Showcase for May 2020

Showcase Category 
Image Critique

Please up load all images for critique onto this page. Please state Author and title as in the comments already there.

Image by Robert Helliwell


Eryngium: This is an image from a series of experiments with focus stacking. What's it like as an image for competitions?

Comments as follows:


Eryngium Robert: A really good example of focus stacking, the image is sharp right the way through. Exposure is good with no blown highlights or blocked up blacks. The black backgrouind is black and contrasts well with the colour of the plant.

Visual /aesthetic:

The plant appears to be rendered true to colour and is nicely framed. The three buds form a good triangle which is visually appealing. There are no visual distractions. I did wonder about the leaves at the bottom but I think they are better there than cloned out.

Overall / communication:

It is well presented with the plant clearly evident. Givem that it's only colour is green it's only going to have limited visual impact or wow factor but I think it could do reasonably well in a club competition.

Submitted by kevin-webb on Thu 7 May 2020 5:48pm

Taken about this time last year on the Pembrokeshire coast. Somewhere I had always wanted to photograph but was somewhat dissapointed having got there. This being one of the better images of the trip. But is it any good?

Submitted by kevin-webb on Thu 7 May 2020 5:55pm

Comment on Kevin's Pembrokeshire Coast. There is some immediate impact here and this is due to thoughtful composition and balancing placement of the areas within the frame. The tones/colours are well handled and natural. It adds interest to see some clarity and detail in the sea. The recession of the background cliffs aid the visual attraction and the horizon is straight Hurray! Of course could it be better. Maybe a little more quality to the sky? And impossible to do because of the precarious nature of the cliff but if the arch were more prominent it may increase the imapact? Perhaps it would do ok in a club comp, but perhaps it would not be the  strongest - that however, depends on the day and judge.

Eryngium – Robert Helliwell

An image with high initial impact, well balanced with the two outer flower heads framing the central flower head well. The subject is well placed within the frame, against a strong background, which provides a good contrast to the subject. I find the central flower head to be a little complicated with too many points of intersection, perhaps it may have been better to have only one central flower head to ensure clean separation, as the centrepiece? Having said that the central flower head does show the stated objective of focus stacking to great effect. The image is sharp throughout and all leaves and flower heads are pin sharp. The leaves at the bottom of the frame are a distraction for me but could easily be removed in post. The colours are well handled, as is the exposure.

I think the image does have high initial impact, but I think it likely that a judge would mark it down due to the points made above.


Pembrokeshire Coast – Kevin Webb

This image has a lot of interest, and has good exposure and colour control, given the ‘relatively harsh’ lighting.

The sea arch is clearly the subject and is well placed in the frame, balanced by the foreground rocks, which are sharply focused and full of detail. The large central area of sea holds little interest, - would have been an interesting seascape shot at sunset perhaps, and I wonder if a square crop might result in a better balance to the overall image.

The arch has shadow detail, but for my eye, the LHside of the arch is lit too strongly to separate the arch from the rocks below. This is a pity because those rocks on the beach provide a good leading line to the background which ensures the image has depth, and good recession from front to back, but separation of the arch & beach could easily be resolved in Post processing. Had it been possible to move slightly left to shoot through the arch, I think a stronger composition may have resulted, but its easy after the event, and without knowledge of the location may have been impossible.

The colour treatment is good providing a natural feel to the subject, but just lacks something, perhaps it needs warming just a little? – or I wonder if this might be worth trying as a Mono conversion? The sky has good detail, but does get a little lost against the larger area of sea which is a close colour match.

I would like to see this at sunrise / sunset, where I think a stronger image may have resulted from the composition, which I feel has potential, but needs more post processing work to really have that wow factor.

A 6 second exposure from my experiments with long exposure landscapes. Does it work?

Leigh's Waterfalls. 6 secs appears about right here. There's character and enregy in the force that perhaps would disappear with a longer exposure. The composition is well aided by the 'V' shape od the two water courses which enable us to have a good wander round. I think the foreground has enough interest to give a firm foundation and provide one of the two ways in. The main fall is certainly the main focus and  establishes a strong presence. Perhaps the visuality is hindered somewhat by the tree infront of the waterfall? Maybe the tree top centre tends to disturb the compositopn and tends to present an unnecessary visual stop pointing out of the fram when being encouraged to link both waterfall tops? Your comment about does it work perhaps then it does regarding the water; regarding the overall effect perhaps there are a few visual hindrances?

Oak Tree-David Henderson-interested in any feedback-thanks

Phone Wires Thixendale-David Henderson-was working on a "project" on telegraph wires/poles when out walking pre lockdown, any comments welcome 

David Henderson's Oak Tree This has some impact owing to the good control of tone and colour. The lighting has brought out the interesting texture os the trunk very well. Visually, is the  dominant branch too powerful and tending to block our way in to the good detail elsewhere? Would a different viiew-pont have helped? Perhaps to the left and looking upwards?

David Henderson's Phone Wires There are some very interesting shapes and lines here. The lines are placed well and form a diagonal. The balance is achieved well by smaller, but more detail in the bottom left corner and the lager single post with the intricate globes. I wonder if the tonal quailty overall is too flat? Perhaps jsu a lift in tone and clarity in the sky would help more to knit the sgot together? Would a move to the right ave provided a feeling of more depth?

David Henderson's Oak Tree

This is an interesting image with good texture and colour. I like the idea of the branch forming a leading line from the bottom right corner, but the foreground of the branch appears to be out of focus, or at the very least soft. Because the branch is so dominant, I think you need to have this in sharp focus. I wonder if it might have been worth going in with a closer shot, maybe square crop, retaining the leading line branch but reducing some of the foliage and upper branches which tend to create a degree of confusion, at least from my eye.


David Henderson's Phone Wires Thixendale

I like the angles and lines created by the poles and wires. There is a lot of empty space in the image, which might be helped by more interesting sky. Is that a dust spot in the bottom right quadrant? Once I saw that I couldn’t help keep looking at it! I wonder if a little more space to the top and right-hand side might position the dominant pole better in the frame