Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: First Flowers

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    First Flowers

    It's a little early for these, but the weather has been nice and I guess they were not planted very deep. C&C welcome. Flowers are my favourite subject so I'm always looking for ideas.

    First Flowers
    1/30s: f11: ISO 200: 70mm

    First Flowers
    1/25s: f11: ISO 200: 150mm

    First Flowers
    1/320s: f11: ISO 200: 130mm

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: First Flowers

    Hi Wendy,

    I think you might be on to something here, but for me, these particular compositions don't quite work, I'm afraid. However, don't give up as they are close to being good (understatement).

    Technically the third is good, as are the first two apart from the hints of black and light halos around them (which is either Active D-Lighting, or LCE with too low a radius).

    What is excellent is the combination of focus distance, focal length and aperture which has everything I want to see nice and sharp on all of them. Exposure is good too, I bet you had to be careful of the red (and possibly green) channels clipping.

    #3 would be brilliant if the left edge hadn't got cropped off.
    #2 I think I would be better with;
    - a differenet background colour change position
    - no halos (dark or light)
    - being able to see the end of the left hand leaf
    - removal of the right hand leave - it just cuts the corner right off
    #1 has too much black space top of frame - which was obviously deliberate and so you and others may disagree with me, also I'm not sure I like the 'blurred noise' black background. I like the frame though.

    So for me, #3 is the pick of the bunch (groan); I love the stem entering from the corner, the background with just the right amount of blur on patterning and the lighting angle is good on the petals. The thin black frame on this one is great too.

    I really hope that helps,

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: First Flowers

    I think you might be on to something here, but for me, these particular compositions don't quite work, I'm afraid. However, don't give up as they are close to being good (understatement).
    Thanks Dave, I won't give up, and I appreciate your feedback, always very helpful to hear what you have to say. I like to shoot flowers, but want to step up a few notches this year.

    Technically the third is good, as are the first two apart from the hints of black and light halos around them (which is either Active D-Lighting, or LCE with too low a radius).
    Active D was off so it's not that. I will admit that I am still not there when it comes to this sharpening business, and I'm probably creating the halos when I do LCE. I'm also starting to suspect that there is something weird going on when I move files into LR after editing in Elements. I've noticed that the sharpening sliders which I usually have set to zero (because I don't use LR for sharpening), have moved. I've been watching to see if I can find what setting in the program is causing this, but so far no luck. I wish I had your eye for spotting halos. On my first try I had very visible solid white halos and corrected them. I don't really see the white ones now, but I can see the solid lines on the stems.

    What is excellent is the combination of focus distance, focal length and aperture which has everything I want to see nice and sharp on all of them. Exposure is good too, I bet you had to be careful of the red (and possibly green) channels clipping.
    Is that wink because you know you lost me? LOL, I don't know about which channel was clipping, but I did watch the blinkies and you may have noticed that I even did some negative EC That's a big step for me.

    #3 would be brilliant if the left edge hadn't got cropped off.
    Thank you, that's my favourite too. The edge of the petal got clipped off when I rotated to get the stem coming in from the corner. I played around a bit and found a way that I think I can do the rotation and keep the edge of the petal. Increase the canvas size and then use the Transform tool in Elements seems to work. My first try was messy, but I think I can save it.

    #2 I think I would be better with;
    - a differenet background colour change position
    - no halos (dark or light)
    - being able to see the end of the left hand leaf
    - removal of the right hand leave - it just cuts the corner right off
    Yeah, the backgrounds were an experiment. Actually another step up for me, I took some coloured art card out for backgrounds (does that get me past a point and shooter ), and thought I'd try out a two tone effect.

    Ooops, missed that cut off leaf, I can get that back, and now that you mention it i agree the right hand leaf cutting off the corner is annoying, even though I originally framed it that way on purpose.

    I see the dark halos, but if you don't mind I need some help with the light ones. I sort of see them here:

    top and bottom edge of the stem of the left hand flower
    the edges of both flowers on the main part closest to the bottom of the screen

    #1 has too much black space top of frame - which was obviously deliberate and so you and others may disagree with me, also I'm not sure I like the 'blurred noise' black background. I like the frame though.
    The black space is intentional, the blurred noise effect is not though, the art card does not photograph too well, and when I tried to darken it everything else got too dark, so I left it. I think I can get it to pure black though, hopefully without messing up everything else. I have to go back to the drawing board for the halos anyway, so I'll try to fix the background too.

