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Back in February I had a go at doing a still life with a brownie I had made and Cafe Latte, the post was One Brownie.  I set it up on my dining room table.  I can remember being really happy with the composition, but I do remember getting some comments that weren’t very nice and it really depressed me.  I almost considered giving up on HDR images, in fact even had doubts about my abilities as a photographer.  Let me show you the original HDR image as I had it on my blog.

I can see so many of the problems now.  I can see that it is too saturated, the colours aren’t great.  Too much detail, and the brownie doesn’t stand out enough, but at the time, I loved it and was so proud of it.

I don’t remember if it was this particular post or another one at the same time, but I do remember I got some comments that were very critical.  I don’t know if they were meant to be that way or they thought they were offering some nice advice, but I found it rather confronting and not very nice.  Constructive criticism is never wrong, but when someone comments and seem to have nothing nice to say, that is never good.

I have had someone else recently doing a similar thing.  The say one nice thing, then tear the image apart.  It isn’t a nice thing to do.  I don’t like, and I never do it to others unless invited to do so.  Even then I am not comfortable doing it.  I don’t mean that I don’t like criticism, but it has to be done carefully, and if you don’t like criticism yourself, then you shouldn’t do it to other people.

I think we forget looking at all these images on the internet that people put their heart and soul into them, and just like any work of art, people are very precious about them.  The other thing to consider is, would you say it to their face if you were viewing the work in front of them.  It is so easy to criticise someone when they aren’t standing in front of you.  Having said that, I have never minded people saying what they do and don’t like in an image, which is far different to someone telling you how you should do it.

Anyway, let’s get back to the image.  I redid the HDR processing using Photomatix Pro this time, and straight away I got a much more realistic look.

I find this far better.  I do like the composition.  Everything out of focus except for the brownie on the plate.  I haven’t added any blur to this, it was all done with depth of field.  I did a lot of work to the chair in the background trying to make it disappear more.  I thought it stood out too much.  I lightened up the brownie, darkened the foreground, and added some colour to the brownie.  I didn’t want to do too much because I wanted that more natural look.

I did some reading and learned some new stuff in photoshop, I used some of it in this image.  Always learning.  I wonder if I will ever feel like a master of photoshop, seems unlikely.  I still feel like a novice, though I know that can’t be true.

Thanks for everyone’s support over the last week, hopefully my internet will be back to normal tomorrow morning.  It will be good to be able to get some stuff done on the internet, and to see what all of you have been up to.

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