Flower Cluster


megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
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SengKang
#1


1. In what area is critique to be sought?
Composition(I cropped it), Colour, Focus, Post-processing(first timer at this) and any other general comments. :) [be as harsh as possible so that I can improve more]

2. What one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
To bring out the colour of the flower and to get a good flower shot.

3. Under what circumstance is the picture taken?
Cloudy day(around 5pm), a little irritated by my cheap tripod and how cumbersome it is to get a good position. Also a bit irritated by the inability to focus close with a 18-55mm kit lens (on a budget)

4. What the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture?
One of my better flower shots. :D
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
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#2
- composition: other flower stem on right is distracting, leading to lack of focus.

- looks over-saturated.

- looks tad out of focus.
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
81
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SengKang
#3
hmmm so you would've closed up the aperture, and recompose such that only the main flower stem is in the picture?
Or would making everything in focus make the other flower stem less distracting? (also, I don't get the difference in photoshop between saturation, vibrance and clarity)
Thanks for commenting though! :D
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
81
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SengKang
#5
wookay much clearer now! Haha so how would you know if it is 'over-saturated'? Oh and do provide any other areas of improvement too! They help a lot! :D
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,604
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Pasir Ris
#6
wookay much clearer now! Haha so how would you know if it is 'over-saturated'?
The moment it is too much for the scene / picture / mood / whatever .. :) - There is no clear answer. First: what do you want to show? The flower 'as is'? - Then be careful with saturation, the colours are fine already. But for 'Old School' effects you want to reduce it, for certain funky comic effects you might want to increase further - Again: what do you want to show?
Oh and do provide any other areas of improvement too! They help a lot! :D
Correct the basics: focusing and depth of field. I can't see any area being really in focus (unless it was intentionally done). Also, is it necessary to blur out the other parts of the flower? If yes, why? If not, why did you do it this way?
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
81
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SengKang
#7
Hmm... I'm not sure the out of focus is due to DoF, missed focus, or wind. The metadata says: 1/60s, f/5.6 and 55mm focal length on a DX sensor with 1.5x crop ratio. To me, I think focusing on the front-most flower would be best but the image seems to be focusing on the leaf/middle flower. Maybe it's due to the inability to focus at short distances with the kit lens and that I was using the limit of the closest focusing distance, accidentally missing it by a bit? I was using manual focus. (Maybe I set VR on, but I don't think so)
As for the saturation, I guess I just wanted to enhance the colours as the raw file looks very slightly overexposed.
Thanks for your cc! <- not sure what it stands for :)
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,604
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Pasir Ris
#8
Thanks for your cc! <- not sure what it stands for :)
Comments & Critics :)
Just shoot again, try different angles, different settings. Use a tripod, switch off any VR, use timer release (2 or 10seconds). You can zoom out a bit, use AF with defined focus point and close down the aperture a bit. That should give more DOF. If unsure, check with the online DOF calculator and set the AF point accordingly. AF lenses with their very short focus throw are really tricky to focus manually. The throw is sometimes less than 45 degrees. Older manual focus lenses have 270 degrees throw from closest to infinity focus. Makes it much easier to focus.
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
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SengKang
#9
Haha yup! It's true that it's pretty hard to manual focus accurately, but sometimes it's quite irritating to have the auto focus go back and forth and still catch the wrong focus. That's why I'm thinking of adding another lens...perhaps the Nikkor 40mm f/2.8 micro or the 35mm f/1.8g?(still can't decide between the 2)
Oh and yes I did use timer, tripod and stuff but I guess I didn't take note of the aperture. Will take note next time!
So the main areas of improvement(note to self): Over-saturation in post processing; Small DoF; Noting the aperture as it affects DoF right?
Thanks loads! :D
 

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Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#10
Haha yup! It's true that it's pretty hard to manual focus accurately, but sometimes it's quite irritating to have the auto focus go back and forth and still catch the wrong focus. That's why I'm thinking of adding another lens...perhaps the Nikkor 40mm f/2.8 micro or the 35mm f/1.8g?(still can't decide between the 2)
Do take note of the minimum focus distance. It seems the flower was too close and the lens could not focus, hence it started 'hunting'. Switching to MF will not help, the minimum focus distance is given by the lens construction. If you need to focus close up then you should have a look at Raynox close-up filters (another lens put in front of your lens to enable close focusing, but removing infinity focus).
You don't need any other lens, and especially not a fast lens here. I recommend stepping down further - at f/8 the difference between your current lens and a prime is something that only pixel peeper believe to be able to recognize ...
DOF depends on: a) Aperture; b) Focal length; c) Subject distance; and d) sensor size. Understanding Depth of Field in Photography
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
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SengKang
#11
Oh sorry, somehow the new lens thing got into the reply. The main reason I wanted a good prime is because I sometimes get good images(in terms of composition) but they are blurred due to slow shutter speeds. So I thought a fast prime would help. With the package also comes (as I've heard) better image quality! I just can't decide between the 2 as though I love taking macro shots, the small working distance for the 40mm f/2.8 bothers me a bit. Also, it is more expensive than a faster 35mm f/1.8.
Ok back to my point:
Hmm...I never thought of using Raynox as I've heard 3rd party lens/filters degrade quality/introduce flares/ghosting etc?
And yes I took yours and pokiemon's advice to today's photoshoot and tried smaller apertures for greater DoF.(haven't imported/looked at the pictures though)
Really appreciate all your input out of years of experience! :D
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#12
Hmm...I never thought of using Raynox as I've heard 3rd party lens/filters degrade quality/introduce flares/ghosting etc?
Please don't confuse cheap UV filters or those crappy Wide Angle / Macro Converters with Raynox Close Focus adapters. Search the forum for Raynox and see what the results are. Especially when you are new to the hobby it makes more sense to try this adapter instead of buying lenses (unless you have the $ to spend).
 

megain

New Member
Dec 12, 2010
81
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SengKang
#13
ahh I've read some posts on Raynox. Looks like a very popular choice!(cheap too)
So you'd recommend a raynox macro filter(which one?) with my kit lens? That sounds very attractive but I wonder if there's such a cheap option, why are there expensive macro lenses?(is there light fall-off for using these filters similar to the setback of extension tubes?)
I will definitely consider this setup plus some flash diffuser! Now my budget is less tight! Thanks! :D
 

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