800 ISO with a shutter speed of 1/3200th. It's best to shoot at the lowest ISO you can use in the situation that gives you the shutter speed and aperture needed. The lower ISO will give you better dynamic range and lower noise. In this case the shutter speed could have been several stops lower and you probably could have used ISO 200 or even 100 if your camera goes that low.The second one has a center of interest and the eye naturally goes there but the OOF stick in the background distracts from it. Always watch what's happening in the background, it's like when someone takes a photo of a person only concentrating on the subject and then when you look at them later you find a tree or pole growing out their head. You have to train yourself to look around the frame when you take the shot. You can fix a lot of mistakes in PP but it's best to get the shot right in camera if possible. Lots to learn. The camera controls and composition and PP.
Cheers
Forum: Photo Critique 03-30-2014, 11:10 AM  
Abstract The Birds
Posted By Gregory_51
Replies: 2
Views: 366
My guess is they are squirrel nests for over winter. Fairly large and made of leaves.
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