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Godzillza Apr 22, 2006 9:47 AM

Greetings to all around. I'm a complete novice with a new toy (the most irritating kind to the pro's, I know!) and need some help/advice/suggestions with the pics below...

The forum is "Critiques and Techniques", so please do both...

I'm particulary interested in trying to improveon my composition, but also if someone could tell me how to reduce the "washed out - too much light" look that these shots have, I'd be very happy...

Thanks in advance.

Godzillza Apr 22, 2006 9:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Mauritius #1: Canon 350D, 1/500, f13.0, ISO400, 55mm

SteveDak Apr 22, 2006 11:53 AM

Welcome Gozillza,

Others will want to help as well I'm sure, so I'll start the ball rolling so to speak. First observation is that you need to take care to keep your horizons level. You can rotate this in most image browsers. If you do not have a image enhancement program you might like to download the FastStone Free Image Viewer from It is freeware and really lets you do a lot with your images - good starting point. There is other freeware available that others might like to suggest.

The first shot with the thatched beach umbrella I would rotate to get the polevertical, in a similar vein.


Godzillza Apr 22, 2006 2:02 PM

Thanks for the reply Steve, appreciate the feedback(and nice to see a local around too!)

Will take your advice and work on the horizons as suggested, and repost my results back here for further comments.

The link you've posted for Freestone is wrong - the .com bit takes me to some dodgy directory site. I Googled it and found that the link should be:

On the subject of software, do you also have any suggestions on what to use and how to get the best resize results for image posting here? I find that I'm losing a heck of a lot of impact between the camera image and the posted versions here as I resize to heavily in order to meet the maximum file size limits.

Take a look at Gracies' post here:;forum_id=11. How does she manage to get her images to stay so sharp, and yet be so small??

oBSidian Apr 22, 2006 3:43 PM

Hello, and welcome to the forum.

I echo what Steve said - you should pay attention to horizons and verticals...

Another 'rule' for composition is to place your subjects on 'thirds' of the image. So, if you sliced your image into three segments along a vertical plane, and did the same on a horizontal plane, you'd end up with four points that were off centre, and on a 'third'. This would help out a lot in my opinion, with your last image in this series (put the sunshade and chairs on a third).

In terms of image viewers/editors, one good one to start with that is free is the gimp (

In terms of getting more punch into your images, becoming familiar with 'levels editing', boosting of saturation, and sharpening (unsharp mask, often called USM) will help.

In image3 you have the problem that the sky is overexposed, resulting in a loss of detail - this is a common problem - you can either meter for the sky or the rest of the image, and whichever you choose, the other will be either over-, or under-exposed.

One way of avoiding this, at least for landscape photography (and any photography where the scene isn't changing much) is to take, say 5-10 photographs of varying exposure lengths, to capture the detail in all parts of the scene (in the case of your third image, the sky and the sea/land). You can then use photoshop to merge these photos together, either using 'merge to HDR', or by using layers, and blending the photos that way.

Hope this helps at least somewhat!



Godzillza Apr 22, 2006 4:35 PM

Thanks Ben - that helps plenty!

I was removing the additional images as you were typing your comments it seems, but I do see what you mean about the overexposed sky issue.

Also, this "Rule of Thirds" thing makes a lot of sense, and I see exactly how it could be applied (especially to that 3rd pic) with good effect. I'll work on trying to correct these with careful cropping and lots of thought.

As for Gimp, I have downloaded it recently, and have tweaked that first shot (after Steve's advice) using it. Soon as I figure out how to save my repair job at a decent res, I'll repost it here.

Thanks again for the support.


Godzillza Apr 26, 2006 4:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Steve / Ben
If either of you get a moment, your thoughts on this revision would be appreciated...
Ta, Greg

johnsonM86 Apr 26, 2006 11:12 PM

well done with the edit! the original was too busy and not really focused enough on it's subject, this one however is much better.

welcome to the forum by the way, nice to have another budding photographer here!


Godzillza Apr 27, 2006 12:09 AM

Thanks Mike - appreciate the support. Getting the feeling I'm a little out of my depth around here at times, and the feedback is really helpful.

SteveDak Apr 27, 2006 2:35 AM

Hey Godzillza, I think that is much much better and I'm sure you must be quite 'chuffed' with the result. Travel mag type shot - in fact I've seen a very similar composition on one of the Mauritian brochures. Nice effort and don't feel out of your depth here or be afraid to post - you have no need to be :cool:

Just one small observation; the crop on the right might be a little tight ie rather show the edge of the thatch than cutting it off.

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