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Thread: demi-tasse flowers

  1. #1

    demi-tasse flowers

    I'm still constantly working on the details in my compositions.

    For example:

    with the whole cup?

    #1
    demi-tasse flowers
    f5.6 1/25 EB+1

    I love this one:

    #2
    demi-tasse flowers
    f9 1/6 +1.33

    but, you'll say that it needs more depth; so, here's this one:

    #3
    demi-tasse flowers
    f9 1/5 +1.33

    I really like the sweet tiny flower in this one with the rest blurred out - maybe the flower doesn't read enough?

    #4
    demi-tasse flowers
    f3.2 1/40 +1.33

    but, maybe, neither of these work - even though this one has more DOF

    #5
    demi-tasse flowers
    f13 0.4 +1.33

    See what I mean???

    Then, I wondered, "what in the world am I doing taking photos of flowers in 'tea cups'?"

    I wonder if you'd have any insight into these, please?

    All shot with 60mm prime AV ISO100 spot metering

    I, also, obviously, pushed up the exposure on purpose. All of these are SOOC (just because, more often than not, I feel like I ruin photos taken with this lens when I try to post process; so, I 've momentarily given up. =])
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 25th January 2011 at 02:49 AM.

  2. #2
    pono's Avatar
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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    I like #3 for the depth and #5 because of the cup looking flower.

    Is that the Canon 60mm 2.8 macro. It's at the top of my list. Do you love it?

  3. #3

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by pono View Post
    I like.... #5 because of the cup looking flower.
    Oh, that's true! I didn't see that.

    Is that the Canon 60mm 2.8 macro. It's at the top of my list. Do you love it?
    Yes, this lens is absolutely a gorgeous piece of glass. It's taking a moment to get used to it but it is worth every penny! It does things that I just couldn't do with the kit lens.

  4. #4
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Hi Katy,

    I think this is lovely idea, and I like elements from each, but no one quite does it for me. #s 1 and 3 come closest. Have you tried placing the sprigs on the saucer around the cup? You might get better framing on the points you want in focus that way, maybe. I would definitely try to include the gold trim, whether rim or handle, and the green of the leaves.

  5. #5
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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Hi Katy,

    I like the colors and the high key effect (although I may be using that term incorrectly).
    I think the flowers make for a great subject, but i feel like the compositions are unbalanced. In number 4 and 5, the rim of the tea cup seems to cut the picture in half. Number 3 is the most pleasing to my eye, but the gold rim is interfering again and the focus may be a tad off.

    Something that comes to mind here as well is "plaids and stripes" - the blue striping is competing for attention and seems to clash. Maybe the flowers in a plain white dish with the teacup blurred out in the background would work better.

    I'm not familiar with Canon glass - is that a macro you are using?

    Steve

  6. #6

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    I am going to be the onery one here, but wonder as to the need of the teacup in #2 and #3. #4 is more about the cup than the flowers and #5, neither is strong enough to be the dominant feature. The first shot was the best both in exposure and capture though even in it, I think you should lose some of the foreground in favor of a few more flowers.

    Good idea and great focus though I think in some cases we all have that tendency that the next shot is going to be the one, when all along, the first shot was the Shot. Have fun.

    PS I love that lens.

  7. #7

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. These are definitely thoughts. I have no thoughts left, though. Sleep!

    I just want to make a comment, though, that this is a "still life". That's all. G'night!

  8. #8
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    We're on the same boat right now, Katy. I'm also trying to find some spark of inspiration but can't seem to get it. You're shooting flowers on a tea cup, I'm shooting yellow bell peppers on a table. LOL! Just continue to practice using your nice lens and continue to hone your visualized ideas. We'll eventually get there. G'night classmate.

  9. #9

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Hello, all who've commented and thank you for your thoughts and input. (Jiro, thanks very much for the encouragement!)

