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Thread: Late Spring Collection

  1. #1

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    Late Spring Collection

    All taken with a Nikon D3000 and Nikon 18-200mm f4.5-5.6 lens. Still trying to improve on Exposure and composition.
    I like these and think it's getting better. I'm sure there is chromatic abberation on some of them. I don't think I can fix that, but will have to live with it. If there are halos, I don't see them, but don't mind if you want to point them out.
    When it comes to exposure on flowers, I try to spot meter and then add or subtract based on blown highlighs as indicated by blinkies. I've also used a reflector when possible to even out the light on the flowers. Matt board was used for backgrounds on all but the tulip.
    C&C welcome
    Wendy

    Late Spring Collection
    1/100s: f8: ISO 200; 135mm: Spot +1/3

    Late Spring Collection
    1/500s: f5.6: ISO 200: 200mm: Spot

    Late Spring Collection
    1/40s: f5.6: ISO 200: 200mm: Spot +1

    Late Spring Collection
    1/8s: f36: ISO 200: 90mm: Spot -1/3

    Late Spring Collection
    1/125s: f10: ISO 200: 200mm: Spot

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Wendy,

    All very nice, could use a bit more contrast in each image.

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Lovely selection, Wendy and the framing enhances the images beautifully.

  4. #4

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    They look great Wendy - the only comment I can make is that you might squeeze a bit more out of them by puching things a bit harder in post-processing (some a little brighter, some a bit more vibrant etc).

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Wendy
    A very impressive set of images. And, as suggested above, you've really got it so far as knowing how best to frame an image. I find these induce a real sense of calm and relaxation. Well done.

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Hi Wendy,

    Hope you don't mind me popping this into your thread -- I took it whilst walk-abouts today. Wasn't quite sure what to do with it - I like it, but I didn't want to start a new thread - so hope you don't mind me popping it into your garden!

    No PP to speak of - just raised the black clipping point slightly - down-sampled & sharpened.

    Late Spring Collection

  7. #7

    Re: Late Spring Collection

    very good, Wendy, but as Shadowman said they could do with a little more contrast to make them pop. Nice framing.

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    When it comes to exposure on flowers, I try to spot meter and then add or subtract based on blown highlighs as indicated by blinkies.
    Hi Wendy,

    I just re-read your initial post, and spotted the "spot-metering" bit. Looking back at the images in hindsight, they're all probably about a stop over-exposed which is making them look a bit washed out due to the blacks needing to be clipped at a higher level. I'd suggest normal matrix metering for this kind of shot (perhaps with a small EC if required). If it helps, I wrote a bit about spot-metering here and here.

  9. #9

    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Very nice collection Wendy. I have to agree with others about the PP. I like No5 best because it is bold but it just needs a little more brightness. In curves pulling the the diagonal plot line up very slightly at a point 1/4 way along from the r/h axis should do the trick. I like your borders by the way they complement the subjects very well

    Steve

  10. #10

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Me Again

    Just wanted to give you a quick illustration of what I mean't regarding the over-exposure. All I've done is reduced the exposure by 1.5 stops - raised the black clipping point a small amount - and applied a touch of sharpening.

    Late Spring Collection

    PS: Not sure if it's a little too dark ... I don't know what the flower is supposed to look like, so I'm gussing that somewhere between 1 & 1.5 stop reduction would be about right.

  11. #11

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Thank you everyone. Looks like it is unanimous that they need more pop. I was going for a softer look on these, but have to agree that they are a bit indistinct.
    I'm glad everyone seems to like the frames. I was kinda happy with them too. It's hard to come up with something that isn't copying someone else. If I ever get the nice white backgrounds that i want though I am going to copy the white drop shadow frame.

    From Wire fox: I like No 5 best because it is bold but it just needs a little more brightness. In curves pulling the the diagonal plot line up very slightly at a point 1/4 way along from the r/h axis should do the trick.
    Yup that works great on the tulip. It's just the opposite of what I would have done.

    From Colin: I just re-read your initial post, and spotted the "spot-metering" bit. Looking back at the images in hindsight, they're all probably about a stop over-exposed which is making them look a bit washed out due to the blacks needing to be clipped at a higher level. I'd suggest normal matrix metering for this kind of shot (perhaps with a small EC if required). If it helps, I wrote a bit about spot-metering here and here.
    Thanks Colin, believe it or not I've read all your exposure articles and more. At this point what the camera shows me and what I expect are sometimes 2 different things. The same goes for DOF, and focus. One of these days it will come together. Still experimenting right now. I thought spot metering would be good for small subjects like flowers and butterflies and Matrix better for Landscapes. Have I got that backwards?

    Your rework on the blue/purple Columbine is perfect. I wanted the background lighter and softer looking and that is probably where I lost it on the flower. I really like this though. The detail and softness of the petals is still there and the colour is much deeper without the colours separating (posterization, I think) and coming apart.

    I don't mind you adding your flower shot to this post at all, however, I think you need to go to school with me on floral shots.

