Problem when shooting flowers


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jacobus

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Feb 5, 2007
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#1
Hi everyone! ive actually been a dormant member of this forum for a long time and did not seriously take photographs up till recently, and i'm loving every moment!

However, i'm facing this problem with shooting flowers ( my interest ).
When i try to shoot flowers with strong, bright colors, i get this laser like effect on the colors, on top of that, the details disappear ( like the lines and patterns on the petals )

Here's an example


For this shot i used f1.8 exposure time 1/15 ( in aperture priority mode )
My equipment used is a nikon D50, 50mm f1.8 lens ( this is the only lens i have other the kit lens and telephoto that came with the D50 ) and a UV filter.

may i know what is causing this ?
do i require a change of settings/ different filter / lens ?
 

May 16, 2009
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Paris (FRANCE)
#2
I think it's probably due to very slight depth of field as you were at f1,8. Perhaps the petals were also moving with the wind. However, you should remove the UV filter.

Best regards,
YP.
 

Dec 28, 2008
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Singapore
#3
erm what do you mean by laser like effect?

the reason why the details of the petals disappear is because you used a shallow DOF, and i think your focus is on that bud sticking out. from what i can see, that bud is pretty sharp and in focus. second problem is probably handshake. 1/15 is a really slow shutter speed for a 50mm lens, unless you can handle ur hand shake really well or you're using a tripod.
 

jacobus

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Feb 5, 2007
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#5
ortega : umm what settings should i be looking at ?

as for the laser effect that i meant, it can be seen at the edges of the petals, sort of like a glowing light. also the colors of the petals tend to become overly warm.

also thanks for all the advice!

i guess i'll try again without the uv filter. and apply the advice given.
 

May 16, 2009
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Paris (FRANCE)
#6
Even if the shutter speed was 1/15è s, handshake does not figure among the possible causes, IMHO, because as everyone has noticed the bud is pretty sharp.

One not obvious at all but very possible cause is your picture has been over-exposed as your subjet was a red flower.
 

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alexj

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Apr 10, 2004
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#7
Still can't quite put my finger on what you mean by the glowing light.

I assume you understand how the image would look like with shallow depth of field. The out-of-focus outline of the flower is just that; an example of the depth of field, plus any lens aberrations (colour fringing, etc). The effect may be exaggerated by a slight breeze, since your shutter speed of 1/15 is not very fast.

Your camera's colour settings which ortega mentioned may affect, especially if your saturation, contrast values are boosted. White balance might play a part since it looks like an evening/dusk shot; the blues would further enhance the cool tones of the magenta looking flower, making it more purplely-pink -- maybe that's why you think its lazer looking???.

Maybe you could bracket your shots in the future, see if a darker exposed image solves your problem. Further that, adjusting your colour settings and/or white balance.
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#8
ortega : umm what settings should i be looking at ?

as for the laser effect that i meant, it can be seen at the edges of the petals, sort of like a glowing light. also the colors of the petals tend to become overly warm.

also thanks for all the advice!

i guess i'll try again without the uv filter. and apply the advice given.
what camera are you using?
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#9
what camera are you using?
he is using a d50.

TS, what i recommend for flowers is to take the same picture at different angles and at different settings. I myself prefer to use f5.6 as usually it gets the whole flower in focus but have to take a few times due to unavoidable wind. Too fast and the exposure looks darker so have to up the EV and so on and so on...

I believe the D50 has a Close Up mode preset so try using that and see if its comparable or better then your settings.
 

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zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#10
Try using a smaller aperture. F5.6 to f8 should do well in this case as you're pretty close to the subject and you'd lose depth of field.

Pls read this up in the Beginners's guide.

Also note that flowers are normally found in the open, there may be wind factor and with a low shutter speed, motion blur will be induced. Consider using a fill-flash to help freeze the subject better. :)
 

#11
Good suggestions so far, but let me also suggest that you read up on HISTOGRAM and how to interpret them. I use canon cameras, so I can't tell you how to activate the in-camera histogram, but surely your camera has one.

One poster mentioned above that you should "check you color settings". Perhaps he's referring to saturation, implying that you may be "saturating" one or more of the color channels. You will be able to tell this very simply by looking at the histogram display (presuming your camera can show red, green, and blue color channels separately in the histogram).

In the picture above, for example, you would see a large "spike" or hump near the right side of the histogram for the red channel, meaning your picture has a lot of bright red in it. However, if the spike is completely crushed to the right edge of the histogram, this means that you're actually "blowing out" the red channel, and the reds are saturated and can no longer be represented properly. In this circumstance, you may be getting what you describe as this weird laser effect, because the area of saturation will begin to posterize, and/or turn into weird color.

Agreed on the depth of field as well. You should shoot at a smaller aperture (larger f number) and see if the result fixes your issue.

My 2c. Good luck.

Thanks,
Eric
 

Jul 5, 2007
1,199
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AMK
#13
Yes, my Sigma camera has the similar problem too. Red (along this color) flowers especially bleeds. Painted surfaces do not have this issue. Flower petals like hibiscus and the front of orchid have very fine reflective hairs to bring up the color in order to attract insect.
The petal glowing is likely caused by the light movement of the flower leaving behind ghost image even in high shutter.

Hope these helps: Avoid shooting where there is direct sun or strong tropical lightsource. Control the highlight on surface. Shoot with non vivid/standard color and if required up abit the saturation later using software. But Sigma SPP saturation feature also causes bleeding too, so I use other tools instead. Use diffused flash or bounce.

Purple and Maroon can bleed too.
 

jacobus

New Member
Feb 5, 2007
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Singapore, Pasir Ris
#14
i checked my [optimize image] setting and it was at normal. i took a look at the photo via lightroom, and the histogram was like this: most of the histograms were rather similar in shape with the values increasing in number from the middle to the left side. but for the red, there was a sudden spike on the right.
 

May 16, 2009
138
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0
Paris (FRANCE)
#16
Yes, my Sigma camera has the similar problem too. Red (along this color) flowers especially bleeds. Painted surfaces do not have this issue. Flower petals like hibiscus and the front of orchid have very fine reflective hairs to bring up the color in order to attract insect.
The petal glowing is likely caused by the light movement of the flower leaving behind ghost image even in high shutter.

Purple and Maroon can bleed too.

+1. I did'nt know how to write this in goog english but I agree with spheredome. I hace experimented this colors bleeding too.

Dear Jaconus,
your histogram seems normal but it's not. It was what i meant by an not obvious at all possible cause : the histogram seems good but people who used to shoot such red subjects can see your picture is overexposed.

For example, the histogram of the (FULL EXIF) flower i shoot with my S100FS in A mode is normal but everyone of you can clearly feel the picture goes wrong and perharps you better see the overexposure induced by the red color :





In the same conditions, when using flash to balance the ambient light, here's the real natural red color with no overexposure :

 

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jacobus

New Member
Feb 5, 2007
47
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Singapore, Pasir Ris
#19
hmm.. i understand what u guys are getting at.. will go try it out .. another question that might be related or unrelated to this topic.

is the UV filter necessary for the 50mm lens ? if im outdoor i would think so , but if im indoors and since this lens is supposed to be good in low light conditions, i would not need it ?
 

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