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(by Stuart Holmesto Stuart Holmes)

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Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/26/2016 12:28:08 PM) - Good handling of shadows, but I think this area is blown out.[^214;408;1] Composition leaves my eye wandering a bit.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/26/2016 12:19:27 PM) - I really like the mood and the lighting here. I suggested a crop that eliminates some of the darker areas only because you might then be able to upload with a higher resolution and still stay under the size limits. (I do wish this scene was sharper overall, but I'm not sure how much has been degraded because of the small file size...)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/26/2016 12:15:03 PM) - Good even lighting and nice catch lights in her eyes. I like to also go in during post and try to lighten the iris just a bit to avoid even more any chance of "dead-eye."

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/25/2016 12:03:53 PM) - Macro work is so fickle right? This must be the ultimate in motherly "dead"ication! Very interesting subject. I wish the black areas showed a bit more detail, and this area of the egg sack [^321;217;1]. What can you share about the settings used in this shot?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/25/2016 10:36:09 AM) - #1 DAT(Davey Towers): Thanks so much! (I still think there's nitty little things I could clean up.[^634;292;2]) Thank you for taking the time to submit a comment! It makes the site much more engaging!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/24/2016 2:15:49 PM) - One of my favorite things about photography is the act of turning "common" things into art like you have done here. The color is strong and vibrant. Nice! I wonder if it's been over saturated or if the focus isn't quite on. I wish I saw more detatail in the petals.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/24/2016 9:36:09 AM) - Good tone here. I think I wish for a stronger anchor here, or perhaps just a bit more light or detail so I can understand what I'm looking for here.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/24/2016 12:48:08 AM) - Another great shot in this series! What do you think about smoothing/ cleaning up this area?[^446;383;1] (I always find that sort of thing tricky as it's easy to make things look too clean, but this spot sort of jumped out as not being as polished as the rest of her skin-tones.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/24/2016 12:45:03 AM) - Very nice work. I'd love to see a comment up here about your post-production process for this. Looks great!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 8:20:55 PM) - Ray hit the mark. I saw the same issue with another shot of yours I think. Something to soften your light source could really improve these shots a lot. What are you using for light?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 8:19:23 PM) - As was said, beautiful light and details in this shot! I do wish the horizon was leveled out. (It feels like the river will just drain out of the bottom left corner!)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 8:17:45 PM) - I agree with Zenonas! Love the low angle. I feel the train could be slightly brighter maybe.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 8:16:21 PM) - The dark sky looks ominous, as though that back hoe is getting ready to do some damage to the house...

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 8:08:03 PM) - Fun use of selective color! (I wouldn't want to move him off the sofa...)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 1:45:23 PM) - #1 Ray Griffiths( ): Yeah, I think so... There's another in the series where she has a really funny and intense look, but the reaction photo after the "bubble strike" was not as good, and it didn't seem to flow quite as well as the center to this set. Perhaps I will post it by itself later. (These days it's sort of tough to have enough photos on which to vote..)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 11:42:25 AM) - Very nice color and the DoF is right where you'd want it. Are you also the flower arranger?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 9:37:21 AM) - #4 Ray Griffiths( ): It certainly helps I think.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 9:34:32 AM) - I love the warm tone. Funny, I wonder what causes the sun to look like it has ears here...[^924;253;1][^998;251;1]

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 4:02:05 AM) - #1 Ray Griffiths( ): You know the old joke... "That's no person, that's my wife!" (She's also walking down the street on the left...)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 3:02:23 AM) - #2 Ray Griffiths( ): Agreed! I hope you don't feel I'm being too critical, but I remember starting out in photography just how much I learned from the comments I received here. It was months and months before I saw a score above 7.8, and rarely did someone vote without also leaving a comment. I'm hoping to pass on that same experience. The format here on Photoblink is unique even if not as spit shined as another site I believe you and I are both on. (I wish there was more critical commentary there as well, though some really top notch work!)


Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/22/2016 1:46:00 AM) - I come back to this image a lot. The eyes of the fly are really really great! I wish for a bit more DoF, but I know that is tough. How are you lighting this? One thing I find distracting is that it seems too glossy. Perhaps that is from a direct and unfiltered flash? Super work, nevertheless!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/21/2016 7:20:40 PM) - Ray, This has some great elements. Eye-line for example. It calls for the viewer to wonder what they are looking at. Sure there are some technical issues I think, for example the red jacket is perhaps over-saturated and therefore pulls my eye to the jacket where I think I want my eye pushed out of the frame. But from a story telling point of view, there's much more going on here, but I also think you can do better and better if you constantly evaluate your work. Did you choose the high perspective on purpose? Would it be more effective from a lower angle, or stronger if you had an angle where we saw a little more of their eyes? What if we almost felt like we could see what they are seeing reflected in their eye? Would that be stronger?

I'm not saying there's anything wrong in any of your work. I'm letting you know what I (and likely others) see in your work. If you are not happy with the message being communicated, then you keep trying until you get the feedback you are looking for. The power we have as photographers is to bring the "essence" to the forefront so others see the essence as well.

Cheers, and again, thanks for engaging in discussion!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/21/2016 6:59:00 PM) - #2 Ix Ray: I do play guitar, and there's nothing particularly phenomenal to see in this performance as you've presented it. If I am not seeing what you see, then let me know what it is you want the viewer to see. Maybe I can offer suggestions to make it more clear. As photographers we all want to convey something, and our art is only successful to the extent that we acheive this. Hopefully we bring something to the results a non-photographer with a smart phone would not. This way our art serves to open minds.

