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Thread: Red rose

  1. #1

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    Red rose

    Hello,

    I haven't been here for weeks, busy with daily activities and having little time for photography. I'll try to keep my learning up. So, for my return, a new picture.

    Red rose

    Canon Sx20 is, ISO 100, 5mm, f/4

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Red rose

    Quote Originally Posted by Pohled View Post
    I haven't been here for weeks, busy with daily activities and having little time for photography.
    Okay, you're forgiven!

    Lovely picture of the rose. But I wonder if the background has too much going on and is too distracting? For example, the rose head is bisected by some foliage; a garden wall and the transition from the foliage to the floor of the garden area. And then there's that badly blown area at the top of the frame. It's maybe one of those where we need to remind ourselves about looking at all parts of teh frame in the viewfinder, so that we see what's happening at the edges as well.

  3. #3

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    Re: Red rose

    Thank you, Donald.

    I agree with you that the background is a problem.
    I tried to put the most of it out of focus - regarding my novice skills and camera possibilities. I wasn't able to figure a good solution to the blown area out. Cropping would perhaps help a little. What do you suggest for the blown area? I was aiming from the porch of our apartment, so my back was to the 'shadow' and I was aiming direct to the light. In other forum I've been told to lower the exposure as a whole, but I'm afraid it is going to be bit dark. Well, certainly I'll try again since we're going to always have flowers there =)

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Red rose

    Quote Originally Posted by Pohled View Post
    What do you suggest for the blown area? I was aiming from the porch of our apartment, so my back was to the 'shadow' and I was aiming direct to the light. In other forum I've been told to lower the exposure as a whole, but I'm afraid it is going to be bit dark.
    I do believe it is very much a case of waiting until the light is correct for the shot.

    The advice that you should lower the exposure as a whole is given, I think, on the basis of the lighting in the image you have presented. This is not necessarily good advice. My suggestion is that you took the photograph above at the wrong time. In other words, do not try to make this picture when the lighting is the same as it is in the picture above. Wait until there is not the same strong direct sunlight in the background. That will be the time to get a better exposure and not have the blown area.

    Sometimes we want to go out and take a photograph when we have the time available to do so. But we should train ourselves to say 'No' if the light is not right. Sometimes we just have to wait for another day.

  5. #5
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Red rose

    There is a way to trick this shot. Go to Manual Mode, then set the metering to evaluative. Set the exposure to where the camera recommends it then underexpose by 3 stops by adjusting the shutter speed only until such time that the meter needle points to the -3EV value. Of course the scene would be too dark because we are trying to darken the background. Now, activate your built-in flash and on the first shot set it to 0EV compensation. If the flower looks too washed out lower the value of the flash compensation to -1EV. If it is still too powerful lower it until you find a good compromise on the brightness of the flower. You fooled the camera too underexpose the shot but you elevated the brightness level of the flower by adding fill flash. Try it, it will work.

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    Re: Red rose

    Hi...
    What Donald says is so wise, but patience is a virtue that eludes many of us...
    I was really looking for Jiro to comment, and maybe try to correct some of the major drawbacks by PP... Is it possible, Jiro? I am also excited to think about the way Jiro has presented to circumvent the original limitations, even if partly; though there is no doubt that best would be to wait for better lighting...
    Best wishes,
    Gurvinder.

  7. #7
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Red rose

    Ok. Sorry for the delay. I went outside the backyard and took this shot a couple of minutes ago.

    Red rose

    What Donald said is the most rational way to work around the situation. It is always necessary to be aware of how everything inside the frame affects your shot and your vision. However, sometimes mother nature seems to be a bit uncooperative at the time you were there to capture the shot so what you can do is to trick the camera. I don't have a hot-shoe flash so what I used for this demonstration is the cameras' built-in fill flash.

    On the first shot, the camera recommended this setting using the matrix metering mode (evaluative on Canon cameras). As you can see the shot is neutrally exposed. The second shot is the one deliberately underexposed by 3 stops or -3EV. I want to go further but my cameras maximum flash sync is only up to 1/500 second so that where the camera set the shutter speed. As you can see, the background and the flower is now really underexposed and dark. To bring back some light on the flower, that's where the fill flash comes in. The third shot will show this. If an off camera flash was used and located either to the left or the right of the flower you would get a better shot due to the nice shadows that it will generate. A direct camera flash is always not good but that is what I have for now so kindly bear with me for the inconvenience. Hope this helps, Jonathan. I believe you can do this trick on your Canon SX20IS since it has a manual mode and you can dial your built-in flash to -2EV.

  8. #8

    Re: Red rose

    The background is a big problem. I am not sure you will achieve much in PP since the reds are clipped resulting in a fair loss of detail. As Jiro has very ably shown fill flash will help. I will go one further and say that you need to get the flash off the camera and use a diffuser. Fire the flash from one side at 45 degrees to the subject and fill from the other side with a reflector.

    I have never come across this business of underexposing to that degree and then using the flash to re-compensate in normal circumstances. I would expose for the background and allow the flash to give a blip of light to fill otherwise the flash (if using ETTL) will try to compensate for the underexposure so I can't see why underexposing the image and then using the flash to compensate gives any benefit. in fact I would expect it to give a result that is obviously flashed which I think Jiro's third image illustrates. There is an exception to this and that is where low key effect is required so that the background is dimmed to almost black. In these instances I would use manual mode and dial the flash right down. The main problem with all these images is that they require a far shallower depth of field.

  9. #9
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Red rose

    Steve, If you look at some strobist techniques, they do this trick when the background is really not that good to start with. My only problem with the example is that I don't have an off camera flash to show the nicer result of this setup. Another approach to darken the background is to add a polarizer in front of the lens and dial in the desired darkening by rotating it then add the fill-in flash.

    Here is a shot of a page in the book "Off Camera Flash Photography - Creative Techniques for Digital Photographers" By Rod and Robin DeutschMann. A very informative and nice book about flash photography.

    Red rose

    The top one is the final image while the bottom one is the actual shot in broad daylight with the camera's automated exposure used.
    Last edited by jiro; 16th April 2011 at 09:44 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Red rose

    Jiro, this is very interesting. I am certainly going to the give the CPL a shot. Thinking about it some more the underexposed background technique is probably pretty much what I am already doing with my black backgrounds. It explains a lot if you have used built-in flash. I will certainly give this method a try next time I am playing around with lighting of this kind of subject.

  11. #11

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    Re: Red rose

    Hi,
    Thank you all again for the responses and for the tutorial you made in this thread =D
    I tried something like that today with a Hibiscus almost in the same place and and hour of the day. But I need to practise more =D Here are the results:

    #1
    Red rose

    #2
    Red rose

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