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Thread: Another "fiddley" photo....

  1. #1

    Another "fiddley" photo....

    er, what do you think, please - just a simple flower shot.

    Finally, a photo of the Russian Sage that I'm pleased with.

    Another "fiddley" photo....

    Several people asked me, when I first got Lightroom, how I liked it. At that point, I hardly knew. Well, I LOVE it - I mean L-O-V-E it! It's formatted very effectively and efficiently and I appreciate the many options for post processing - including the hue, saturation and luminance sliders for so many colors. It very much helps me to pull out the main subject and to make the rest recede. I can really set a mood with the colors. I can't wait to get set up to upgrade so that I can, also, have the graduated filter and (I can't remember the exact name but...) the brush - dodgey/burn tool thingy, too.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    dodgey/burn tool thingy
    I can't stand these techie types who use technical jargon all the time!

    The image?

    First reaction? Gorgeous colour. Too narrow a depth of field.

    Now, Donald, look at it again.

    There's a 'lightness'; a 'flippancy' that makes it enormously attractive. But it's maybe it's only because we like to think of ourselves as photographers and are looking at it in away that the 'general populous' will not that we pick up on things like the (maybe) too narrow DoF. But it does jar ... to my eye anyway.

    Why did you go for that narrow DoF? Maybe I'm just not 'seeing' the image you had in your head.

  3. #3

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Why did you go for that narrow DoF? Maybe I'm just not 'seeing' the image you had in your head.
    Thanks, Donald! mmmm, I think that I've been spending a lot of time with Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, too, actually. I couldn't blur it enough. I'm just experimenting (and I did take others with "correct" dof) This one is about the "smudges" of colors and, is, after a month, the first photo of the Russian sage that I like. It think that it's too small and indistinct of a flower to get "much" on. When I go for the detail, nothing seems strong enough to carry the shot. That's why I've experimented with this approach. Actually, in the garden - that's the very roll that this plant takes - a cloud of vague lavender color. It's planted en masse and is beautiful but hard to catch "on film".

    and, like I said, it's just a simple flower shot. Maybe, it will go in a mosaic - it's not meant to be the center of attention; so, that's interesting that you said "flippant".

    Of course, I may be just cukoo and still learning.... I just may be....

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    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    [QUOTE=Katy Noelle;136653]Thanks, Donald! mmmm, I think that I've been spending a lot of time with Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, too,




    Katy, Katy, Katy.... What if your husband finds out about these clandestine assignations with these foreign jokers when he thinks you are out fotoing flowers?
    Not being a techo term person, I have to agree with Donald on the 'Disarray of Flower' thingy, or whatever DOF is. How about if you had concentrated on getting just a single stalk of the flower in shot, crisp and sharp, with maybe a bit of the lovely colour added and blurred outback, behind the focus subject; to add a bit of interest ? At the moment there seems to be too much happening to distract the eye. One just isn't sure where one should be looking. Gorgeous colours though! Purple is my favourite colour.... Okay, before I depart in disgrace, yet again...one for your lads....What colour is a hiccup?.............
    Burple, of course!
    Old ucci

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Katy - couple of things for me.

    It seems a bit noisy in areas like the background which I'm guessing is from sharpening. If you only operate in lightroom, use the masking function on your sharpening panel (hold down alt as you adjust the slider). If you have GIMP or Photoshop or similar, selective sharpening.

    The only other thing I'd say is that in about the bottom right there is a stalk in focus that you probably didn't want in focus. Perhaps a blur over that.

    Otherwise I reckon it looks alright.

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Katy-I love it. I think I see the same thing you see.

  7. #7

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Thanks, Donald! mmmm, I think that I've been spending a lot of time with Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, too,
    Katy, Katy, Katy.... What if your husband finds out about these clandestine assignations with these foreign jokers when he thinks you are out fotoing flowers?
    Tell me about it....

    ...and, now, I'm laughing so hard that I can't think of what else i was going to say.

