Commons:Photography critiques/October 2006

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Police Car Times Square[edit]

NYC NYPD Times Square.jpg

  • I need feedback on this image. On one hand I like the sky due to the long exposure but the neon signs are overexposed (is this actually a problem? Isn't it just advertising?). HDR would probably be helpful, but getting multiple exposures in a busy place like this is not easy. Does anyone have a good recipe for shots like this? --Dschwen 20:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Thy sky colour is great, I think the exposure is ok. But overall the image doesnt look that interesting - I tend to agree with what Mstroeck wrote in this FPC. Maybe, use extreme wide angle, and point the camera more toward thy sky, so its more prominent? --Wikimol 15:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I like the sky too, but it's just too busy for my tastes. Maybe take it even later in the night? Though for all I know there are always people in TS. Dori | Talk 04:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Portiuncula Chapel cross 0724.jpg

  • My trial at a contre-jour, black and white. Dori | Talk 03:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Nice sun position great cloud display the only detraction is the tree, roof etc on the bottom of the image Gnangarra 05:49, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I like the silhouette of the tree. What I don't like is the excessive symmetry (the cross at the middle of the picture) and the angle (the camera was too low). - Alvesgaspar 07:18, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the feedback. I think I prefer the silhouettes (for texture) and the symmetry. The angle I concede could have been better, but it was dictated by the sun's position at that time. Dori | Talk 03:52, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Wine Glass[edit]


  • Taken by me, any help especially regarding camera settings would be very welcome. Richard Cocks 17:55, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
    • With compact cameras you should try to make all photos with the lowest possible ISO (mostly 100) because otherwise you get noise into the picture. It is already visible in your picture that you made with ISO 200. If the exposure time is too long to hold it your hand you should consider using a tripod. --AngMoKio 18:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The glass is mostly out of focus. Get more light (also enables you to use a lower ISO)! Then, get the subject into focus and make it stand out more. You might want to try a more neutral background. This one distracts from the glass very much, makes it even hard to see. Or try to use maximum aperture and maximum zoom and move away from the subject to adjust the framing. This should lower the depth of field and blur the background more. I definately reccomend using a tripod, and more light if I may reiterate. But try to diffuse the light and stay away from flashes as they - if not properly bounced and diffused - cast hard shadows and make the picture look cold and boring. --Dschwen 19:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Is this picture about the glass? Or the glass in context? Is it an illustration, or art? I found the background very interesting, and this picture seems quite artistic. It may not be a good pic to illustrate wine glasses or windows, but it's neat as a picture. Because of that, it may not be as useful a picture for here as one that is just of the glass, with a neutral background. I liked it though. ++Lar: t/c 22:06, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
      • The photo wasn't intended to illustrate the glass, wine glass was probably a bad title for this section. This just however questions it's validity to be part of the commons at all however. Richard Cocks 22:42, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
        • Ok, I guess the section heading fooled me then ;-). Anyway, what is it intended to illustrate? I agree that we don't necessarily want commons to be a mere item catalogue so thee should be room for a pic like this. But I still am not too fond of the composition. It looks a bit unbalanced to me. Way too much detail in the background, the glass blends in too much and the window sill is very geometric and almost detail less. --Dschwen 07:05, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I like the composition and the image does fit within Commons, only minor faults are the background where the orange cloth/tarp detracts from the composition. Gnangarra 23:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I tried retaking the photo with lower ISO settings and avoiding the mess in the background. The results are at User:Richard_Cocks/wineglass. Richard Cocks 10:29, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I like the original composition most because its color and you can see the rust so good. If this should a romance shot put some wine in the glass, if it should illustrate poverty take an empty soup bowl. Low ISO and tripod are good. --Ikiwaner 19:10, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Grand Canyon Panorama (Version 2)[edit]


This is the edited version of the one above. I remerged the pictures after editing the source pictures. I think this is better, tell me what you think. --Digon3 14:23, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The caption says sharpened, but it looks blurred now. --Dschwen 15:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
It looks blurred because the remerged image is smaller. I'll upload a larger version of this. --Digon3 16:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I'don't understand. If the image is smaller it should look sharper. Apart from that no sharpening can ever really compensate for an out of focus picture. Believe me I f*cked up dozens of pano shots myself because one single frame was bad. It drives you nuts but in the end - even if you'd really like the picture to be great - the only thing you can do is write it off as a loss :-(. --Dschwen 16:37, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Besides the blurring, is there anything else wrong with this picture? I dont want to reload again after I upload the high res version. --Digon3 16:23, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
  • still some colour/contrast variant to final section I actually prefer the first edition. Gnangarra 16:32, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Tractor 0491.jpg

