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Thread: Inspired by Rob --

  1. #1
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Inspired by Rob --

    I took this yesterday. Please give me some feedback on how to do a pic like this better -- for one thing, the Lightroom "auto" exposure button wanted to tone down the exposure and saturation -- is that right?

    Inspired by Rob --

    I particularly liked the little petals curling over the center . . .

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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    I like it Elise, looks nearly to be on fire! Although there is a bit of destraction....if that bright spot to the left could be toned down a little. Good work.
    Flowers left, our right.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    I see what you mean, Paul -- I can work on that.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Okay, because I'm working on my post-processing skills -- which one looks better? #1 I fixed via cloning; #2 I fixed with the exposure brush in LR. I think there's something that looks weird about that one.

    Inspired by Rob --

    Inspired by Rob --

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Something strange has happened to the leaf towards the bottom right on the one changed using the brush.

    Re your first question - How can you make it better? Answer = I don't know. This is way outwith my knowledge and skill area. But, I can still appreciate and enjoy it.

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    I'm going to make a guess here that you used an artificial light with a small light source to light this. I say that because there is quite a hard-edged shadow on the right. Did you use a desk-lamp, or a flash gun? If you don't have a larger light source try putting a pop-out diffuser between the lamp and the subject to make the source larger. That will reduce shadows and make any shadow remaining more soft-edged.

    There are several distracting dark spots on the left-side petals, which I would have tried to clone out (should be fairly easy).

    Not sure about the saturation. I tried reducing it slightly, but it soon lost most of it's colour. Some flowers are pretty strong, colour-wise.

    A square crop would suit.

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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Nice strong colours. One suggestion for improvement might be to reduce the exposure a bit - it looks to me as if the red channel is overexposed (there is a colour shift from red to yellow in the highlights). If your camera has separate RGB histograms you should check those - its easy to blow one channel on something like this and it may not show up in a single luminance histogram.

    The middle of the flower reminds me of Coffee beans - the caffeine must be wearing off again

    edit - added example:
    The image on the right has -1.7ev exposure compensation - note how the petals stay red, whereas on the left one they turn pink/orange on the highlights.

    Inspired by Rob --

    - Paul
    Last edited by PaulMiller; 10th March 2011 at 04:44 PM.

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    It's very nice, Elise. I like the 'cloned' one a bit better if I had to choose. But really, I like it. I'm with Rob on the square crop.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Here's the histogram from the unedited RAW file:

    Inspired by Rob --

    Rob, the light was not the least bit artificial -- it was taken outdoors, in daylight, thought not in direct sun.

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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Here's the histogram from the unedited RAW file:
    Inspired by Rob --
    That doesn't look clipped to me. Please ignore my witterings about exposure compensation!

    You may still have some clipping going on in the conversion from the camera colour space to sRGB on output for the web though. The red channel on the first image you posted looks a little squashed up compared to the original raw. What happens if you try the auto exposure buttons suggestion of reducing exposure and saturation (but maybe not as much as it suggests)?

    Oops.. forgot to ask - what colour was the flower?

    edit:
    I just moved to my laptop (which has a smaller display gamut than the desktop monitor), and the colour shifts are much more pronounced. Those are BRIGHT colours!

    The shift in colour between the shadows and the bright areas on the petals is because the Blue channel is clipping at zero in the shadows: the red channel (which I originally assumed was the problem) is fine.

    Rob's suggestion of a more diffuse light source to tone down the shadows is definitely worth a try. You should be able to brighten the shadow areas up enough so the blue doesn't clip. It may be possible to do it in post processing (the blue channel isn't clipped in the raw file), but changing the lighting is probably going to give a more natural looking result for less effort.

    - Paul
    Last edited by PaulMiller; 10th March 2011 at 10:00 PM.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Thanks, Paul, for the analysis. Lighting is my weak point -- I don't have lighting setups, no flash other than the one on the camera, no reflectors, etc.. I keep saying I need a Speedlite, but I'm not there yet. I just want to point the camera and have it come out beautifully

    Oh, the flower is bright orange -- a ranunculus.

  12. #12
    rob marshall

    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Rob, the light was not the least bit artificial -- it was taken outdoors, in daylight, thought not in direct sun.
    I'm surprised. The shadows look quite harsh-edged. I know you don't have photographic lights, but you can still get a good effect by using a material to diffuse the light (whatever the light source is). The simplest is just a sheet of translucent paper (baking paper etc) taped over a card frame. Just hold it or prop it up between the light and the subject. You will of course need a longer shutter time, or more open aperture. Next up is a fold-out diffuser. These normally come as a set of reflectors, but often include a mesh diffuser. I have a small one that I use for outdoor flower shots, and it makes a significant improvement to your shots at a low cost. here's an example. http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...ector/p1028149

    The sun is a very small light source. Although it's very large physically, because of it's distance from the subject and it's low relative size to the subject it will always create harsh light when it's direct on the subject. That's why we need fill-flash for outdoor portraits in a direct sun location. Take away the sun and replace it with a large softbox on a flash, very close to the subject and you have a relatively larger light source and your shadow problems are great reduced. The next best thing (with no flash lights) is to ensure that the natural light is properly diffused.

    I was watching a documentary last year about the making of a big BBC historical drama. There was a scene where one of the characters stood by an open window. I was amazed at the lengths that they went to to get the light diffused - they spent some time erecting a large diffuser on the outside so the light looked softer on the inside.

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    Re: Inspired by Rob --

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    Thanks, Paul, for the analysis.
    Hope it was helpful. My photography is very much at the trial and error (lots of both, emphasis on the latter) stage so I can't help you on the practical side of the lighting. In my day job I write colour management software for the decorative printing (textiles, wallcoverings, flooring etc.) industry, so the number crunching side sort of comes naturally.

    Some further thoughts on the post processing: Reducing exposure will probably make the colour shift worse. Increasing the shadows or brightness in camera raw may help.

    - Paul

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