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Thread: Photographing flowers

  1. #1
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Photographing flowers

    There have been several threads on flower shots recently and having commented on other folks, thought maybe I should put up some of mine for you to pull apart
    1 - spring (or summer) snowflake, something with no business on the windy ridge at the top of our garden as it is a river-side plant (and must have overheard, not showed this year). This shows the difficulty of getting DOF right through on even a 10x10x10mm specimen, but I hope just enoughish
    Photographing flowers
    2 - Camelia Japonica or Quince
    Photographing flowers
    again a bit short of DOF, but I hope getting the 3D form and colour pretty good despite and away from stereotype single bloom in isolation from background

  2. #2
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Chris,

    I like both,but a little dark on my screen.Very nice detail on the stamins?(not sure if that's the correct word)on #2 .
    Jim

  3. #3
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    These do seem a bit dim, maybe under-exposed by 1/3 to 2/3 stop. You've also used more DOF than these shots call for, IMO. I'm still grappling with how much DOF to give or take away, but I rather opt for selecting my focus point more precisely (select a feature that would be appealing) and making the background blur away with less DOF. It's just a question of style and preference. Note also that smaller apertures will call for slower shutter speeds, which, depending on the circumstances (breeze, anyone?), will yield less sharp results.

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    Re: Photographing flowers

    according to the histograms both pics could indeed take more exposure compensation. But on No1 it gives undue emphasis to the reflective (specular?) specks which on the real thing don't figure. On no2, just a matter of taste, I think I am just rather partial to rich dark reds! And it helps the contrast between petals and stamens+pollen droppings.

    As far as DOF is concerned, it is aimed at portraying the flower shape and, yes, Stamens. I find it fascinating that even when you think you have got down to the smallest component of a flower, next day they start unwrapping the next bit of the show.

    BTW - do anyone and everyone else post more flowery things in this thread

    You seem to be aiming for an abstract based on flower parts eNo; I think that is where I go into what I think of as 'dewdrop' mode, ideally melting frost eg:

    Photographing flowers

  5. #5
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Detail-Bearded Iris
    Photographing flowers
    Sigma 150macro f/8 ISO 400 1/200" Handheld

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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    according to the histograms both pics could indeed take more exposure compensation. But on No1 it gives undue emphasis to the reflective (specular?) specks which on the real thing don't figure.
    Hi Chris,

    Most of the problem that others are seeing is that the image(s) are still tagged with an Adobe RGB profile, and my guess is that they're not on colour managed browsers.

    Hope you don't mind, but I did a 30 second tweak of levels, saturation, and sharpen (and conversion) of the first flower...

    Photographing flowers

  7. #7
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Most of the problem that others are seeing is that the image(s) are still tagged with an Adobe RGB profile, and my guess is that they're not on colour managed browsers.

    Hope you don't mind, but I did a 30 second tweak of levels, saturation, and sharpen (and conversion) of the first flower...
    Not much harm done apart from bringing up the specular, making the stamens a bit egg-yolky and introducing more noise Colin, but pleased that the adobe 1998 tag sticks so well, who knows, it may still be there even when IE becomes colour managed (hrumph)

  8. #8
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    @criscross: I know what you mean about "going the abstract thing," but here are a few shots of white flowers, properly exposed for the whites, where the backgrounds are more complementary. Note not every shot has overly reduced DOF.

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

    And yes, reds are particularly hard to tame, but this can be done while preserving good exposure.

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

    Nothing abstract about any of these: you can clearly see what kind of flowers they are. I find that the challenge with flower closeups is hitting the right lighting and keeping an eye on the background so that it complements and not distract.

    eNo
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  9. #9
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    eNo - I think we are probably just after a different sort of shot and maybe of different sorts of flowers. I mostly shoot either wildflowers or stuff in our garden that is allowed to do its own thing including semi-reversion to wild and am fascinated as much by the textures and curling of the petals and hairs on stems as the basic flower. Will try to rummage out some more typical examples later.