  • Another image from this set, I'd like to know how I could have gotten a better lit image on this tractor without overexposing, considering that it was very bright out there. Thanks, Dori | Talk 22:45, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, walk around and shoot it from the other side. Or... could have used a 3m² bounce card :-), or an insanely strong fill flash. I guess the picture just wasn't meant to be taken from that vantage point. --Dschwen 07:41, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Alternatively as the tractor is the target let it dominate the image say 2/3rds of the area. There are also specialised polarizing filters that would enable more detail on the tractor. Gnangarra 12:02, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Other factors would be time of day as this appears to be a middle of day pict maybe try early mornig, late afternoon. Gnangarra 12:03, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I did have a polarising filter, but the pictures with that come out too dark, I guess I could have let it expose longer. I did want the field too for context, and this was the only time when I was passing by that road. Thanks, Dori | Talk 12:17, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
What you can get is area specific polarising filters, but they are generally available from more photographer professional type stores. Gnangarra 12:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I went through your EXIF-data and considered the image. Here are some suggestions. First of all, I think you have used "The Kit-Lens", which should be good enough for these kind of pictures with f10 and 1/200 sec as an exposure time. Hence, the equipment is not the problem. However, what I notice, is that you have used partial-metering. This is good choice for metering. However, you have to know how to use it. The partial metering in cameras assumes that something like 10% of the center of image is 18% grey. In your image, I do not think that this is the case. Hence, you get weird looking images with curious exposures. What you should try, is either using basic matrix-metering, which measures exposure from the whole image or metering the partial metering as per few rules. For partial metering, if you are in clear sky situation (like yours), meter from the sky, lock the metering, re-compose and take the shot. This is what you see pros doing all the time (If you ever wondered why they point cameras against the sky). If you are shooting against the sun, meter one sun away from sun (and DO NOT look at the sun, it can wreck havoc in your eyes) and lock the metering. If you are shooting reflections in water in landscape, meter from the reflections, lock the exposure, re-compose and take the shot. And one curious thing, if you are shooting in the forest, underexpose 1-2/3 stops, meter from green and take the shot. I do not know why they work, but one pro in large daily newspaper teached me these "tricks" and apparently they work like a charm. Whoever invented these things, should recieve some kind of prize. However, consider these rules. Watch your histogram. See if they work for you.

Another thing you should consider, is related to DOF, or Depth Of Field. In Landscapes, you usually want to get each and everything in focus. That is good. How you do it is related to a beast called "hyperfocal distance". What this means, is that if you focus in hyperfocal distance, everything in the image should be in focus. There certainly are various calculators in www that give you enough information about the issue. However, consider focusing 1/3 of the depth. It should work. With small enough apreture, it should give you an image which is focused from foreground to background.--Thermos 15:49, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Great feedback, thanks! I'll have to reread it in more detail, as metering is one parameter I'm not clear on at all. Dori | Talk 01:24, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Glad if I could help. For advice I gave above, perhaps I should mention two things. First of all, in the begining it is often better to just use the matrix metering. If it doesn't work, then you can try those tricks. Othervise it may get horribly complicated. In addition, I never use partial metering unless I have time to really consider the shot and I never use it in action shots or with birds.
FYI, for Canon I believe this is called Evaluative Metering, and it's the default. Reading the description I thought that partial would be better, but not knowing anything about it I was probably wrong on that. I'll probably just stick with Evaluative Metering for now as I'm not even sure how to lock just the metering on this camera. Dori | Talk 17:17, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Other thing is the hyperfocal distance thing. The 1/3 and small apreture rule works quite well. However, do not go to too small apretures, as then you will hit a wall known as diffraction, which will make your pictures softer than they would otherwise be. Also, usually all lenses have some kind of "sweet-spot", whihch is usually in the middle of apreture scale. After that, the quality begins to suffer. As simple rule, something like f 11 is good enough for most landscapes with a SLR camera that does not have full frame sensor.--Thermos 07:07, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand this. What's 1/3 of the depth? Do you mean 1/3 of the distance from where I am to the farthest point? Thanks again for the help. Dori | Talk 17:17, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes that is what I mean. --Thermos 04:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Grand Canyon South Rim Panorama[edit]


Image created by myself, how can I improve it? --Digon3 21:12, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Great scenery. Unfortunately one of the source images is out of focus, and there is a weird blending error in the sky, looks like a stain due to water spotting. Just don't remove the people, this is unnecessary manipulation. If this spot is frequented by tourists, so be it, its part of the message of the picture. For the next pictures I must strongly recommend Panotools, Hugin and enblend. You won't get the stitching errors you have in this image with those. Bottom line you cannot do anything about the bad source image but reshoot. --Dschwen 10:15, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunatly, my house is 2000 miles away from the grand canyon and I dont think I am going back there soon. --Digon3 17:53, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Banksia quercifolia[edit]