    Thanks again Everyone, all the feedback is appreciated.
    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 22nd May 2010 at 06:54 PM. Reason: fix typo

  12. #12

    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Wendy,

    I just re-read your initial post, and spotted the "spot-metering" bit. Looking back at the images in hindsight, they're all probably about a stop over-exposed which is making them look a bit washed out due to the blacks needing to be clipped at a higher level. I'd suggest normal matrix metering for this kind of shot (perhaps with a small EC if required). If it helps, I wrote a bit about spot-metering here and here.
    For general open shots such as Wendy's, then yes I'd go for matrix metering. But when you start getting in close to a flower that is pale in colour, and especially when it's shot in bright conditions outdoors, then I normally use spot metering. It really depends on those three things, closeness, brightness, and colour. The good thing about spot-metering on a light-coloured flower is that it can darken the background area that is showing if it's not very attractive. I think Wendy's shots should have been matrix.

    Wendy - did you shoot them with RAW? If so, and you don't mind I wouldn't mind a blast at it. You could post the RAW here. Perhaps the first shot? You might need to register. http://uploading.com/signup/

  13. #13

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    I've sent the file via "Send this file" check you mail

    I have one question about exposure (I have lots of questions actually, but they are all to vaugue at this point) When you are shooting flowers like this, do you worry about parts of the backgrounds being blown?

    Wendy

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Wendy,

    I would have to say you always worry about backgrounds effects on your photos. For instance, suppose you are photographing a roses on a trestle and there are sections of daylight shining through, your main subject is the roses and anything in the surrounding area can distract from your point of focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I've sent the file via "Send this file" check you mail

    I have one question about exposure (I have lots of questions actually, but they are all to vaugue at this point) When you are shooting flowers like this, do you worry about parts of the backgrounds being blown?

    Wendy

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Thanks Shadowman, that's my way of thinking too, but it seems that if I get rid of blown highlights in many (not all) backgrounds then the main subject is too dark. Or if I get my white backgrounds white, then the subject is blown. I mastered the white snow thing before winter ended. I will master this before the end of summer.
    Have to go now. Hope you got that file Rob, I'll check in when I get home.

    Wendy

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Wendy, you could try processing an image twice - once for the background you want and once for the foreground. Stack them as layers, then erase the background of the desired foreground image and flatten. Some bright spark might be able to tell you how to do that with masks as well (seems to be the preferred "pro" method) but I haven't cracked that particular nut myself.

  17. #17

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    No technical critique to offer, but I love the fresh, soft look of the first photo. It has a very unique look about it.

    I liked Kit's idea of processing the image twice and will try to remember that one!

    Myra

  18. #18

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Thanks Colin, believe it or not I've read all your exposure articles and more. At this point what the camera shows me and what I expect are sometimes 2 different things. The same goes for DOF, and focus. One of these days it will come together. Still experimenting right now. I thought spot metering would be good for small subjects like flowers and butterflies and Matrix better for Landscapes. Have I got that backwards?
    Hi Wendy,

    Spot-metering can work just fine, but you need to remember that most normal scenes will average out to something close to a medium gray and thus if you use a metering mode that looks at the entire image then it'll probably get it pretty close to right - but - when you start metering only a small portion of the scene then it'll give you a correct exposure ONLY ONLY ONLY when that spot your metering on has a "medium gray's worth" of reflectivity. On ALL other occasions you're going to need to make a compensation.

    Without knowing the flower, my guess is that it's probably considerably darker than a medium gray and thus spot-metering will over-expose the scene by that exact amount, which is probably what's happened. Probably the easiest way is to just adjust the exposure on the camera until it looks about right. Techniques like "Expose to the Right" technically allow you to capture more information (which is in essence what you've done) - but - you have to adjust it back down again in post-processing and the more over-exposed your shot it, the harder is can be to get it back to where it should be.

  19. #19

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I have one question about exposure (I have lots of questions actually, but they are all to vaugue at this point) When you are shooting flowers like this, do you worry about parts of the backgrounds being blown?
    It's really up to you to descide how the scene is presented. If the scene is purely reflective (ie no specular reflections or direct light sources - eg back lighting) then you'll only need about 4 stops to cover it. Easy way to do that is to spot meter the brightest portion and then add or subtract EC until that brightest point is exactly 2 stops over the centre (neutral gray) point. Guaranteed to work, or your money back

  20. #20

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    Re: Late Spring Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    Wendy, you could try processing an image twice - once for the background you want and once for the foreground. Stack them as layers, then erase the background of the desired foreground image and flatten. Some bright spark might be able to tell you how to do that with masks as well (seems to be the preferred "pro" method) but I haven't cracked that particular nut myself.
    Thanks Kit, that sounds like a good idea and something that I would like to be able to do for many shots. I'm so bad at Post processing anything but the whole shot though. I've never used the eraser method you mention. I will check it out though. It all sounds so easy until I try it.
    I tried some kind of mask one time and I won't be doing that again for a long time.

    Thanks for the feedback
    Wendy

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