Cafe Art & RPS Mentoring Group


Feedback on My Lockdown

Feedback from Dee

 I feel sad when I see a child's playground closed or empty and a seat taped off from use in what looks like a remote-ish area. Love Vince 's photos of the fish being stolen . Time and place just right.

Feedback from Judy

The first thing which struck me about all the images was the sense of solitude and isolation which the photographers have managed to convey. The images are all quite poignant and leave me with a sense of sadness and loneliness - so in that sense, the sets of images or panels have been successful in that they are much more than pictures but convey a sense of place and time. Damien's image No. 1 is a good depiction of the time we are living through although I am not quite sure what the main point of focus of the image is, my eye being drawn to the Autumn leaves, more than the poster - but I like the colours. Images 2 and 3 show the emptiness of the streets and the underground but I like the original angle of picture No. 4. It is difficult to see the homeless person in No. 5 and although the picture conveys the sense of homelessness being hidden in the shadows, photographically I would like to have seen a little more detail in this part of the picture. Dee has captures the sense of isolation too: I like the information conveyed in these images: "Sorry We're Closed": "Way In"; what to do during your train journey in in picture no. 15 a plethora of notices. I particularly like image no. 12 which shows the Way In and Way Out apparently in the same direction .... (I don't think it is a composite but of course it might be..) I like Wayne's images, particularly image 21 which has a lot of good detail: I like the way your eye is drawn to the colours and "bright lights" by the line of bins and street posts and I enjoy the detail and colour in the centre of the picture. I like Images 23 and 25 also for the same reason but in my book image 21 is Wayne's best in this set. I hope these comments are helpful. I really enjoyed these pictures.

Feedback on Autumn

Feedback from Pat

 Shenan I prefer image 2. It meets the brief best and the colour and detail in the bark, together with the sharp focus on the squirrel, make an interesting composition. Grey skies always present a challenge but Shenan has chosen the correct area of focus so that the tree and squirrel are not shadowed. Would it be possible to move slightly to create a gap between the squirrel and the tree to emphasise the shape of the squirrel? It's a shame that image 3 didn't include data and was so over-exposed as this would have made a very strong composition. Julian Very difficult to choose a favourite image! I loved the portrait in image 4 but I'm selecting image 1, as the background is very nicely blurred and I like the composition, particularly the focus on the acorns and the way the light is shining on them. The choice of perspective also works very well in isolating the autumn items from the background. Damian Image 6 is closest to the brief. It's a shame that the aperture of the others is f1.4, as image 7 is a nice composition too. I like image 6 with its focus on the leaves in the foreground and the blurring of the figure walking away. I wonder if it would be possible to extend the scene slightly, or crop slightly more as the top of the van on the left is distracting to the eye. Dee My favourite is image 9, as I like the composition. It's a shame that the Fuji has a tendency to overexpose as this image would benefit from a couple of stops less exposure. The focus is on the yellow leaves in the foreground at the top, which makes them stand out and I like the depth of field which blurs the bark and the green leaves. I also like the way the tree leads into the corner of the image. John My favourite is image 1 as I love the composition. The grey of the railings, the sky and the river give a sense of a dull autumn day and contrast beautifully with the sharp focus on the colourful autumn leaf and the wall in the foreground. The line of blurred autumn trees on the far bank add to the interest of the composition. One thought; could you take out the shapes in the river on the left side as having a complete empty river might add to the atmosphere of the image?

