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Starsphinx

OK then I will stick my head above the parapet first

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I love the whole thing of making the first footprint in virgin snow - the first post and thread on a new board is too good an opportunity to miss.

So my portfolio can be found at https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/starsphinx - opinions welcome.

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Just looked at your images and some look a bit on the dark side. Not talking about the night time images or Jedi Nights but general daylight and particularly snow scenes.

There are some good images too so don't be too disheartened as I am only trying to help.

 

Allan

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Just looked at your images and some look a bit on the dark side. Not talking about the night time images or Jedi Nights but general daylight and particularly snow scenes.

There are some good images too so don't be too disheartened as I am only trying to help.

 

Allan

 

 

 

I was about to write pretty much the same thing. If it were me, I would be lifting the shadows in post-processing in many of the images or even exposure as a whole.

I think your shots of snow in-particular need to be a bit brighter so that the snow looks white.. either over expose a bit if shooting manual or dial in some exposure compensation if shooitng in an auto or semi-auto mode.

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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Alan, I am never disheartened by decent criticism - I cannot improve if I do not know where I am going wrong.

I think exposure is my real weak spot.  I believe I have improved some since I started submitting but still have to work at it.  Unfortunately, I do not see enough snow to practice and was rather terrified of blowing highlights lol.  

I know I must try and work off the histogram more.

I do really need to get a new monitor - I work off an old TV which I have set as best I can without external calibration but I suspect the colours are still all over the place.

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21 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Alan, I am never disheartened by decent criticism - I cannot improve if I do not know where I am going wrong.

I think exposure is my real weak spot.  I believe I have improved some since I started submitting but still have to work at it.  Unfortunately, I do not see enough snow to practice and was rather terrified of blowing highlights lol.  

I know I must try and work off the histogram more.

I do really need to get a new monitor - I work off an old TV which I have set as best I can without external calibration but I suspect the colours are still all over the place.

 

Colours do not seem bad it is just exposure. Of course with a better monitor you will be able to see where you are going wrong but working to the histogram shoul give you good images too.

 

Allan

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Colours do not seem bad it is just exposure. Of course with a better monitor you will be able to see where you are going wrong but working to the histogram shoul give you good images too.

 

Allan

 

 

I know I tend to run monitors bright - which does not help.  I have to get the brain over the disconnect between what my eyes say and what my brain says.  I think also with the snow there is the problem the images were actually taken on an incredibly dull dark day - it was still full snowstorm when I was out and I developed to what I could see.  I will go and run them through PS again and have a play.

And hope for some more snow lol

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Your Honda Legend is parked in front of Lidl not Aldi!

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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

I think exposure is my real weak spot.  I believe I have improved some since I started submitting but still have to work at it.  Unfortunately, I do not see enough snow to practice and was rather terrified of blowing highlights lol.  

 

1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

I will go and run them through PS again and have a play.
 

 

If you have PS, I'm guessing you have Lightroom. And if you have Lightroom, this video (others are available!) might help... no need to worry about blowing those hightlights 🙂

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nick Hatton said:

Your Honda Legend is parked in front of Lidl not Aldi!

Thank you.

I shop at one the cars were at the other - and my brain gets mangled.  I will go and correct.

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Posted (edited)

On the whole I think you have rather good documentary images.  The snow scenes do need to be lifted by  around 1 stop of exposure maybe 2 but nothing that couldn't be fixed in Lightroom/photoshop/RAW editor or similar.

 

The coin shots do suffer with flash reflection are you using on camera flash? Perhaps diffuse the flash with sheets of tissue to shoot through to avoid the glare.

Edited by David Pimborough

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12 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

On the whole I think you have rather good documentary images.  The snow scenes do need to be lifted by  around 1 stop of exposure maybe 2 but nothing that couldn't be fixed in Lightroom/photoshop/RAW editor or similar.

 

The coin shots do suffer with flash reflection are you using on camera flash? Perhaps diffuse the flash with sheets of tissue to shoot through to avoid the glare.

Thank you.

The coins were a major experience in how to improvise when you have none of the recommended necessary equipment except a tripod lol.  I would not even have attempted them except for many there are no examples at all in the database.  The final set up (and I did go through multiple lol) involved the coins on a piece of paper on a kitchen chair with my SAD screen light balanced very precariously above and the on-camera flash.  I did try long exposures, no flash, remote shutter using a phone app, and different arrangements but this was the best I could manage.  I then had to do a lot of work in PS - all are cut out of their original background.  

I have ordered one of the light tent setups from a certain auction site - I have been assured it will be useless for pro photography but I figure it has got to be easier than the complete bodge this took.  It is all a learning experience,  and personally, I find I learn a lot more doing things with the wrong equipment or non-professional equipment than I do in situations where I can go straight in with the "proper" equipment and method.  I will probably reshoot the coins - and if the results are a major improvement reupload and delete the ones here - in the meantime I figure it is better to have one less than optimum result for a search than no results at all.

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I have ordered one of the light tent setups from a certain auction site - I have been assured it will be useless for pro photography but I figure it has got to be easier than the complete bodge this took.  It is all a learning experience,  and personally, I find I learn a lot more doing things with the wrong equipment or non-professional equipment than I do in situations where I can go straight in with the "proper" equipment and method.  I will probably reshoot the coins - and if the results are a major improvement reupload and delete the ones here - in the meantime I figure it is better to have one less than optimum result for a search than no results at all.

 

These were taken in one of those light tents from a certain auction website 🙂 :

 

Light bulbs shot against a white background. - Stock ImageA pile of british coins. - Stock Image

 

You do have to do quite a bit of post-processing however to get to this point. But don't write off your purchase immediately 🙂

 

 

 
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18 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

 

If you have PS, I'm guessing you have Lightroom. And if you have Lightroom, this video (others are available!) might help... no need to worry about blowing those hightlights 🙂

 

 

Thank you for the video - very very useful.  I will be having a play in lightroom.  

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Coin shots could be cropped to advantage and a pure white background would be preferable. You can do this in PS if you can't achieve a pure white background in the original, time consuming but possible. While a light tent is a good investment the light from a north facing window or bounced flash would also be worth exploring.

 

Some of your shots have excessive irrelevant foreground - I recognise this from my own misdemeanours!

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Posted (edited)

The technical aspects of your pics have already been commented on. 

 

In terms of content - 'people doing things' is what sells.  You have some great images of incidents with the emergency services, Stonehenge etc, but over half of your pictures are without people/person.  Most of my sales are of pics with human interest, but not all.  Try and do more people pics and you should see greater success.  Also, increasing the size of your port should yield more results.  Just trying to help...  😊

Edited by Colblimp

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39 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

The technical aspects of your pics have already been commented on. 

 

In terms of content - 'people doing things' is what sells.  You have some great images of incidents with the emergency services, Stonehenge etc, but over half of your pictures are without people/person.  Most of my sales are of pics with human interest, but not all.  Try and do more people pics and you should see greater success.  Also, increasing the size of your port shout yield more results.  Just trying to help...  😊

Thank you.

I am strangely awkward around people in some situations - at the moment I remain highly uncomfortable doing "street" and do not have the funds (or willing relatives) to do model work.  

My own personal site is actually almost all people - I  do football match photography.  I think the difference is at a match I am there officially with the permission of the ground owners and the home team.  The same with emergency services stuff - that is through a small local newsgroup so I am "supposed" to be there.    I am trying to get out of my comfort zone to do more street in situations where unlike at Stonehenge there are not a thousand other photographers causing me to blend.    

I also continue to try to guilt trip my adult children into doing some modelling but they still run a mile lol.

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