Re: Delurking and looking for advice.
- From: "Catherine Milton" <pecan.nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 10:39:31 +0200
I thanks you for your input. I didn't respond earlier, partly because I was
away, and partly because I don't agree with you. :-)
Since I'm a rank amateur I don't have the right to disagree, and I was
hoping to get other opinions before I decide to change anything. I do agree
with you on the darkness of the birds head. I didn't use flash because I
didn't want to disturb them, but that was the sacrifice. I don't feel that
taking the branches away helps the picture in any way. I feel it takes some
of the atmosphere out of the picture. (I did look at your comparisons.)
Somebody else emailed me offline, with a suggestion to boost the shadow and
detail, also with an example. (was that you?)
I am not sure whether he overdid it to show, but somehow I thought that
while the birds could have had more light added, the result I was shown had
I hadn't noticed that the hippos were skew. The river is flowing very
strongly, and that may be what caused that. I'll play with shifting it
Now, having said all that, I do still want opinions, because at the end of
the day, if I can't sell any pictures then I may as well not be taking any!
So if the professionals all agree with you, then I'm going to have to change
BTW, I think I finally got the links right:
www.africanbush.co.za/Tours/Corti/Corti4.htm (the birds)
www.africanbush.co.za/Ryan/Ryan9.htm (ground hornbill)
www.africanbush.co.za/Ryan/Ryan7.htm (rhino sleeping)
www.africanbush.co.za/Tours/Grossi/Grossi8.htm (the hippos)
<jim.hutchison@n>; <o>; <s>; <p>; <a>; <m>; <shaw.ca> wrote in message
On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:14:39 +0200, "Catherine Milton"Minolta
I have been lurking for a while, and find you all very intimidating!!!
But I'm brave enough to also ask for advice. I take photos with my
Dimagez1 at maximum resolution, which I then scale down for my web pages,
getand then compress to make them fast enough to load. I compress until I
encouragethem to about 100kb - my aim simply being to beautify my site and
Ipeople to come to South Africa. I'd like you to comment on what you feel
tomight be doing to improve them. These are some of the pics in question:
Some of them, however, I feel are good enough to sell. But I don't want
cansell an inferior product, so maybe you can give me your take on that. I
linkedput some up on my website for you to look at as separate pages (not
to my site), but is that wise, given that they are close to a meg each.
You're asking for advice - that's brave! I enjoy your enthusiasm.
Here's my two cents:
The birds is the one with the most potential. (I can only load 2 as
well). The adult bird's head is quite dark... you may want to use
some fill flash to 1) fill in the shadows, and 2) add a catch-light to
the bird's eye.
Then, see if you can't get a little closer, or zoom in. This will
eliminate the distracting tree branches and simplify the picture.
Including extreneous content usually only works when it helps tell the
story. Otherwise, it's a good rule of thumb to keep your subject as
simple as possible.
You can boost your shadow detail a bit in Photoshop using "Image -
Adjustments - Shadow/Highlight".
I took the liberty of demonstrating my suggestions... take a peek at
I recommend you visit http://www.naturephotographers.net/ and browse
through their forums. There are ones dedicated to bird photography...
you'll get ideas from the great photos there.
The hippos are OK, but the composition doesn't really do anything.
Perhaps waiting until one or both are looking at the camera would make
a more interesting shot. Also, the waterline gives away that the
photo isn't straight... it needs to be rotated.
Hope that helps! Keep shooting, and keep asking for advice. One of
the best things I ever did was go shooting with a pro for a weekend.
Book learning can only take you so far... workshops and seminars are
Stay in touch,
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