Banksia quercifolia 01 gnangarra.jpg

The Banksia species quercifolia, I interested in opinions on composition, this is an unedited image, the angle of the plant/flower is its natural state. Gnangarra 02:32, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, the background is blurred due to DOF but not enough so it's still distracting. I would prefer an angle where the tree trunk didn't show, and maybe one where you had more full shot leaves. Dori | Talk 03:50, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
thanks, this shot was targeting the flowers not the leaves. Gnangarra 12:13, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Tschierva glacier[edit]

Tschierva glacier 1.jpg

  • created by myself Dschwen 12:32, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Interesting I couldnt find the hut, have you altered the contrast levels as this looks a little washed out in colour. Also I'm not convinved that the persons(skiiers) add anything to the right hand side. Gnangarra 13:02, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I think this would be promoted if nominated at COM:QI. Gnangarra
  • Yeah finding the hut is like where is waldo. I left the skiers in as I felt they give some context and scale. It was a tiny bit hazy, that may explain the washed out colors. I don't remember the adjustments I did, but usually edit very little. Maybe the blackpoint was adjusted, but when I do this I use a logarithmic histogram in order not to throw out any image information. --Dschwen 15:35, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The only fault I see is the noise in the sky. Also I'd like to see exif info just for my curiosity. What camera/lens did you use to take this picture? Dori | Talk 01:03, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It is stitched from >20 individual images taken with a Canon Powershot G3. --Dschwen 06:40, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • That's pretty good stitch work, I couldn't really tell (though I should have guessed by the resolution). Did you use a tripod? Dori | Talk 11:40, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I usually use a tripod and a nodal-point adapter, but since I was there for skiing I left those at home :-). There is little parallax with objects this distant. The stitching was done with hugin using panotools and enblend, a pretty amazing software combo. --Dschwen 13:31, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Wind turbines[edit]

Wind turbines 0409.jpg

  • This is an image that I took because those turbines look like a little like trees. The shots on the Canon 350D with the kit lense are a bit soft, I don't know if I can make it sharper. Dori | Talk 22:41, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm also fascinated by wind turbines. Unfortunately they don't seem to be very photogenic. I couldn't get, till now, a single interesting picture of them, alone or in group. The same seems to happen to your photo... Any bitmap application, like Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint, can be used to sharpen your image. But you normally have to pay a price, in the form of "colour noise" or other "artifacts". The only way to learn is to practise a lot. Good work! -- Alvesgaspar 23:05, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I meant if there is a way to get a sharper image out of the camera/lens. I shy away from sharpening because of the noise issue you mentioned. I'd rather get a softer image than a noiser image. I do sharpen sometimes when the detail is more important or when I don't have large parts of the image in the same color (like sky). Thanks for the comments. Dori | Talk 23:39, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • For photographing these, have you considered increasing your(camera) height off the ground instead of looking up try looking across to them, or madebe a dreaded sunset?. Gnangarra 12:06, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It was an open field, there was no higher vantage point, and I think I like this view better anyway. Thanks, Dori | Talk 12:15, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Covered Bridge[edit]

Ada Michigan Covered Bridge downstream underside DSCN9708.JPG

  • created by myself Lar 17:30, 8 October 2006 (the camera date is off by one)
  • This image was just downchecked at Commons:Quality_images_candidates#Nominations for having too much blue. But the pic was taken at dusk, or close, in the shade, and I think my camera is balanced. Would manipulating the colors in paint shop or whatever be a good thing to do? Other comments? ++Lar: t/c 21:28, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • You might be able to get better white balance or just tone down the blue with editing software. I'd be more concerned with the fact that not much of the house can be seen though. I don't know if a better viewpoint was available. Dori | Talk 22:04, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It's actually a bridge (a Covered bridge to be exact) and except for one corner, the whole bridge is in the shot. Good viewpoints are hard to find though. See Category:Ada, Michigan, taken by Lar for a couple other vantage points (upstream, and a couple interior shots I think). I wanted the underside, and without a wideangle (this is a Nikon Coolpix 2100) there wasn't any way to pull back (without tunneling into the streambank) and keep the low angle. Thanks for the comments! ++Lar: t/c 22:20, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Moldy nectarines[edit]

Moldy nectarines.jpg

  • created by myself Roger McLassus 17:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Interesting subject, looks like my kitchen. The croping is a bit tight and with the black space on the left it looks somewhat unbalanced. The lighting is too flat for my taste and the shadows are too hard. That being said the mold is nicely depicted. Could it be complemented with closeups? And what about the species :-)? --Dschwen 18:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I would also recommend getting a full view of that bowl, even if you have to pad with some black background. I know it's not easy to get close up shots unless you have some sort of dome to surround it in though. Also if you pushed the nectarines so that the bowl was all around you wouldn't have as much trouble with the shades on the left. Dori | Talk 22:17, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I am well aware of this picture's flaws and only inserted it here to have the discussion started. I just managed to take a quick photograph before the nectarines were disposed of. Roger McLassus 06:32, 12 October 2006 (UTC)