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    That's why I've experimented with this approach. Actually, in the garden - that's the very roll that this plant takes - a cloud of vague lavender color. It's planted en masse and is beautiful but hard to catch "on film".
    Hmm, I'm very interested in your experiments Katy - I know what you're after, its capturing what you actually respond to, which is the vague cloud of colour, the crowd not the individuals that make up the crowd. No matter how well you get a single flower, that's not going to meet the need. As you suggest, the impressionist painters did it by reproducing the vague cloud of colour in paint, but for some reason that's not caught on in photography so well. I passed an amazing field of poppies last week and the impact was so great I parked the car and tried some shots - including going deliberately out of focus (not just shallow dof). Not feeling courageous enough to become a Monet of photography, I resorted to the other extreme and tried HDR too - which blitzes you with loads of detail instead of vagueness! This is a low res version of course. Experimenting is fun, right - always something new to try!
    Another "fiddley" photo....
    ~ David

  9. #9

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Thank you, David, very much for your reply. You've expressed it very well. I'm not sure, why, at the moment (maybe, it's having a new pp program - Lightroom), but I feel so courageous and bold....and,.... not. but I'm excited because, even though I don't know where I'm going with it all (I might be thinking, "absolute yech" in six months time), at least I'm doing something different and coming up with new ideas. I was wondering if that would ever happen to me. I have some even scarier ones coming....

    That field must have been breathtaking to see in living light and breathing air! This doesn't look HDR.... but, then, what in the world do I know. What I do know is that it is lovely and what it has going for it is those BEAUTIFUL poppies - but, yes, how do we capture the "wash" of it all? (and, the answer that "we'll never perfectly capture real life because the other person will never be there with their full senses" is not what I'm talking about How do we express and represent it well?)

    Thanks for your comment!

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Its HDR, but very restrained - I feel that I've succeeded with HDR when I get the extra detail but people don't notice how I've done it! So thank you Katy! Even so its not exactly what I was after, which was the 'wow' factor of that sudden vision of beauty - like when you're a kid and you round a corner and there's the sea... Of course one can imitate paintings easily, there are lots of ways of making a photo look like a watercolour or an oil painting etc. But that's not it either. Macro doesn't usually do it for me, flowers often look like botanical illustrations to me in macro. What I always want to capture is the feeling which something arouses in me, not just the thing itself. With those poppies, I definitely wasn't examining them in detail, I was reeling back from the beauty and saying 'jeez, just look at that!!!' Like you, I'm going to carry on experimenting - maybe it'll be back to blurriness with my 1.4 prime this weekend!

    ~ David

  11. #11
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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Excuse for me for piggy-backing on your thread Katy (if you've noticed it, that is!) - I just thought that I'd quickly report on my re-visit to the poppy field. I did experiment with quite a few different takes - I get restless if photos are too static, and ended up with a 'circle of life' kinda thing - picked out a flower in full bloom (complete with obliging bee), a dead flower, seedheads... Not at all what Monet would have done, but hey, it was a nice way to spend some time in the sunshine...

    ~ David

    Another "fiddley" photo....

  12. #12

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Wonderful, David! I'm very happy to hear about your photographic adventure. I'm, also, encouraged to hear that someone's letting themself be challenged by the thought that they could explore and be creative. I almost tried to "do" something, today, but chickened out. Actually, there was this lovely butterfly and I got completely (willingly) distracted.....

    The deal is, we want to try and be good photographers but, personally, I'm afraid that I won't be able to. The silly part is, how will I know if I don't try? Also, sometimes, I think that we think that we're just going to either be "good" or not. The people who are good had to try and had to work on figuring it out and had failures along the way. Just thinking, is all.....

    Technically-wise, my mind is a bunch of static, lately. I'm in creative "mood board" mode and your idea is a great one. I think that your photo is lovely. If I may just challenge you (and, myself) to think about what you want to say with your 'story' and try and get rid of everything that doesn't lead to or add to it. In other words - this is a bit busy and I might have missed the seed heads and only seen the lovely, bright poppy if you hadn't said anything about it. But, what a place it must be!!! This is just lovely!