    I was thinking about it, last night. Does anyone else, here, do interiors and "interior still life"? I know that I've seen a few things with maps and pens and compasses (Idunnvt - Larry's?). What I mean, in this case, more organic and less studio indoor photography. It's a branch of photography that I've really been wanting to get in to from the start but just have had so much to learn, first; so, I've played it "safe" with landscapes. (Not to mention, my house has been higgledy-piggledy since I joined CiC.) I just mention this because I think that it's a style of photography that we're not very used to, here. It's a different way of thinking - but the same. (Now that I think of it, I'm sure that I've seen quite a few "interior" shots.....I... I'm just not sure what terminology to use for what I'm getting at.)

    In this case, the cup, flowers and stripes match beautifully together - I know that they do. I didn't think that all of the photos are THAT bad, either - well, especially the first three. Unless, that is, I have absolutely no artistic sensibilities, at all. I just have to figure out how to "catch" them. They, actually, were very inspiring and I shot them "from the heart" (as it says in my signature.)

    Dave asked me, a couple of months after I got here, if, as a musician, I liked complicated music. (I think his meaning, at the moment, was that I needed to simplify my background on a macro shot and he was right - I already knew it.) Last night, I was thinking about this - music, that is and if it reflects in my photography. I love everything from the perfectly blended unison of Gregorian chant to complicated modern music - including some of my favorite music - impressionism. In impressionism, there are huge sweeps of sound - real notes that are blurred. They would stack on notes (ninths, thirteenths, etc. - for you music theory people) in their chords and have background swaths of musical color while there are two or more melodies going at the same time. It is complicated and a challenge to play because, to communicate this music effectively, it needs to be very cleanly and clearly executed but with lots of emotion. (For example, the main theme needs to be prominent and obvious and everything needs to be in its place.) I was listening to one of the Ansel Adams interviews that Elise shared with us, yesterday. He was a pianist and he made the very same comment. He said (my paraphrase), some pieces of music only use a couple of octaves, others use the whole gamut - the whole keyboard - they're different styles. Anyway, these are just thoughts.

    The thing is, I truly have been a big huge chicken when it comes to this genre and sharing it here at CiC. Maybe I should be, maybe I shouldn't. Bear with me, while I work it through, please. Thoughts?

  10. #10
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Don't be chicken and follow your heart. Would it help to know that my heart skipped a beat when I first opened this thread last night and image number one flashed in front of my eyes? You are on to something girl! You know you are, too, so keep exploring. This process looks very familiar to me and, judging by Steve's apple series, even the best among us go through it. It is interesting to me to "see" that process unfold, btw. So head down whatever road beckons and don't be afraid to take us along for the ride. In the end, it is your journey, your destination; you can ask the passengers for directions but you don't have to let them take over the wheel.

    Best,

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    Don't be chicken and follow your heart. Would it help to know that my heart skipped a beat when I first opened this thread last night and image number one flashed in front of my eyes? You are on to something girl! You know you are, too, so keep exploring. This process looks very familiar to me and, judging by Steve's apple series, even the best among us go through it. It is interesting to me to "see" that process unfold, btw. So head down whatever road beckons and don't be afraid to take us along for the ride. In the end, it is your journey, your destination; you can ask the passengers for directions but you don't have to let them take over the wheel.
    Janis - you've just said it all as well as it could possibly be said. You (Janis) and Steve also captured the things I would want to have said, in posts #4 and #5 above.

    These are so much 'just-about-there' for me. Everything is in place - The concept, the approach to lighting and exposure, the gorgeous 'light ' and harmonious balance of colour and tone. The one key target that none of them hit for me is composition. It's there somewhere, but I'm not sure exactly what. But it's got to be there. For me, #1 and #4 are getting closest to the 'right' angles.

    This is one of those tantalising projects where getting the right composition is all about standing and moving about staring. My experiences of this tend to be in the middle of fields looking at landscape scenes, but I think it's the exact same discipline. It's about looking from every conceivable angle and 'seeing' the final image.

