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Critique please

1. jonfletch26 February 2010, 14:19 GMT +01:00

Hi there,

Uploaded some photos of flowers lit by a torch. They were rejected for two reasons: poor lighting and excessive fringing. I understand the fringing and am able to get rid of that, but the lighting was kind of the idea of the photograph (I was doing a tutorial from a DSLR Magazine). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I have uploaded them to


2. assiewin26 February 2010, 20:42 GMT +01:00

Not sure why they got rejected, but I do like them a lot.

3. GerbenVanErkelens26 February 2010, 23:33 GMT +01:00

I like them alot either. Pretty nice photography style you managed there.

4. xymonau27 February 2010, 10:07 GMT +01:00

Arty, but a bit hard to print a few. And are the reflections fake? They seem to be blurry and hurt my eyes. Less darkness and a clear reflection (I mean, show the subject completely), and I think they would be accepted. (I'm not an approver, so that's just an opinion.)

I think stock is a bit different. You can have arty stock, but have to consider the potential medium in which the image may be used.

5. jonfletch28 February 2010, 15:22 GMT +01:00

Thank for the comments.

@ 4, the reflection looks blurry because there are two reflections, one from the top of the glass and one from the bottom. I don't know how to stop this though; tinted glass? I might have a play with the glass, try lighting them more strongly and see what happens

You are right, they are probably the wrong type of image for a stock site.

Thank you...

6. fishmonk28 February 2010, 15:47 GMT +01:00

I disagree that they are not useful stock, though would agree that their use is limited. That also applies to many subjects too though - like a great shot of a hedgehog for example.
My own site uses a black background. Therefore images with white background don't work well. These would be ideal. Fringing is not a good look for any stock, but I rather like the stylized lighting. Not everything here downloaded will be printed, many images are used exclusively online. My thoughts would be to keep on experimenting with these.

7. jonfletch28 February 2010, 22:20 GMT +01:00

Thanks for the encouragment everyone, I will have another go.

One more question. By poor lighting, do you think that it refers to the whole of the flower not being lit? So for example in image 5 the top of the flower is lit and the remainder is dark? And in image 2, not all of the petals have the same amount of light falling on them. If I get more even light over them, will they be more 'useful'?

Sorry, one more question! The purple fringing. I couldn't use a UV filter as I don't have one for my macro converter. Is there any other way or reducing it when taking the photographs?


8. xymonau1 March 2010, 2:46 GMT +01:00

I never implied they weren't pretty images. And I have a preference for flowers pictured against black. I have also had images rejected for having poor light, when that was the whole point.

The reflection is really hard on the eyes and needs to be sorted. Do you use an image editor? Perhaps they would look better with a fake reflection. And most modern editors will remove the worst of the fringing.

You make too much room for the reflections, so the images are out of balance. A much tighter crop is needed on the first, which looks like a spor of image in a massive darkness. Put the image to one side so the blackness becomes copyspace.

The lighting on 2 and three is wonderful, but I'd crop 2 until the black is minimal on top and bottom. 3 is hard to fix because of the piece that extends into the reflection. But it would look better cropped top and bottom until the body of the flower points directly to the corner. I wouldn't know how to sort this one because of its shape, but it would work without the reflection. It also has a large blown out area at the tip of the flower. I don't know how that would work in print, but it could be fixed.

4 needs a crop and removal of the reflection, replaced with a false refection.

The last one is just too dark, and doesn't look very good. That's the one that needs to be lit completely. See how the light works well in number 2. That level at least would make this really great.

The fringing is really bad on several.

It's hard to comment properly without seeing them in the full size. If you want to send me the last two at full size, I could mess with them to show you what I mean. I don't have Photoshop, and I don't know if I can really make them better, but if I have time, I'm happy to try.

I am not an authority, and many of my own images do not reflect this advice. But I have learned some things as I go along.

9. jonfletch2 March 2010, 15:58 GMT +01:00

Des, thanks very much for the detailed advice and the offer of editing a couple of my images. I would very much like to take you up on that - on the understanding that it might be a while before you get a chance. What is the best way of getting the full size images to you? Is there a better site than Picasa?

I will definitely have another go at the flowers and I like the idea of trying to put reflection in myself. Work is a bit crazy at the moment so it will be a while.

Congratulations/commiserations on your SXC lock out!

10. xymonau3 March 2010, 0:46 GMT +01:00

If you have a Google email account, the files wouldn't be too big to send via email. Check the limit on your email account. I can receive up to 10mb on Yahoo, I think. Send one at a time, maybe. I promise I will not keep them.

Thank you. Probably congratulations is best. None of us likes to be insulted, and if we are, we prefer to be insulted by people we respect so that we can learn something (after nursing our wounds for a while! lol) I have not been insulted by anyone who has any effect on my self esteem. But the monkey has the keys to the zoo, and that's the frustrating thing. I didn't want to support Getty anyway, so it just happened a bit sooner than I had planned.

11. xymonau3 March 2010, 0:47 GMT +01:00

I forgot - send me a message on the contact form, and I'll email you with my address.

12. krayker13 March 2010, 6:32 GMT +01:00

great set of images. Dunno about the jury and their verdict though.

13. jonfletch22 September 2010, 19:01 GMT +02:00

Another critique please!

I work in a hotel and on quiet nights, I am able to take photos of food. The obvious problem is that this usually at night, and even if it is daytime, the natural daylight in the ktichen is very bad. I took a few shots of some duck the other night with various settings and these were the best: http://picasaweb.google.com/116581562326616841488/Duck#

They were rejected for poor lighting. I quite like these shots, but can see that the lighting is not great. They were taken under the halogen hot lamps with white balance adjusted for this. Any ideas on what I could try to improve things? Has anyone else encountered this problem? If I could get it sorted I would have an endless source of food images!

Thanks in advance.

14. krayker22 September 2010, 19:23 GMT +02:00

If you could remedy the white balance to a more neutral white instead of the slightly harsh yellow light then the reds would look better, also since color is relative, if you could eliminate the black at the far end then half the problems of lighting could be solved.

15. pitabox98727 September 2010, 15:37 GMT +02:00

Beautiful shots, but may have some limited uses as stock photos. White balance may be an issue, but probably less so given that they're isolated on black backgrounds.

16. fishmonk21 October 2010, 23:08 GMT +02:00

I balanced the white ok & sharpened it slightly, but got stuck there. The background is not easy to deal with. If you were to take these again, a curved piece of white card or paper at the far side of the plate may make isolating the meal easier...

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