    David, if you don't mind - when you mention the 'pain' of toiling in the sunshine....well, it's funny, I just blogged the very same thought, here, if you're interested.
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 25th August 2011 at 09:18 PM.

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by MajaMolly View Post
    Katy-I love it. I think I see the same thing you see.
    Guys, it must be a girl thing then if we don't get it like they do? Id also say the DOF is a little funky for this guy too... but one thing that distracts me is the spider web on the tall stem in the middle... otherwise, this is the kind of picture my wife would also like too...

  14. #14

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
    Guys, it must be a girl thing then if we don't get it like they do? Id also say the DOF is a little funky for this guy too... but one thing that distracts me is the spider web on the tall stem in the middle... otherwise, this is the kind of picture my wife would also like too...
    I like the spider web! Oooooh! I'm just kidding! It's not the beat all, end all photo. I'm not stuck on it - I have to figure this whole 'style' out, anyway. What was nifty about this photo was that, with Lightroom, I could pull back the greens and make the lavender color more prominent. It was exciting for me to be able to simply get the colors, that I love with this plant, to read.

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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    er, what do you think, please - just a simple flower shot.

    Finally, a photo of the Russian Sage that I'm pleased with.

    Another "fiddley" photo....

    Several people asked me, when I first got Lightroom, how I liked it. At that point, I hardly knew. Well, I LOVE it - I mean L-O-V-E it! It's formatted very effectively and efficiently and I appreciate the many options for post processing - including the hue, saturation and luminance sliders for so many colors. It very much helps me to pull out the main subject and to make the rest recede. I can really set a mood with the colors. I can't wait to get set up to upgrade so that I can, also, have the graduated filter and (I can't remember the exact name but...) the brush - dodgey/burn tool thingy, too.
    I like it Katy, especially since you wanted to do something different. It is nice to play around with colours and effects, but most times we stay on the safe road with photos, because that is how we expect photos to look.

    The only thing I notice is that I would have liked the whole photo to be like it is in the bottom part with green and purple. The black part at the top distracts me and my eye is drawn to it.
    I guess the only solution for that would have been to photograph more from above, but that would have spoiled the effect of the stalks, so...

  16. #16
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    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    If I may just challenge you (and, myself) to think about what you want to say with your 'story' and try and get rid of everything that doesn't lead to or add to it. In other words - this is a bit busy and I might have missed the seed heads and only seen the lovely, bright poppy if you hadn't said anything about it.
    Ooh, I love challenges - thank you Katy, just the excuse I needed to head back to that meadow and get some more poppy shots before they're faded away! I totally agree re the busy-ness - I placed the flower on the right hand side to allow room for the seedheads, but it looks like I was just concerned about the rule of thirds, and the flower alone was my subject. I was thinking of a 'still life' pic where you arrange things just as you want them - whereas this was a 'found' scene and not subject to control. By the way, I followed the link - what a lovely blog, I'll definitely be going there again! Yes, creative 'work' is the reverse of non-creative - it generates energy rather than drains it...

    I seem to have got you some more comments on your pic, Katy, by reviving your thread. The colours are just beautiful - for me the pinky colour in the background works perfectly with the purple of the sage. Of course the subject of a photo can be just beauty - it doesn't have to have some underlying message, though you can say lots of other things if you want. With my poppy field, that was it - the message was 'just look at this!' In your case, you're saying - 'look how beautiful this flower is'. You're not just saying, this is what purple sage looks like (my botanical illustration analogy). And you can play around with the tones and sharpness and saturation as much as you want in order to bring out the beauty - that adjustment brush will definitely assist. When I went back to the poppies I was conscious that they'd soon be gone, and it was their transience that I wanted to capture this time as well as their beauty. I'm going to have another go at that and see what I come up with!

    ~ David

  17. #17

    Re: Another "fiddley" photo....

    Thanks much, Peter and David!

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