Grumbler's lair

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    - Alexander Orlov


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Sometimes I am asked to estimate quality of a photo and to criticize it or to give an advice. I don't not think I am guru but if I have a couple of words to say I do not refuse to help.

Before send me any photo pease read the rules. And do not forget tha all comments to your photos or their changes in the Grumbler's lair are mo more than my subjective opinion and it is you who want to hear it. So, please do not be abused.

Alexander Orlov:

Alexander became the first courageous man who dare expose his photos to my criticism. Here is his photo of the beautiful flower:

Photo 1

First I should say, the composition is excellent — both the flower and buds are on right places! However, from the technical point of view the picture is not as good. There is a lot of dust on the photo. The most noticeable marked on the photo 1а by arrows. A part of this dust probably came from scanner glass (do not forget to clean it before scanning), and others came due to scaling down that made small water drops and light flashes to turn into strange white points.

Clean all that "rubbish" using Clone Stamp or Healing Brush tools. It is good to use Blur tool on the background to remove noise for example in the top right corner and to blur highlights on the bachground. The result is on the photo 1b.

Photo 1a Photo 1b

Then open Levels or Curves tool and move the black point to the level 30. Shadows containing no valuable data became darker and the common contrast of the picture became higher (see the photo 1c).

Now increase sharpness of the image. There are a lot of methods, I used one which involves the filter Glowing edges. On the photo 1d you can see the result of this action.

Photo 1c Photo 1d

at the end remove a cold cast on the image using Color Balance tool to add 15% of yellow and the same amount os green. The result is on the photo 1e. By the way I should reproach on the author that the photo has a flaw made during shooting: stamens are not separated from petals by tone. That gave rise to the volume loss. Maybe it was useful to find another angle of view or lighting to make the flower begin to sparkle.

Photo 1e

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On the other Alexander's photo the flower-bed with violets is shown. The author probably noticed that the picture is motley and overloaded. It was the reason to desaturate the photo except for one flower, I think. Alas, this trick did not save the picture. Plenty of contracting spots adversely affect the image appearance. The main idea — the beauty of the violet — is lost in the huge amount of details. What to do?

Photo 2

I can recommend to shot one or two flowers using telephoto lens or at closer dictance. A rough example is on the photo 2a and photo 2b. In this respect the photo 1 is much more showy.

Photo 2a Photo 2b

On the other hand on the photo 3 this trick is used successfully. Girl's figure is accentuated enough by the composition and making the rest of the picture black-and-white only additionally increase this accent.

Photo 3

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Updated: 07.12.07

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