Subject: Re: Delurking and looking for advice.
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)
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> On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:14:39 +0200, "Catherine Milton"
> >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,
> >and then compress to make them fast enough to load. I compress until I
> >them to about 100kb - my aim simply being to beautify my site and
> >people to come to South Africa. I'd like you to comment on what you feel
> >might 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
> >sell an inferior product, so maybe you can give me your take on that. I
> >put 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.
> 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
> 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,
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Re: Delurking and looking for advice.
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