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Thread: Hydrangea macro

  1. #1

    Hydrangea macro

    Hydrangea macro

    What do you think, please? (Biting nails smiley.) I'm trying to find my way through post processing ideas that feel new to me.

    HERE is a link to it larger (just so that I can really bite my nails to the quick.)

    I think that I need to work on confidence, next!
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 18th August 2011 at 07:16 PM.

  2. #2
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrangea macro

    I'm no macro expert Katy, so I can't really give you any (useful) constructive criticism I'm afraid.

    What I can say though, is that I like it a lot. I like the shallow depth of field and I think you got the focus more or less spot on. I also like the sort of rule of thirds composition you've gone for. I'd be very happy to have shot this Nice one!

  3. #3

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    I'm no macro expert Katy, so I can't really give you any (useful) constructive criticism I'm afraid.

    What I can say though, is that I like it a lot. I like the shallow depth of field and I think you got the focus more or less spot on. I also like the sort of rule of thirds composition you've gone for. I'd be very happy to have shot this Nice one!
    Thanks, Tommy! It's not quite as shallow a dof as this one. This one is f7.1 and backed up a little and, then, cropped in (I had to do that so that everyone wouldn't panic and think that I'd completely lost my mind. er, JK!)

  4. #4
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Hydrangea macro

    What do you think, please? (Biting nails smiley.) I'm trying to find my way through post processing ideas that feel new to me.
    I like the subject, Katy. Being a friend who critics your work may I offer some points about the image that I think still needs to be addressed in a way (I hope).

    Based on the way you composed the shot, I would definitely say that the central part of the open flower is the main subject or point of interest. Unfortunately, there are some elements in the frame that is competing for the viewer's attention. Among them is the more "sharper" part of the petal on the right. Analyzing the way my eyes scan your image, I always seem to revert back to that part of the petal on the right that is sharper and more saturated in color. Second, those little white specular reflections on the water droplets are nice but they are also competing for my attention.

    For me, if I would recommend some suggestions, I would probably soften all the other elements by blurring them a little bit and keep the sharpness only on the central part. Second, I would probably add a softening or semi-glow effect on the shot to further reduce the color saturation of the petals. Then, lastly, I'd add some selective sharpness and contrast on the central part alone. Something along this way, Katy:

    Hydrangea macro

  5. #5

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Thank you, Jiro! This is very, very excellent advice! It hits on exactly what the exercise with my post processing in this photo was all about. (and, you must know me or something....perfect advice!) I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong - I thought that, maybe, it was the color of the flower being too strong - I did, actually, knock it down quite a bit and bring out the blue a lot in LR.

    What's funny is, I had to spend some time with myself. I ABSOLUTELY agree with what you've said and done - I just had to get over what my brain was technically saying - "BUT, but, but, but.... you need higher dof for these things." No, I don't - just because it's 'technically' correct - doesn't mean it fits this situation. It's not a big deal but it was funny to watch myself grappling with what my expectation was and, actually, getting to the point of the shot. Check. check. check. Are you still there? Am I making a shred of sense???

    Anyhooooo, would you, could you, please - if you have the time - really, if it's not too much trouble - flesh out your steps for me? I've, also, been considering how I could get to the same result with the knowledge that I have, now, and I'm not sure of my methods and think that you know the better way. Was it all done in photoshop or is there some of this in version three of LR that I don't have in version one? Thank you, I want to follow through and do it for, myself - so that I come up with something just like you did.

  6. #6
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Editing an image, Katy is the most dynamic part in photography. Why? It's because it is in the post-processing where you are giving birth to your idea to come out from the starting image you captured with your camera. This is the reason why no two photographers see an image identical. So, why am I sharing this to you now? To give you the principle that there are basic "photography grammars" or guides to help you really control how you want the viewers see your image. It is not purely manipulative but this principle has been practiced by all other photographers. They are not just aware of it hence the principle is hidden most of the time.

    OK. So, we start with your image:

    1. One, the central part of the flower is the main subject. How can I let the viewer see it this way too? One, by making it BRIGHTER, SHARPER, and with more DETAIL. The problem is, at the point of capture, your depth of field allowed the petal on the right to be SHARPER, MORE COLOR SATURATED, and with more DETAIL, too! Is it a secondary subject that needs emphasis on your shot? I guess not so we need to deal with it. How?

    We deal with it by:

    2a. Lowering its color saturation.
    2b. Making it less sharper.
    2c. Blur it a little bit so the detail are not so evident.

    By enumerating what are the aspects of the element that has to be changed, it's just a matter of knowing what commands or functions on your editing software can do this type of adjustments. I don't want to confine it just to Lightroom of Photoshop as these adjustments can be done using any good software in the market. I always like flowers to be soft with a little glow in it if it would help the shot and with this one I think it does. So the last thing I did was applied some glow effect of which I know how to do in photoshop.

    Vincent Versace once said "... Photoshop should be used like an emery paper and not as a jackhammer." This I believe a lot. The image at the point of capture is very important. You need to do everything you can to nail it right at the point of capture. Then, photoshop can REFINE it for you so you can give birth to the image you saw in your mind. Hope this helps, my friend.

  7. #7

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    heeheeheee! Thanks, Willie, but, you know, you're 'preaching to the choir'.

    The moment that you had mentioned it, in your first post, here, I could finally see clearly what had been nagging at me.

    Yikes! have to go - back later - rolling thunderstorms coming through QUICKLY, today, and I have to be plugged in to use my comp but that's not wise with the lighteni..eekk
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 20th August 2011 at 01:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Katy,

    I have a front yard full of hydrangea's in various shades of blue, and none could be as stunning as that image you took. Thanks for sharing it, and also showing us the potential beauty of what is right under our noses.

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Hi Katy,

    I don't usually comment on flower images (I have very limited skills and knowledge in this type of photography), but this one really is wonderful. It can't get more beautiful than that.

  10. #10

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Giannis and Mike, thank you for your high praise. It's very, very encouraging! Mike, I got my DSLR and started learning, last June. I feel like this whole past year was just a beginning, like practicing. In other words, this year, I have a little bit more experience under my belt and have had a whole year to percolate ideas from what I've done before in each season. The break helps the fresh ideas to come.

  11. #11

    Re: Hydrangea macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    heeheeheee! Thanks, Willie, but, you know, you're 'preaching to the choir'.

    The moment that you had mentioned it, in your first post, here, I could finally see clearly what had been nagging at me.

    Yikes! have to go - back later - rolling thunderstorms coming through QUICKLY, today, and I have to be plugged in to use my comp but that's not wise with the lighteni..eekk
    Willie, I won't have an opportunity to work on this, again, till Monday. I will try to do what you've suggested with what I know to do in my different programs. The only thing that I don't know is how to get that glow. Any glow that I ever have in my photos is from the original light - I watch for it. Is it an action or is there a trick that you're holding out on me?

    Thanks again for your very, very helpful comments!

    btw, the thunderstorms kept going right over us - forget the thunder - the lightning was so close. There were several "hide under the bed" moments!

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