    So for me, #3 is the pick of the bunch (groan); I love the stem entering from the corner, the background with just the right amount of blur on patterning and the lighting angle is good on the petals. The thin black frame on this one is great too.

    I really hope that helps,
    Hmmmm, trying to think of a comeback for the "Pick of the Bunch"... but I can't so I'll just say, It helps a lot. I will see if I can get that petal back on #3 and still keep the diagonal stem. (why didn't I just shoot it that way )
    Thanks for all the suggestions and for taking the time to help out.

    Wendy

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: First Flowers

    Hi Wendy,

    Technically the third is good, as are the first two apart from the hints of black and light halos around them (which is either Active D-Lighting, or LCE with too low a radius).
    Active D was off so it's not that. I will admit that I am still not there when it comes to this sharpening business, and I'm probably creating the halos when I do LCE.
    ~
    On my first try I had very visible solid white halos and corrected them. I don't really see the white ones now, but I can see the solid lines on the stems.
    To avoid confusion (myself as much as anything ), I tend not to think of LCE as Sharpening.

    The halos I am talking about are smudgy ones about 20-30 pixels wide, not sharpening ones (typically 1-3 pixels wide).

    ~ if you don't mind I need some help with the light ones. I sort of see them here:
    top and bottom edge of the stem of the left hand flower
    the edges of both flowers on the main part closest to the bottom of the screen
    Specifically, the (smudgy) light ones are just where leaves and stems pass over the yellow card background in #2. The dark ones are about the same width and only seen where bright stuff is in front of the black background.

    I wish I had your eye for spotting halos.
    I cheat; on a laptop LCD monitor, if I angle the screen so I look slightly down on an image, it lifts the black point and allows the dark LCE halos to be seen more easily. #1 isn't as bad as #2 for this; viewed "properly" (i.e. LCD perpendicular to my eyes), the dark halos aren't a real issue in #1.

    ~ but I did watch the blinkies and you may have noticed that I even did some negative EC
    Exactly.
    In terms of which channel is clipping, Nikon's ViewNX, which I still use*, shows channel clipping if I press the H or L keys while viewing an image - and (better than ACR off memory), colours it with the primaries over a plain background.
    You can sort of see the same thing in ACR, with the red (highlight), or blue (shadows) clipping indicators turned on, then guess which channels are white clipping based on the subject colour (yellow = red+green, but red overloads more easily with digital cameras)

    * darn it, I never did try Beta LR3 while free

    I took some coloured art card out for backgrounds (does that get me past a point and shooter ), and thought I'd try out a two tone effect.
    Definitely, in fact it takes you beyond me (I'm soooo lazy).
    Thoughts on two tone background;
    a) Why? Surely it can only divert attention from the subject unless the reason for it is readily apparent.
    b) This was too much of a tone difference, perhaps try two similar colours, or just rely on a shadow across some of it to give the two tones.
    c) Be very careful where the tone change occurs so it doesn't compete/collide/cross foreground/subject complexity, as #2 does at the junction of bloom and leaves.

    The black space is intentional, the blurred noise effect is not though, the art card does not photograph too well, and when I tried to darken it everything else got too dark, so I left it. I think I can get it to pure black though, hopefully without messing up everything else. I have to go back to the drawing board for the halos anyway, so I'll try to fix the background too.
    Here's something to try in PSE; unfortunately I do it so occasionally I can never remember which mask tool I use (I try 'em all until one does what I want), select** the black area only, with a smallish feather edge, and while selected (marching ants), go to levels and move the black clipping point up until you clip it all off - this should now only be affecting the blacks, not messing with the whole picture. When done, cancel the selection. This can also do clipping on a duplicate layer, then reveal (or hide - depending on layer order) with the eraser/painter brush. Again I do it so infrequently that my guidance is a little 'woolly', shall we say

    ** When selecting, like cloning, I make extensive use of image zoom to go in to add and remove smaller bits from the selection to get it right around the intricate bits. The selection tool I use most allows this easily "+" and "-" from the selection by pressing Ctrl (or was it Alt or Shift) when mouse clicking, I can never remember, but the on screen icon changes from "+" to "-" or vice versa when you hold down the Ctrl, Alt or Shift keys (before you mouse click).

