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Thread: The Desert Rose

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    The Desert Rose

    Moving on to trying flowers at more interesting angles...

    The Desert Rose

    I thought I'd try some water spray and a more interesting background than my kitchen wall can provide. Also trying to get the entire flower in focus.

    What do I need to do to improve this image? Any C & C is warmly welcomed!

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    What do I need to do to improve this image?
    You simply need to stop fiddling with it and enjoy your work, Frank. But a little vignette wouldn't hurt. You really outdid yourself on this one. Stellar!

  3. #3
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Moving on to trying flowers at more interesting angles...

    The Desert Rose

    I thought I'd try some water spray and a more interesting background than my kitchen wall can provide. Also trying to get the entire flower in focus.

    What do I need to do to improve this image? Any C & C is warmly welcomed!
    If your objective was to get the whole flower in focus,then i say it's a job well done.The nice thing about your background is that it's color differs from any colors in the flower so you could essentially use the magic wand selection tool and change it to any background you wanted.Very good photo Frank and i would say your skills are getting better with every passing day.

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    Re: The Desert Rose

    I like it a lot.

    It looks sharp where it needs to be (the resolution is too small to see more detail, maybe it's limited by forum) with those drops and the simple backgound it looks very fresh.

    bye.
    Last edited by xalupa; 8th June 2011 at 07:48 PM.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    LOL! Thanks Willie for suggesting I try to incorporate angles in the flower shots and your sense of humor! I'll add the vignette and see how it goes in the Mini-Comp. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

    Thanks, Ron. It's good to know that I can still learn new things!

    I appreciate the comments, Gonzalo!

    Thank you all for taking to time to look and share your thoughts! Now I have to find something new to experiment with.

  6. #6
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Sorry Frank, but... I really can't add anything more constructive to what has already been said above other than beautiful work, thanks for sharing with us.
    Ken

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Ken, is an honor to have you and the others view and comment on my efforts my friend. Thank you for taking an interest.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Frank...I think you did very nicely here. Nice exposure and sharpness. Great colors. Well done.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Beautiful!

    Chuck

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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Frank, this is by far your best yet. Great job. The only thing i see, is a little banding in the background, but as far as the flower goes, outstanding. Can't wait to see the next one.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Great job on this one Frank. I have nothing else to add.

  12. #12
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Thank you Paul, Chuck, Steve, and Doug for the kind words of encouragement! This image is the result of suggestions made on previous attempts from a number of contributers on the CiC forum (particularly, Willie Bau). This forum and you guys and gals really ROCK! I only hope that I can help others to enjoy photography as much as the CiC folks have helped me.

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Hi Frank,

    It is very good, but I actually think (looking at it on its own tab at the full size of 847px 1,024px) that although sharp, it still might stand a tad more sharpening, I won't try on the jpg, but I think the water drops could be crisper.

    That said, it would only improve it a couple of percent as it is so good anyway.

    Well done,

  14. #14
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Hi Dave, I was wondering about that. I couldn't tell with these old eyes if it could be sharper so I didn't sharpen SOOC it except for the resizing. I went back and added some sharpening to the original and I am able to see some difference but also see just a bit of additional noise as well. How does this look? Did I overdo the sharpening???

    The Desert Rose

    Thanks for pointing it out! Hopefully this is better.

  15. #15
    rob marshall

    Re: The Desert Rose

    Frank

    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone. I think the flower is very attractive, and you have done a very good job of capturing it. But the background you have used has spoilt it. I guess that you selected the background in PS and substituted a grad layer. The problem with doing that is you need an extremely clean selection to make it look effective, and you don't have it here. The stem at the bottom is quite bad on the transition from flower to background, and that has the effect of making the flower look detached and unreal. You also have some blotches near the stem (see screen print below), probably where you used the clone stamp tool? In other parts of the shot around the flower head there are some rogue pixels, which is probably why some people mentioned the lack of sharpness. There are also horizontal bands which gives the background substitution away.

    I do a lot of shots like this, but I nearly always try to shoot with a background that will be used in the final shot. The easiest way to do thi is to use some coloured card as a backdrop. You can buy this in assorted colours at most stationery shops.

    I told you I over-analyzed!

