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Thread: Back Lit Flower

  1. #1

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    Back Lit Flower

    I couldn't resist the effect of the back lighting on the translucent petals in this scene, so I did my best to make the most of it. I actually had to darken the background very little.

    I don't usually post technical information, but it might be interesting in this situation which was not focus stacked. My guess is that my 35mm/2 lens was very close to the minimum focusing distance, which is quite close. I used the smallest aperture, f/22, to obtain maximum depth of field. I had to crop very little.

    Back Lit Flower
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 7th May 2013 at 12:00 AM.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Very nice image. I really like the translucent effect of the petals against the dark background...

  3. #3
    neilmac's Avatar
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Also find it very nice - particularly the soft pastel colours.

    Thanks for the technical info, Mike - I enjoy trying different techniques out, and since I still see myself as a "learner"...

  4. #4
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Oh, Mike that is stunningly gorgeous!

    How did you get so close with a 35mm lens? How close were you? How did you manage to capture that lighting and the detail in the center of the flower?

    What do you look for in terms of the correct histogram for this type of shot?

    I recently took some photos of a back lit flower that I thought were nice but they don't compare... One day I will post for feedback...

    Thank you.

  5. #5

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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Thanks, everyone!

    Neil,

    The main reason I rarely post the technical data is that the information pertaining to depth of field is rather meaningless unless you also know the distance from the camera to the subject, which is rarely posted. In this case, I knew the distance was really small, so I was able to provide that information.

    The other reason I rarely post it is that, for the people who find it really important despite the lack of detail about the distance, all of the other information is in the files that I upload.

  6. #6

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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Glad you like it, Christina!

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    How did you get so close with a 35mm lens? How close were you?
    The minimum focusing distance is about 10 inches. I may have been at about 12 inches to ensure that all of the flower was within the frame and that all of it was in focus. I focused manually to have maximum control over that.

    How did you manage to capture that lighting and the detail in the center of the flower?
    Not sure how to answer that. The lighting and detail were there on their own. Once the light passed through the rear petals, it was bounced around the inside of the flower very nicely by all of the white petals.

    What do you look for in terms of the correct histogram for this type of shot?
    I expose to the right, ensuring not to blow any important highlights.

    It might help you to see the photo as it came out of the camera. Clearly, the post-processing helped, though it's understandable that some people may not like particular aspects of my approach. Having said that, the finished product is what I had in mind before I released the shutter.


    Back Lit Flower

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Very nice.

  8. #8
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Thank you Mike. Truly appreciated and very helpful to see your original (thank you)... I will be working on my processing skills this summer, and fall and winter - if needed.

    I am going to post my flower soon. For my back lit flower I photographed it for the exposure to ensure that the background was black which means it was a low key image? Ie; the histogram is at the far left, no clipping but not the best range I think. Yes, I've been reading another book and it states that histograms should have a nice shape, ideally covering left to right, evenly which of course my photo does not do.

    Anyway, your flower photos are inspiring (as are all of your photos) and I've been practicing my photography using flowers to learn light.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 7th May 2013 at 02:43 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    For my back lit flower I photographed it for the exposure to ensure that the background was black which means it was a low key image?
    The tone of the background itself doesn't indicate that the image is a low-key photo even when that is truly the case. We would need to see the image to know about that.

    An important concept to keep in mind: It is generally easy to darken mid-tones without adding noise. It is generally more difficult to brighten dark tones without adding noise. That's a major reason photographers often "expose to the right," to ensure that if anything, major tonalities need to be darkened rather than lightened during post-processing.

    You could have exposed your photo to ensure that the bright tones were "properly" exposed, knowing that if anything needs to be changed, you can generally darken tones in the background without having any adverse affects. That explains why I didn't care about how the background was exposed; I only cared that the lighter parts of the flower were reasonably bright without being blown.

  10. #10
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Thank you Mike.. Is this also why you capture all the detail in your petals?

  11. #11

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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Hi Mike,

    I like it, I like it very much.

  12. #12

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    Re: Back Lit Flower

    Thank you, Andre!

    Christina,

    I think the way I exposed the image captured the most amount of details that could be captured considering the limitations of that situation. In other words, I did nothing to alter the light, such as using diffusers, reflectors or other lights.

    However, notice that, for the most part, there is a bit more detail in the petals in the final version than in the capture version. That's of course due to the post-processing. There is comparatively a far greater difference in detail of the inner parts of the flower in the final version.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 7th May 2013 at 10:56 AM.

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