Feedback from Vince

I will start on Damian's images which were varied and interesting. I have a Canon too. When on auto exposure, whether on Programme, time or aperture priority Canon's take the exposure reading from the place where you focus. As a result, if you focus on the low lit areas there is a risk the highlights will be blown and this applies to a number of these images. Blown highlights can be the most difficult to recover in the computer so go for underexposing especially if you focus on a darker area. Take the photo, look at the image then adjust the exposure. On mine I can tell the camera to underexpose by turning the dial on the back after focussing. The amount of under/overexposure is shown on the top and in the viewfinder. So set the exposure and repeat the photo. Typically, try one stop or 2/3rds but you can go up to 3. You need to remember that you have set the under/overexposure as the camera will remember it for the next shot and the one after until you change it. As Julian said Dee's are all overexposed - a pity because they are interesting shots. A tip, similar to Damian's. After shooting check the viewfinder. If you find the image is overexposed look at the exposure and adjust the exposure for a second shot - you may need to set exposure manually. I too liked the second of Shenan's images best but I think I would have slightly changed the viewpoint by moving slightly to the right to get all of the squirrel. I am a little puzzled by the first shot. What is the shot saying? What is the subject? Pat has been careful in her images to demonstrate the effects of a wide aperture. The first is a close up of a glass and leaves. The wide aperture has these in pin sharp focus but the background is not distracting - it is blurred. In her second shot the leaves are not quite in the same plane but she has been careful to ensure the the important bit is absolutely sharp. It is a close-up so once focussed try not to move the camera - you have very shallow depth of field. In the rose photo the rose is main subject - focus on that so it is pin sharp. The background, she knows will be blurred. Ditto with her next 3 images. The final image, also at f4 is taken further away from the subject, the seat and the arm is in sharp focus as it is nearest to the camera. The rest of the image is less sharp the further it is from the camera. The key lesson for all photography is to decide on your subject and ensure it is sharp - this is where you focus. Providing you are not very close you can then frame your image without letting go of the button. Then, after shooting, check your image for exposure.

Feedback from John


Shenan, I like image 2 - taking the squirrel in its natural environment. The squirrel is nice and sharp with a good depth of field extending into the sky and lacking in detail so the viewer concentrates on the squirrel.

Julian, I like image 4. The pet portrait works really well with the subject dominating the frame against a depth of field that works very well for you.

Damian, I like image 6 with the autumn leaves taking your eye to the subject lady but she is not in focus. You generate interest causing the viewer to ask, what is her story? Where is she going? As your mystery lady is small and positioned well into the frame consider a tighter square crop to remove the truck.

Pat, I like image 1 which is well thought out with the glass in front of the leaves and taking your eye to the leaves in focus behind, then gradually gaining depth of field each side of the glass and then into the background.

Dee, I like image 6 with its vibrant 'Christmassey' colours. The depth of field works particularly well with the lovely bokeh effect achieved. I just wonder if you have the ISO too high. There seems to be good light but the ISO is shown as 800. With good light try a setting of 100 to see if the result is any better.

Feedback from Damian

Best Image-Pat image number 7. Reason why Best image- Reason why Best image- I like the way the photographer has composed the picture. The picture was taken to the side of the wooden bench and by doing so the viewer’s eyes are drawn to the leading lines which are provided by the wooden slats of the bench. The wooden slats leading lines then lead you directly to the stump of a tree nearby. The “autumn feel” of the picture is further is further emphasised by the surrounding brown/orange tree leaves surrounding both the wooden bench and the tree nearby. Because of the way the photographer composed picture,It is easy for me to imagine myself sitting on the bench and enjoying the surroundings of the park. Well done, Pat.

Feedback from Judy

Shenan: From Shenan's images I chose Image 2, which shows good use of depth of field and sharpness on the squirrel. Image 4 is nicely exposed and shows good colour and I thought Image 5 showed good potential. Julian. I couldn't choose - from an emotional point of view I absolutely love Charlie posing under the tree and it was hard not to get carried way choosing from an emotional rather than a photographic standpoint. I think at the end of the day I choose 7, because of the very narrow depth of field and wonderful colour and detail in the leaves. Damien Having seen Damien's work before, I know he enjoys working with leading lines and I identify pictures 6 and 8 as fitting his style. I choose picture 6 which I see as the better composition. Pat All Pat's images demonstrate the great effect you can get from using shallow depth of field. It was difficult to choose but I like the water droplets on the leaves in Image 5, so I vote for that! Dee It's a little bit hard to say but my eye immediately went to image 6, where the shallow depth of field shows up the berries to good effect. I think images 7 and 8 have great potential also. John I loved John's set of images too. Again it was hard to choose but I select picture 3 because he shows all the detail in the leaves while managing to retain detail in the sky, despite the strong light behind.