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Thread: Backlit Tulips

  1. #1
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Backlit Tulips

    I spent a long time with these tulips today, really appreciating that with digital I could take 8 or 10 pics, download them, say "nope, that's not it," and try again. Repeat six or seven times, and that's pretty much what I've been doing today. So here are some for your consideration:

    #1
    Backlit Tulips
    Canon 40D, 50mm@1/30 sec, f/11, ISO 100

    #2
    Backlit Tulips
    Canon 40D, 50mm@1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 100

    #3
    Backlit Tulips
    Canon 40D, 100mm@1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

    #4
    Backlit Tulips
    Canon 40D, 100mm@1/640 sec, f/8, ISO 100

    Your thoughts are most welcome -- if it's sunny tomorrow and the flowers haven't wilted, I can try again for improvement.
    Last edited by mythlady; 30th December 2010 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Very impressive. Lovely colour, shown off to great effect with the black background.

    My personal pick-of-the-set would be.......
    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Backlit Tulips
    I think the arrangements, the lines the proportion of the frame taken up with the flowers and, as a consequence, the amount of black space left all work well. Indeed, not filling the frame with flowers is very bold and very effective. And I think it makes for a very pleasing effect.

    On the 4th one, I wonder if this is a subject that needs everything in focus? I'm not sure that, for me, the narrower DoF works.

  3. #3
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Thanks, Donald -- I think you're right about #4 -- one of the struggles I was having was with having a high enough f-stop to have everything in focus while at the same time not having the background in focus too. #1 is actually stacked for exposure -- by that time I had my tripod out and so was able to get two shots, one exposed correctly for the flowers and one way underexposed to get the background as near to black as possible (part of the background is cloned). Then it took a god-awful long time to brush away the underexposed one from the flowers

    Actually, I owe this series to you, Donald, because you explained to me about spot-metering and I was able to understand how I occasionally came up with these great pictures with dark backgrounds, taken in broad daylight (there is no black background behind the flowers -- just effective use of natural lighting!) -- Hey! I understand something better than I used to!

  4. #4

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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    I am liking 2 and 3 the best.

  5. #5
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Actually, I owe this series to you, Donald, because you explained to me about spot-metering and I was able to understand how I occasionally came up with these great pictures with dark backgrounds, taken in broad daylight (there is no black background behind the flowers -- just effective use of natural lighting!) -- Hey! I understand something better than I used to!
    Wow. If that advice/discussion is in a post somewhere I would love to read it. I know that at one time or another goofing around I have achieved the dark background when plenty of light was present, but couldn't identify what I did to get it that way.

    These images are really stunning. #4 is really really growing on me. I like the way the tulips 'run' down the middle of the image.

  6. #6
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    I think they are all terrific Elise - time and effort well worth the result....and I promise I didn't look first, but today I agree with Donald on a favourite...but they are all lovely

  7. #7
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Debbie, here's the thread, which started out with me not being able to figure out what I was doing wrong and winding up with me understanding something I was doing right. What I understand is that if a bright light is falling only on the subject and you spot meter off the bright flowers, in this case, what's around it will be dark. I had to help the background along a little bit in post-processing, but it wasn't hard to get it all black.

  8. #8
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Debbie, here's the thread, which started out with me not being able to figure out what I was doing wrong and winding up with me understanding something I was doing right. What I understand is that if a bright light is falling only on the subject and you spot meter off the bright flowers, in this case, what's around it will be dark. I had to help the background along a little bit in post-processing, but it wasn't hard to get it all black.
    Pass the gravy, there's a lot of meat in that thread.

  9. #9
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Elise, your images are awesome. What a big difference good lighting can make to an ordinary subject. Well done!

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Backlit Tulips

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Actually, I owe this series to you, Donald,
    Now, that is a nice message to get on the last day of the year! Thank you.

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