    The Desert Rose

    The Desert Rose

  16. #16
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Frank

    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone. I think the flower is very attractive, and you have done a very good job of capturing it. But the background you have used has spoilt it. I guess that you selected the background in PS and substituted a grad layer. The problem with doing that is you need an extremely clean selection to make it look effective, and you don't have it here. The stem at the bottom is quite bad on the transition from flower to background, and that has the effect of making the flower look detached and unreal. You also have some blotches near the stem (see screen print below), probably where you used the clone stamp tool? In other parts of the shot around the flower head there are some rogue pixels, which is probably why some people mentioned the lack of sharpness. There are also horizontal bands which gives the background substitution away.

    I do a lot of shots like this, but I nearly always try to shoot with a background that will be used in the final shot. The easiest way to do thi is to use some coloured card as a backdrop. You can buy this in assorted colours at most stationery shops.

    I told you I over-analyzed!
    Hi Rob. I appreciate your candid analysis and suggestions for improvement. The closest I could come to an appropriate backdrop at the time was some flowered curtains. When I tried to gently move the pot, blossoms were falling off. I thought I would try anyway and see what I could learn in PS.

    I ended up disliking the background so I selected the flower and sampled color from the background to apply a gradient fill for the new background. I also realized that there were too many leaves on the stem but couldn't cut them without hurting my wife's feelings so the stem treatment was done to compensate. I didn't realize that the gradient fill had caused banding and figured that folks wouldn't be stairing at the stem. This is one of four original shots.

    The Desert Rose

    I am still learning how to do an effective selection in PS but as you say, its much better if you can get the shot without the background issues to begin with. I'd welcome any PS 'clean' selection suggestions you might have.

    What do you use as a colored card, is it thick and firm or thin and rolled? How big should it be? How do you hold it in place? How do you select the color(s)? How far behind the subject should it be? I apologize, I don't mean to be a pest. Rather than answer my countless questions, is there a tutorial you could point me to?

    Thank you again, Rob, for your patience and understanding.

  17. #17
    rob marshall

    Re: The Desert Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I also realized that there were too many leaves on the stem but couldn't cut them without hurting my wife's feelings so the stem treatment was done to compensate.
    Us photographers have to be made of stronger stuff than that. But having said that, if I cut anything I know it's not long before the Head Gardener pulls on the flying suit and the sound of the Apache attack helicopter whirring into action presages the launch of the heat-seeking RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I didn't realize that the gradient fill had caused banding
    I think it works by changing colour in bands. Which is why you get banding.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    And figured that folks wouldn't be stairing at the stem.
    Well, most people might not. But if you printed it large I can assure that it would show very clearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I am still learning how to do an effective selection in PS but as you say, its much better if you can get the shot without the background issues to begin with. I'd welcome any PS 'clean' selection suggestions you might have.
    You set yourself a hard task here. The background is quite similar to the flower. A proper background would have saved you a lot of time, and produced a much better result. You should always (lecture mode...) try to get things right in the camera at the time of shooting.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    What do you use as a colored card, is it thick and firm or thin and rolled? How big should it be? How do you hold it in place? How do you select the color(s)? How far behind the subject should it be? I apologize, I don't mean to be a pest. Rather than answer my countless questions, is there a tutorial you could point me to?
    I just use either art board (thick card) which comes in various colours (see shot below) or a small piece of card taped to a box file (see shot below). The box file can be used either as a backdrop, or as a reflector to bounce light (flash or natural) back onto the subject.

    You are not a pest.

    The Desert Rose

  18. #18
    rob marshall

    Re: The Desert Rose

    Frank

    I meant to add. The setup in the shot above of mine produced this image http://www.flickr.com/photos/carregw...57623510464833 Which is quite surprising looking at the Heath-Robinson setup I used (cheap lights and a few bits of card). It doesn't cost a lot, it just takes a little thought and effort.

  19. #19
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Desert Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Frank I meant to add. The setup in the shot above of mine produced this image http://www.flickr.com/photos/carregw...57623510464833 Which is quite surprising looking at the Heath-Robinson setup I used (cheap lights and a few bits of card). It doesn't cost a lot, it just takes a little thought and effort.
    Thanks Rob! Your pointers are very helpful and the picture of the Crocosmia Lucifer is outstanding! Another blossom just opened on the wife's Desert Rose so I'm off to get some supplies at the art store to try again. Thank you again.

  20. #20

    Re: The Desert Rose

    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone
    Its his age Frank. He's in the Victor Meldrew strata of life. Annoyingly correct though. I did think he may be pixel peeping but you can see it on the downsized image. The flower itself is very well photographed though.


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