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    To wrap up, in thinking about all this and writing it all out for you (and others), I am also learning myself - not having had the experience myself (in recent living memory ). So we both gain from it; I'm learning from your mistakes, which is always a good thing (from where I am)

    Cheers,

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: First Flowers

    To avoid confusion (myself as much as anything ), I tend not to think of LCE as Sharpening.
    No problem, I always use both terms to avoid confusion, mostly for myself. LCE it is from now on, and I know that you (and others) will know what I mean.

    The halos I am talking about are smudgy ones about 20-30 pixels wide, not sharpening ones (typically 1-3 pixels wide).

    Specifically, the (smudgy) light ones are just where leaves and stems pass over the yellow card background in #2. The dark ones are about the same width and only seen where bright stuff is in front of the black background.
    Yes, I see them very clearly now at 100% in Elements and 1:1 in LR. I was viewing at those settings last night too, but missed the obvious. Fixing them might be another story, but I will check it out.

    Exactly.
    In terms of which channel is clipping, Nikon's ViewNX, which I still use*, shows channel clipping if I press the H or L keys while viewing an image - and (better than ACR off memory), colours it with the primaries over a plain background.
    You can sort of see the same thing in ACR, with the red (highlight), or blue (shadows) clipping indicators turned on, then guess which channels are white clipping based on the subject colour (yellow = red+green, but red overloads more easily with digital cameras)

    * darn it, I never did try Beta LR3 while free
    Right now I just worry about clipping in general, but based on what you are saying, if I can learn which colour is clipping, then I would be able to individually correct just that channel instead of trying to correct with what I will refer to as "Global" adjustments to brightness, exposure, contrast, clarity.... whichever one seems to move the histogram. That sounds promising. I will check it out.

    Definitely, in fact it takes you beyond me (I'm soooo lazy).
    Thoughts on two tone background;
    a) Why? Surely it can only divert attention from the subject unless the reason for it is readily apparent.
    In this case, not planned, the cards ended up laying there together and while I was composing for something else I caught the 2 tones in the viewfinder and thought I'd try it. I think it could work, but probably not in this case.

    Here's something to try in PSE; unfortunately I do it so occasionally I can never remember which mask tool I use (I try 'em all until one does what I want), select** the black area only, with a smallish feather edge, and while selected (marching ants), go to levels and move the black clipping point up until you clip it all off - this should now only be affecting the blacks, not messing with the whole picture. When done, cancel the selection. This can also do clipping on a duplicate layer, then reveal (or hide - depending on layer order) with the eraser/painter brush. Again I do it so infrequently that my guidance is a little 'woolly', shall we say
    Copied and pasted into my notes and will give it a try.

    ** When selecting, like cloning, I make extensive use of image zoom to go in to add and remove smaller bits from the selection to get it right around the intricate bits. The selection tool I use most allows this easily "+" and "-" from the selection by pressing Ctrl (or was it Alt or Shift) when mouse clicking, I can never remember, but the on screen icon changes from "+" to "-" or vice versa when you hold down the Ctrl, Alt or Shift keys (before you mouse click).
    Sounds like the Quick Selection Tool. That's the one that I use. It has the + and - options. I always make a mess with selections, but I guess that won't change unless I practice.

    To wrap up, in thinking about all this and writing it all out for you (and others), I am also learning myself - not having had the experience myself (in recent living memory ).
    Hmmmm, why is that, you need to make some time. I think your macro shots would look good with some art card

    So we both gain from it; I'm learning from your mistakes, which is always a good thing (from where I am)
    Always glad to help out. I hope others are learning from my mistakes too.

    Thanks again for the time and all the help
    Wendy

  6. #6

    Re: First Flowers

    Wendy

    I like #1 (sorry, Dave) I think the extra black negative space makes it. You mentioned art card. Yes, it doesn't photograph too well. I use a large (6 foot) Lastolite black velvet backdrop which does give a more even finish. I think you can get them in smaller sizes. Even a small piece of smooth black velvet from a materials store will do it. If you are shooting flowers in the wild you can get one of those small fold-up reflectors which has a black option amongst others, including a diffuser to soften direct sunlight. http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...ector/p1028149

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: First Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    ~ if I can learn which colour is clipping, then I would be able to individually correct just that channel instead of trying to correct with what I will refer to as "Global" adjustments to brightness, exposure, contrast, clarity.... whichever one seems to move the histogram.
    Hi Wendy,

    This isn't what I was suggesting, as I think that will change the WB (possibly in a weird way).

