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Thread: Sharp or not or something else?

  1. #1

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    Sharp or not or something else?

    I like the concept and composition of this photo but I would like to give it more depth/space. The first is just a crop, the second is PP to extremely sharpen the image. Not really happy with either result or some intermediates, and have reached the limit of my Lightroom knowledge at this point.

    Appreciate any C&C and suggestions.

    Thanks,
    George

    Sharp or not or something else?

    Sharp or not or something else?

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    I slightly prefer the darker tones in the second. Try cropping the lighter short grass on the top and converting the smallest butterfly to B&W. To me it is a distracting and possibly unneeded element.

    The more I look at it the less certain I become about what to do with the second butterfly - I would need to look at it with and without to make up my mind. Have fun.

  3. #3

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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    I slightly prefer the darker tones in the second. Try cropping the lighter short grass on the top and converting the smallest butterfly to B&W. To me it is a distracting and possibly unneeded element.

    The more I look at it the less certain I become about what to do with the second butterfly - I would need to look at it with and without to make up my mind. Have fun.
    Thanks very much for the feedback Paul. Here's the crop which I like better. Also with and without the girlfriend - a toss up for me.

    Sharp or not or something else?

    Sharp or not or something else?

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    I'm going to quote from a book by an excellent landscape and nature photographer - Tim Fitzharris. On the subject of landscapes:

    "The image will be most arresting if it displays sharply from front to back. This can be accomplished by shooting at the smallest aperture to maximize depth of field, and by focusing about one third of the way into the picture space to center the in-focus zone over the framed area. Use your cameras' depth-of-field preview feature to check results in the viewfinder".

    Elsewhere in his book, he points out that when we look at a landscape with our eyes, we see the foreground in sharp focus, and the far background (infinity) as much less sharp, and at times even hazy/fuzzy (for lack of a better term).

    Perhaps the important point is that the foreground focus is critical.

    Glenn

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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Elsewhere in his book, he points out that when we look at a landscape with our eyes, we see the foreground in sharp focus, and the far background (infinity) as much less sharp, and at times even hazy/fuzzy (for lack of a better term).

    Perhaps the important point is that the foreground focus is critical.

    Glenn
    Thanks Glenn,

    The image is a severe crop of a larger photo. So that resulted in the flatness. I'm new to PP and was trying to see if I could create some sense of space or bring the butterflies above the grass. Here is the original. Rather than trying to chase them through the field I tried to make it as sharp as possible so no zoom. Specs are 1/500 at f/5.6, ISO 125 - Sony RX100. Thanks for the reference to the book - I will check it out.

    George

    Sharp or not or something else?

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Hi George, the second one almost looks over-sharpened and ‘crunchy’ looking but I feel it also has other issues. The first has to deal with selecting the subject. If it is the butterflies, they would be better if they were more prominent (larger) and typically if there were an 'odd' number of them. If the subject is the gray/green plants the flowers are on, then it would be better to let the background to a bit soft to make the foreground stand out a bit better. Because there are several possible subjects and none of them dominate the scene the composition becomes a bit confused.

    There is a saying for a scene like this and that is 'If the subject doesn't stand out, make it BIG. If it still doesn't command attention make it RED!

  7. #7

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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Thanks Frank,

    I liked the concept that the butterflies live in a yellow world (don't know if this is really the case). To be honest I don't think much can be done, can't make it bigger. I really like your advice, and there is a third option - make it BIG AND RED.

    George

  8. #8
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by geoz View Post
    and there is a third option - make it BIG AND RED.
    LOL! You've got that right!

    Just keep asking yourself those 'what if' questions and shooting to your hearts content. You'll get better and better with each new thing you try!

  9. #9
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by geoz View Post
    Thanks Glenn,

    The image is a severe crop of a larger photo. So that resulted in the flatness. I'm new to PP and was trying to see if I could create some sense of space or bring the butterflies above the grass. Here is the original. Rather than trying to chase them through the field I tried to make it as sharp as possible so no zoom. Specs are 1/500 at f/5.6, ISO 125 - Sony RX100. Thanks for the reference to the book - I will check it out.

    George
    George:

    I did not realize it was such a small crop - sorry for missing that.

    I found the book by Fitzharris so useful that when I couldn't find it, I went out and bought another copy.

    He is a superb landscape and nature photog.

    http://www.photomediaonline.com/feat...th-nature.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Tim-Fitzharris/e/B001JRVGHE

    Glenn

  10. #10

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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Thanks Glenn and Frank,

    I think I've pushed this one as far as I can. You both gave good advice and I will use the big and red rule and will check out Tim Fitzharris' book.

    George

  11. #11
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    I have been looking at the work of Tim Fitzharris' in the link above.

    And a novice like me thought grater depth of field was better, so I have been pushing the fstop out as high as I can and maybe compromising on speed. It does not work with birds on a windy lake, especially with a 70-300 zoomed in.

    So now it is back to the drawing board.

  12. #12
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    I have been looking at the work of Tim Fitzharris' in the link above.

    And a novice like me thought grater depth of field was better, so I have been pushing the fstop out as high as I can and maybe compromising on speed. It does not work with birds on a windy lake, especially with a 70-300 zoomed in.

    So now it is back to the drawing board.
    Robin:

    Good depth of field is attainable with landscapes because many of them don't move.

    I have never done any bird photography (at least not in the sense that I get a good image), but capturing bird images is a whole new game.

    The birders use lenses with focal lengths in the 600 mm plus range, often shoot at f/4, shutter speeds higher than I can count to, and ISO values way, way above my IQ.

    Have a look at some good birders here:

    http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=3

    The first one, Long-billed curlew: 600 mm lens, 1/2000 second, f/7.1, ISO 800. The depth of field is very small so focus is very critical. The water a couple of feet (600mm) and the same behind the bird is out of focus. I don't think the bird's feet are even in sharp focus.

    The southern Emu-wren: 800 mm lens, 1/100 sec (the bird was sitting still), f/7.1, ISO 800. The pink foliage in front of the bird is blurry and the background is so blurred out I don't know what it could be.

    I have the same lens you have, and this afternoon with a 2.0 extender on it, I snapped some ducks in a pond, and the images will be discarded because they are all out of focus and fuzzy.

    Bird photography is very difficult I think.

    Glenn

  13. #13
    rawill's Avatar
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    Re: Sharp or not or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    Robin:

    Bird photography is very difficult I think.

    Glenn
    No disagreement here.

    However I saw a shot of a bird in flight, wings outstretched corner to corner in the picture, prefectly clear and crisp.

    To my eye an amazing shot, so sometimes if I see some birds I think, I will give it a go.
    So far no success, landscapes seem a better option!

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