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Subject: Re: Delurking and looking for advice.



On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:14:39 +0200, "Catherine Milton"
wrote:

>Hi,
>
>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 Minolta
>Dimagez1 at maximum resolution, which I then scale down for my web pages,
>and then compress to make them fast enough to load. I compress until I get
>them to about 100kb - my aim simply being to beautify my site and encourage
>people to come to South Africa. I'd like you to comment on what you feel I
>might be doing to improve them. These are some of the pics in question:
>www.africanbush.co.za/images/Corti/Corti4.htm
>www.africanbush.co.za/images/Ryan/Ryan9.htm
>www.africanbush.co.za/images/Ryan/Ryan7.htm
>www.africanbush.co.za/images/Grossi/Grossi8.htm
>
>Some of them, however, I feel are good enough to sell. But I don't want to
>sell an inferior product, so maybe you can give me your take on that. I can
>put some up on my website for you to look at as separate pages (not linked
>to my site), but is that wise, given that they are close to a meg each.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Catherine


Hi Catherine,

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

http://www.jamesphotography.ca/Demos/CortiBulbul_remake.jpg


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
very inspirational.

Stay in touch,

--jim

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