    As for Katy's discussion on interior shooting - this is another area where I greatly admire those who do it well. Again, it's about, firstly, 'seeing' pictures and then having the knowledge and skill to make them.

  12. #12

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    I like the composition, how was your lighting set up? I was thinking Natural light and maybe a reflector? I really like # 4 and #1!

  13. #13

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by smcconsulting View Post
    I like the composition, how was your lighting set up? I was thinking Natural light and maybe a reflector? I really like # 4 and #1!
    Hooray! Yes, I purposefully waited for the right light, with the right weather, at the right time of day and bounced the light back with a huge piece of white poster board!

    Thanks, Chris!

  14. #14

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Thanks, Janis and Donald, for those really heartening words! (Beautifully put, too.) Hm! I needed them!

    I've had some more thoughts but, really, I come and check here on little breaks during the day and I have to get back to some other projects. "See" y'all, later.

    Do you know, what I thought about them settled a little bit, last night, and, this morning, I put a few of them up on my photoblog, HERE. They look much better in this venue, I think.
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 25th January 2011 at 03:22 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    I hope I am not stepping too far out on your limb but in some ways it seems to me you are trying photographically to achieve what many painters do...

    Trompe L'Oeil ... to deceive, fool or trick the eye,
    an illusion...what you see is not always what you get.

    Maybe a venture to some of the Trompe L 'Oeil sites might at least help you find that still life focus you are seeking.

    demi-tasse flowers

  16. #16

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    I hope I am not stepping too far out on your limb but in some ways it seems to me you are trying photographically to achieve what many painters do...

    Trompe L'Oeil ... to deceive, fool or trick the eye,
    an illusion...what you see is not always what you get.

    Maybe a venture to some of the Trompe L 'Oeil sites might at least help you find that still life focus you are seeking.

    demi-tasse flowers
    Are you joking? I'm a Laura Ashley junkie - I know all about trompe l'oeil - (decorating-wise, I mean.) I've never heard of it in regards to photography, though. I'll go check it out - thanks, Chris!

    Also, it's interesting that you say this. When I first got into photography, this year, I thought that I would be fine because I had an eye for detail and observation. I thought that I'd just shoot what came to me - what I saw. Wanting to do interiors is a bit daunting because - professionally, anyway - there is usually a stylist AND a photographer. They work together. I really didn't feel competent on the styling end of things. Then, I realized that artists (meaning, painters, etc.), through the ages, have had to come up with their own compositions, too. I finally (around the end of the Ocotber PAD) came to the realization and acceptance that to do what I want to do, I'm going to have to grow in, at least, some kind of artistic skill. It's just like that. It's a little bit daunting but really, really fun!

    Is this your photo, then? I really like it!

  17. #17

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    interesting exercise, my favorite is the last one of the first set

  18. #18

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    It is not a photo, but a painting...example if you were not familiar with the process...seems you are. But, in that, I see many of your images leaning in that direction and with your eye for detail, perhaps this is something you could explore...start a whole new technique.

  19. #19

    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    It's just been on my mind to thank you all for your input on the composition of these. I thought that, by now, I'd have a chance to try these again and see if it works better (especially with the gold line cutting the composition in half thing.) I'll get there but, in the meantime, thanks again!

  20. #20

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    Re: demi-tasse flowers

    Hi Katy

    I like reading your reflections on your work, your objectives & a running commentary on your progress. Very brave. I too keep thinking about 'artistic' & what that might mean. I think it's the relationships between skill - application of technicalities - & expression of emotion interacting with perceptions & emotions of viewers. Then when you make an expression of a universal feeling/hope/experience/whatever you've hit it.

    Your #1 almost does it for me too; I wonder if the cup handle is necessary? Then again, I wonder if macro is really necessary given that this is a study of both flowers & cup? Especially when you like the combination of stripes with cup etc. it might be good to make more of that relationship. How would it look with the stripes as a background?

    Cheers
    Nihia

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