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Thread: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    After being unhappy with a similar single-exposure shot a couple weeks ago, I went back to the location with the end result visualized in my mind, and reshot numerous images for focus stacking. After a good number of hours of LR, Helicon, and Photoshop, these are the result. Please C&C, thank you!

    Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

  2. #2
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Stunning, well done Matt.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Both look good to me Matt.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Very well done matt.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Joe, Dave, Steve,

    Thank you all for your feedback and kind comments. I'm glad that the vision I had for these photos seems to have hit the mark.

    I always am looking to improve as much as possible, so if anyone else has any critical comments or advice, those would be appreciated as well. Thank you so much

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Matt,
    it was well worth the time it took to go back to get these pictures; as well as the time spent in PP.
    Nice shots.
    Well done
    John

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Hi Matt,

    I don't think ayone has found anything to suggest as feedback yet

    If I try really hard, I might suggest cloning out the little black thing touching the top edge of frame on the first shot.

    But that's it, the mark has been hit!

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    John, thank you very much.
    Dave, thanks for taking a swing at it. I totally agree, now that you pointed that black thing out, it sticks out like a sore thumb. I'll be sure to go back and clone it out. Thank you all!

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    I'm always in total admiration of the time you folks that use focus stacking take to make an image. These images certainly prove that your time is well-spent.

    Considering the dramatic nature of the images, the only thing that I wonder is if increasing the contrast would add to the drama.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Time definitely well spent. #1 is superb.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I'm always in total admiration of the time you folks that use focus stacking take to make an image. These images certainly prove that your time is well-spent.

    Considering the dramatic nature of the images, the only thing that I wonder is if increasing the contrast would add to the drama.
    Mike, thanks for your comments. I always value your feedback. Could you please suggest a few tips on how you would try increasing the contrast on these? I guess my question is, would you just crank the "contrast" slider in LR, or would you use Tone Curve, or would you do something selective to just part of the image? Thank you for any help you can offer

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Time definitely well spent. #1 is superb.
    Thanks Bobo!

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Matt,

    I have a rather pragmatic view of how to get things done: whatever produces ideal results in a reasonable period of time is best. I generally prefer using the tone curve instead of sliders because I've become comfortable using it to make subtle or dramatic adjustments. If you're more comfortable using sliders, use them.

    When working with both photos, I would increase the contrast only in the areas at most that are in focus. In the first one, I might try applying it only to the thorns. I try different things in different situations until I get a look that moves me.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    I've been hesitant to mention another characteristic. Now that I've reviewed both images several times, I feel now that I should mention that the transition in the second photo from the area that is in focus to the area that is out of focus at the bottom seems unnaturally abrupt. Notice that the transition at the top is more gradual. For me, that transition is more natural.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Matt - can I suggest on the second image that the transition between the "in" to "out" of focus areas is too pronounced, especially as you go into the frame. It almost seems as if there is a particular point on the stem that transitions rather than being a steady change over the length.

    Otherwise I think you have done very well.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Ha - Mike beat me by the time it took to hit the post button....

  17. #17
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I've been hesitant to mention another characteristic. Now that I've reviewed both images several times, I feel now that I should mention that the transition in the second photo from the area that is in focus to the area that is out of focus at the bottom seems unnaturally abrupt. Notice that the transition at the top is more gradual. For me, that transition is more natural.
    Mike, I really appreciate you telling me this, as it confirms what was annoying me in the back of my mind. I'm glad you decided to point it out because now I am certain I do need to go back into the psd and try to fix it.

    Thank you as well for your other tips on contrast, and your approach to editing.

    I'd like to add that, as my goal is to one day become a professional nature photographer, the most important thing to me is to improve my work to the highest level that I can. That said, I am extremely interested in hearing what people really see and feel so that I can utilize it in a positive manner. To put it another way, although I am emotional about my work, I am not afraid to get my feelings hurt. This would only mean I have an opportunity to improve. So thanks again, and for future reference I encourage everyone to feel free to be totally forthright about my photos.

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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Matt,

    In the spirit of your quest for the nearest thing to perfection, it might be helpful for you to know that my hesitation to comment about the transitional area had nothing to do with how you might or might not have reacted. Instead, I had to be sure of my own convictions before mentioning my ideas, and that took a bit of time to "live" with your very nice photo.

  19. #19
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    Mike,

    OK, cool, thanks for letting me know that- I had incorrectly assumed you were hesitant for the reason of how I might react to the critique (I need to stop assuming things, LOL). Regardless, it's probably good that I got my goal out in the open for everyone, in case there are any other people out there that might have been in that boat. Thanks again to you, and everyone else, for your help. I look forward to posting more photos and receiving excellent feedback. (and offering c&c and feedback to others about their photos, when I can)
    Last edited by FlyingSquirrel; 2nd January 2013 at 01:54 AM. Reason: add a thought

  20. #20
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    Re: Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

    I apologize for dragging this thread on, but I jumped back into the psd for this one and had a go at making things look more natural, in terms of the transition of DOF. I am curious to hear what you guys think of this new version that is based on your previous suggestions. Thanks as always

    Rose Thorn Macro series (B&W Abstract)

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