Thank you for engaging in the discussion!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/21/2016 11:10:40 AM) - I'm just not seeing any of the creative aspects I'd expect in a conceptual photo. (i.e. an unusual point of view, perspective, interesting leading lines or a particular mood, etc.) It's a good snapshot I suppose, but really, other than advertising for the whisky company what was the concept here?

(I don't mean to be harsh, but I try to justify my votes with a comment as to what I'm seeing in a shot. This used to be a community full of critical but helpful comments. It seems people just vote to be able to post. I miss the more thoughtful discussions that helped me improve my work.)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/21/2016 10:40:20 AM) - With the title, I get the concept of the shot here. I feel like there needs to be more visual punch or something in the composition that gets the idea across more clearly. I'd prefer to need the title less to know what you're going for. On a technical note, I know we all sort of struggle to get our photos under the size restrictions. There's quite a bit of chroma noise in this, probably compounded by compression to jpg. (I go back and forth on this myself,) but in some cases I think a lower resolution in favor of less compression is better than the other way around, but perhaps not with every image.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/20/2016 10:35:09 PM) - Not sure what that is... But it's bright red!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/20/2016 10:33:26 PM) - I wonder how this would look if there were more detail brought out in the pipe?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/20/2016 10:30:43 PM) - As aRay said, a nice scene. I wish the image size limit would be increased as I feel this (and other images) are really suffering from compression artifacts.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/20/2016 5:24:52 PM) - Clever!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/18/2016 12:17:59 PM) - Perfect Title. I like the way her eyes pop. Would you consider smoothing the skin in the cheeks a bit more here? [^331;351;1]

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/18/2016 12:16:18 PM) - Nice conceptual shot. My only comment is that I am distracted by the artificially blurred background. I don't think this concept needs it at all, and in this case the blurring doesn't follow what one would expect from bokeh due to limited DoF.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/18/2016 12:13:02 PM) - Wonderful light! (I think it needs a touch of CW rotation.) Fabulous work!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/18/2016 12:11:49 PM) - Good title for this image! I love the concept. It looks like this shot suffers from a lot of jpeg compression noise? I wish I could see it in its full sharpness and resolution...

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/16/2016 10:49:36 AM) - I like the way the building is framed. I think some work to bring out the colors in the building would really help the subject stand out. Nice depth of field allowing the cross and building to both be in focus. I wish the top of the cross had not been cut off, however.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/16/2016 8:44:34 AM) - I love the way shadows have been controlled with the lighting. It looks as though she is posed next to a window. Natural light?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/16/2016 8:22:09 AM) - #1 Ix Ray: Do you find there are areas blown out in this shot? Indeed, this is a bright scene but would you say it is poorly expoosed?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 11:14:13 PM) - Thanks for posting the details of the shot! (I have that camera and lens combo too, so it's great to have something like this to aspire too.. No excuses for equipment!) My lighting setup is much less sophisticated, but again, thanks for the details.

One of my favorite details here is the sweeping catch lights. [^396;213;1] I'd have been tempted to get rid of this stray hair in post.[^486;443;1] but others give a nice wispy feel to the shot. Great!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 11:00:28 PM) - I'm just struck by the place itself. (The photo is superb!) There appear to be ruins in the middle of this town and I can't help but wonder how old they must be, and am saddened by the fact that here in the states they'd have been covered over. This photo makes me determined to go there. (I think that's pretty high praise, yes?)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 10:40:44 PM) - #3 Koduck: Thanks! I see what you mean. I especially like how the detail is brought out in the blue areas, which are really lost in the original. I appreciate your taking the time.

Several years ago I was very active on this site and learned a lot from the detailed comments and critiques on the site. It seems quite a bit less active these days. I hope that will change. (My wife is sick of hearing me talk about photos so hopefully this can satisfy that need... )

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:26:00 PM) - I love the concept, but I think I'd have liked an extreme DoF to draw me down this passageway and maybe revealed more of the story.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:22:36 PM) - #3 Koduck: I'm curious what post work caught your eye with this.

Agree wil John. My only nit would have been to eliminate the black spec in the sky at the lower left of the image.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:15:28 PM) - I see why you took this shot, it's an attractive subject but I feel it get's lost in the background a bit. I'd love to see this perhaps shot much closer and with a wide open aperture to blur the background a bit and help the rose stand out.

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:11:35 PM) - #3 Ray Griffiths( ): I think you are right. I'll have to play around with this camera a bit more!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:09:43 PM) - #3 Koduck: What would you do? (It'd be great if you downloaded this image then posted an example...)

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 5:01:56 PM) - Great shot for showing the tenacity of growing things to survive and thrive!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 4:58:36 PM) - I would love to have enough command of Photoshop to execute something like this. Really great.

Top 10 Recommendation
Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 3:13:08 PM) - I'm still really just beginning to work with artificial light and as has been said, this is wonderfully lit. Can you give a description of your lighting setup?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 3:10:19 PM) - Great opportunistic shot. The background kind of spoils it for me, but with these critters you take the shot you're given!

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 3:03:59 PM) - I love the way Macro work opens up these seemingly alien worlds. Thanks for being on Photoblink. Did you try any shots of this critter from a less side-on angle?

Comment by Stuart Holmes(7/15/2016 3:01:59 PM) - #2 Ix Ray: I hope you weren't offended by my comments at all. In the past Photoblink has been a great place to get and give constructive criticism, which I've always valued and enjoyed. It seems these days the community is much less active. (I've been away for some time...) Thanks for being on Photoblink.

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