    Maybe this one is nearer your style:
    Photographing flowers

    "Correct exposure" seems to me to risk removing an element of mystery and magic from nature - as does cultivation of flower-show perfect blooms.

    Lets have some more of you joining in!! Also still need ID for the blue job above

    PS I like Jim's Iris - another of our dormants that has not shown this year
    Last edited by crisscross; 23rd May 2009 at 09:39 AM.

  10. #10

    Re: Photographing flowers

    There as some beautiful images in this thread. I am going to go away from the macro style image though. I have been trying to repair a leaky gasket on the carburetor of my lawnmower so I tried to take advantage of my meadow like lawn....all cropped now sad to say.

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

  11. #11
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    that is about how we keep our grass - don't worry, the flowers will be back very soon! I like the single daisy. Less sure about attempts to portray the little darlings in the mass (including my own discards or kept 'in case' where I can't find them)

  12. #12
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    A slight experiment; normally it is impossible to isolate a single floret of an Azalea as they are too tightly bunched. Here I have kept the one clear of a general process of blurring and desaturation applied to its surrounding ones which although less sharply focussed, would still have as bright colour. What do you think?
    Photographing flowers

  13. #13

    Re: Photographing flowers

    CrissCross your PP makes a really nice image. These 2 images were stages with a black card back drop and flood lighting;

    Photographing flowers

    Photographing flowers

  14. #14

    Re: Photographing flowers

    And....having to agree totally with your uncertainty about the daisy field and inspired by the Chelsea flower show on TV I took these shots today. Hand held with nice bright sunlight for a change.

    No 1
    Photographing flowers

    No2
    Photographing flowers

    No3
    Photographing flowers

    No4
    Photographing flowers

    No5
    Photographing flowers

    No6
    Photographing flowers

    In hindsight I should have used a water spray especially on No1 and No3

  15. #15
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    In hindsight I should have used a water spray especially on No1 and No3
    Hmmm, yes Steve, #1 and #3 are looking a bit dry!

    I think they do need a bit of PP to lift the subject away from any background distractions.
    There's several I'd burn/desat/blur a bit to achieve this, but then I'm a PP freak.

    I like your previous two where I'm guessing you've expended some effort to 'get it right in camera'.

    Well done, in all 8 together, I like the compositions,

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    A slight experiment; normally it is impossible to isolate a single floret of an Azalea as they are too tightly bunched. Here I have kept the one clear of a general process of blurring and desaturation applied to its surrounding ones which although less sharply focussed, would still have as bright colour. What do you think?
    Chris,

    It has an abstract feel to it, which I don't mind at all.

    The only thing I'd query is that I'm seeing a black spot or two on several of the petals, which due to sharpening are now significantly sharper than the petals they are on. I think I'd have blatted them before sharpening.

    otherwise, I like.

    Regards,

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    I'll see if I can find something to post here for anyone 'seeking recompense'.

  18. #18
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    a bit tired from having enjoyed all the sunshine today Dave & Steve, but investigating the black specs, I find they are mostly where I had left small holes in the protection mask! Now need a rainy day to catch up on PP & forums

  19. #19
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    a bit tired from having enjoyed all the sunshine today
    I know what you mean, I've walked a few miles in the last two days with the camera myself and I'm feeling like a day tomorrow with no walking is in order.

    Cheers,

  20. #20
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    Re: Photographing flowers

    I really like the petal modelling and shading in the pair with black background Steve and this shows the benefit of a studio (or at least set-up) environment. For my taste I do slightly prefer a slightly more naturalistic dark blurry background....which will return to in a mo

    I also like the Poppy no 6 and 2nd Honeysuckle no 5; the others are what photographic judges often disparagingly call 'record shots', but there is nothing wrong with competent record shots to my mind, in fact it is a stage that is well worth going through before going too arty.

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