    Certainly in ACR; just use Recovery (to a higher number) and if really necessary Exposure (to a minus number) to "rein in" any highlight clipping: i.e. make the ACR red markers just go away.

    I do sometimes leave small areas of super saturated colour slighty clipped, one of my swan shots beaks was still like that, but it's such a small area that you just don't notice it.

    Everything else you said makes perfect sense.
    (Except possibly the bit about only seeing the dark and light smudgy halos at 1:1, or 100%, as they are plain as day at normal viewing size on the 700 px versions we see here. But I don't think that's a biggy.

    Cheers,

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: First Flowers

    This isn't what I was suggesting, as I think that will change the WB (possibly in a weird way).
    Ooops, thanks for clearing that up, you just save me a lot of grief.

    Certainly in ACR; just use Recovery (to a higher number) and if really necessary Exposure (to a minus number) to "rein in" any highlight clipping: i.e. make the ACR red markers just go away.
    I can do that.

    Everything else you said makes perfect sense.
    (Except possibly the bit about only seeing the dark and light smudgy halos at 1:1, or 100%, as they are plain as day at normal viewing size on the 700 px versions we see here. But I don't think that's a biggy.
    Aaaaaaarrrrrggggg (that's a scream) . Someday halos will jump out at me. Don't know if it's the screen or my eyes - probably a combination of both, plus lack of experience.
    I do see them when pointed out, so don't be shy about mentioning it. At some point I'll start seeing them on my own. The ones we are referring to right now, just look like focus problems to me. When I start over on the originals I will watch carefully through each step. If the smudges were not there to start with, I might get rid of them, but then I'll more than likely miss something else.

    Thanks again
    Wendy

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: First Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    Wendy

    I like #1 (sorry, Dave) I think the extra black negative space makes it. You mentioned art card. Yes, it doesn't photograph too well. I use a large (6 foot) Lastolite black velvet backdrop which does give a more even finish. I think you can get them in smaller sizes. Even a small piece of smooth black velvet from a materials store will do it. If you are shooting flowers in the wild you can get one of those small fold-up reflectors which has a black option amongst others, including a diffuser to soften direct sunlight. http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...ector/p1028149
    Thanks Rob: I've seen those reflectors mentioned here before and have to check them out. They look like they would be very useful. I used white art card for a reflector in these, and although it was subtle I actually think it helped a bit. Very clumsy though and it kept blowing over and would not stay propped up where I wanted it. The fold up reflectors look like just the ticket, and not terribly expensive.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Wendy

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Reworks

    I did some work on #1 and #3. These are still flawed, but I worked on a couple things and got some practice. I think # 1 is better except for the stem at the bottom. I cheated on #3 and just increased the black point till the background went solid black. i lost the stems and leaves and darkened the flowers by doing this so I don't think it's an improvement and I'll have to go back to the drawing board, and try Dave's more advanced method when I have time.

    #1-reworked: increased canvas size in order to rotate flower without cutting off petal on left
    First Flowers

    #3-reworked:
    First Flowers
    Last edited by ScoutR; 1st April 2010 at 06:48 PM. Reason: typo and add info

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Reworks

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I did some work on #1 and #3. These are still flawed, but I worked on a couple things and got some practice.
    I like #1 now, it really pops out 3D-like above the background - if only it hadn't gone all noisy in the process
    But I suspect you knew this, hence the second sentence.

    I won't mention #3

    Full marks for trying.

    I bought some yesterday (diffodals, I mean), they're just opening today, maybe I'll give them a try and you can have a chance at commenting on my work

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Reworks

    I like #1 now, it really pops out 3D-like above the background - if only it hadn't gone all noisy in the process
    But I suspect you knew this, hence the second sentence.
    Dave, you make me laugh, actually I was referrring to the blurry stem, I didn't notice the noise. LOL sorry can't quit laughing, you are very difficult... but I know that saying how pretty they are is not really going to help me very much.

