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Thread: Yellow Flowers

  1. #1
    abhi's Avatar
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    Yellow Flowers

    These yellow flowers that have been blooming on a tree behind my house that have been fascinating me over the last few weeks. However, all of them are at the height of a 2-3 storey building, preventing me from photographing them. So, last week I was delightfully surprised to find a tree with a few low-hanging flowers during one of my bike rides. Here's my attempt at a short photo-essay showing the flowers and their environment

    As always, C&C is welcome and appreciated. All photos were taken with a 50mm f1.8 as part of an exercise I have undertaken to teach myself composition. #1, #2, and #3 are uncropped. Any feedback on how I did in my exercise will be additionally useful to me.

    #1 A single branch of flowers
    Yellow Flowers
    f2.2 for 1/160s, ISO 100

    #2 Natural bouquet
    Yellow Flowers
    f2.5 for 1/250s, ISO 100

    #3 I wonder how many people just drive past them
    Yellow Flowers
    f5.6 for 1/100s, ISO 100

    #4 Getting a closer look
    Yellow Flowers
    Crop of #1

    #5 Almost how they appear to me from my window
    Yellow Flowers
    100% crop of #3
    Last edited by abhi; 12th May 2011 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Yellow Flowers

    I like #1 and #4 among the shots, Abhi. I can't seem to view #3 so I can't comment on that shot.

    On #1, you positioned the leaves flowing on a downward diagonal path and that is a good thing. It denotes movement compared to a dead straight or horizontal orientation. The flowers are brighter than the background so that's another plus for you. I think what it lacks is some boost on the contrast. Also, some additional sharpening would help to bring out the texture on the flowers. I would probably darken the background a little bit more to accentuate the flowers further. That's about it for me on this one. Good work, Abhi.

    On #4 the colors complement the flower. I find this one quite interesting. Why?... because you picked a flower with holes on the petals as your main subject. Hahaha! Now, that's not ordinary. Watch out for those other flowers in the background, too. Even if they are blurred compared to the main subject, the way they are positioned and their relative brightness will either make or break your shot for you. For me, the one on the bottom right is too close to the main flower. This is where if possible, looking around in all direction and looking for that nice angle to frame the shot is important. You are your own artist and the camera is your canvas so whatever you put and where you put them matters a lot on your shot. I would probably do the same here, some extra burning of the background, a little boost on the contrast and some sharpening would help, too with this shot.

    #2 does not seem to work that well for me. As for #5... do the same edit with #1 and #4 and it will look "better". Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    abhi's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow Flowers

    Thanks, Jiro. The reason for picking that flower was actually the water droplets and the angle of light on them , and even with the hole the flower the flower looked fresh. I guess I need to get started with PS tutorials, I use lightroom and adjustment brush in lightroom becomes a memory hog.

    I am not sure why #3 is not visible to you. Here is a direct link to it:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3470/...7213b912_b.jpg

    I would like to have the flowers as the main subject here, and the blurred background showing where they grow. I feel some pp is still needed. This is the best I could achieve in LR with a GND filter for the bottom half.

  4. #4
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow Flowers

    I use Lightroom, too. I find its interface and workflow much better than the Adobe Camera RAW that goes with the CS5 even though they are basically the same thing. 90% of my edit is done in Lightroom nowadays. The remaining 10% goes to CS5 if I need to clone out something and stuff. This means... you can make some good edit with your shots because you have lightroom, too! Hehehe.

  5. #5
    abhi's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    This means... you can make some good edit with your shots because you have lightroom, too! Hehehe.
    I feel that I can do a fairly decent job in LR. I was able to convert http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5067/...03d4804c_b.jpg (zeroed image) to this, completely in LR. But, towards the end, with large areas of dodging and burning I was having to wait 30s to a minute for my edits to show up.

    I read somewhere that minimizing the number of brush strokes helps with it, but I've not been too successful when i reduce the flow and paint over multiple times. I had tried changing hsl settings brighten the flowers but that didn't work too well. How do you handle such large areas in LR?

  6. #6
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by abhi View Post
    I feel that I can do a fairly decent job in LR. I was able to convert http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5067/...03d4804c_b.jpg (zeroed image) to this, completely in LR. But, towards the end, with large areas of dodging and burning I was having to wait 30s to a minute for my edits to show up.

    I read somewhere that minimizing the number of brush strokes helps with it, but I've not been too successful when i reduce the flow and paint over multiple times. I had tried changing hsl settings brighten the flowers but that didn't work too well. How do you handle such large areas in LR?
    With the way the adjustment brush works in LR, I think it would really have a hard time doing the work with all those command attached to the brush itself when it is working. The concept is a very good one, though. Imagine using an adjustment brush that can change the exposure, brightness, clarity, sharpness, and others all at the same time? That is pretty cool to me. But there's no easier way to do it than what photoshop can do with its layer capabilities. I can just simply add a curve adjustment layer to any image i have and add a mask to do my edit.

    As for your question, when dealing with large areas, I work with them in photoshop. It's much easier and I have better control on what I'm doing.

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