    I won't mention #3
    Yeah, I don't even know why I posted this one. I tried the black point thing right from the start and decided I didn't like it, then I went and did the same thing today. I'm stressed....

    Full marks for trying.
    Thank you for that. It was a challenge (for me) to get the canvas bigger and rotate the flower so it still fit. Noise or no noise I thought I done good.

    I bought some yesterday (diffodals, I mean), they're just opening today, maybe I'll give them a try and you can have a chance at commenting on my work
    Look forward to it. I'll get a wedge so I can tip my screen for viewing

    As always, thanks for the feedback.
    Wendy

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Reworks

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Dave, you make me laugh, actually I was referrring to the blurry stem, I didn't notice the noise. LOL sorry can't quit laughing, you are very difficult... but I know that saying how pretty they are is not really going to help me very much.
    Ah yes, I didn't like to mention the softness as well as the noise (didn't want to add to your stress )

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Yeah, I don't even know why I posted this one. I tried the black point thing right from the start and decided I didn't like it, then I went and did the same thing today. I'm stressed....
    Quit makin' excuses girl

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Thank you for that. It was a challenge (for me) to get the canvas bigger and rotate the flower so it still fit. ~ I thought I done good.
    You did, it's MUCH better.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I'll get a wedge so I can tip my screen for viewing
    Now who's making whom laugh?

    I'll look out the art card too, shall I?

    You gotta love this CiC place

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Reworks

    I'll look out the art card too, shall I?
    Yes Dave, you must have a good background, art card or otherwise, I'll even accept well controlled DOF, which I'm sure you are up too. Some kind of reflector or diffuser depending on your lighting conditions should also be tried AND I think it's cheating to purchase flowers. You really need to be crawling around in a flowerbed with art card blowing all over the place for this to count. Where is your sense of adventure. You must stalk the daffodils, not plop them in a vase.

    You gotta love this CiC place
    I do!

    Have fun
    Wendy

  15. #15

    Re: Reworks

    I am a bit late on this thread because I could not see the images originally. I really like the reworked version of No1. I would not have thought to use a background the same colour as the main subject but this works really well. Nice work Wendy.

    Steve

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Reworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I am a bit late on this thread because I could not see the images originally. I really like the reworked version of No1. I would not have thought to use a background the same colour as the main subject but this works really well. Nice work Wendy.

    Steve
    Thanks Steve: It's a start, hope to get better with the flowers this summer.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Reworks

    Hi wendy, there is a fairly easy way to darken the background on the first one. First make 2 dup. layers. On the first layer....image>adjustments>threshold...........sli de the slider all the way to the left to about 26. The flower and leaves should be almost all white and the background will have some white in it as well. Next hit OK and grab black paint brush and paint all the background black(full opacity and hard brush) Next switch to white and paint the black specks in the flowers and leaves. Next add gaussian blur 3 pix. Now you have a mask made to isolate the flowers from the background. Now hit image>adjustments>invert (flower is black and background is white)

    Now its time to do a little cheating in elements. On the second layer add an adjustment layer mask (it can be anything, lets just say levels) Don't adjust levels, you're just going to cheat with the mask. Now click on your threshold layer......Ctrl A> Ctrl C> now what you did was select All and Copy the layer. Now click on the layer with the mask and click on the white mask. Now hit Alt> left mouse click and the screen should turn white. Now hit Ctrl V and the mask should appear in the white box. Now you can click on the left pick of the layer and make adjustments with the curves tool and make the background black and the flower will be untouched.

    Keep the mask layer untill you're done with the edit, you might need to invert again and use it for something else. Just click the eyeball off and delete before flattening.

    If you have any trouble let me know. Hope this helps.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,080
    Real Name
    Wendy

    Re: Reworks

    Thanks Steve S. I have copied and pasted your instructions into my Daffodil document, and I hope I have time to give it a try tonight. WARNING: I will post the results.

    For you this may seem very easy, but as I read it, I know I'm going into new territory so it's probably going to take me a long time. I can see where being able to do this kind of thing will be very helpful though, so I must give it a try.

    Thanks for taking the time to write out the the detailed instructions. I should be able to get though them - I think

    Wendy

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •