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The Beauty of the bloom

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This was taken with my Canon 100D I was on a visit at Kew Garden. I love the vibrant colour, and wanted to blur the background. I used my standard lens for this photo. I aimed to bring the main bloom to the front. i am doing a degree in photography. Any advice will be useful. Thank you

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 1000D
Lens:Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 [II]
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:31 Dec 2011 - 1:19 PM
Focal Length:47mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/6.5
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/60sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Not Defined
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Fired
White Balance:Auto
Title:The Beauty of the bloom
Username:Annelly Annelly
Uploaded:18 Apr 2013 - 8:03 AM
Tags:Flowers & plants
VS Mode Rating 101 (66.67% won)
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Coast
Coast Critique Team 6914 forum postsCoast vcard United Kingdom290 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 8:52 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Lovely colour captured against the dark background.

I would consider a few things here.

Firstly the highlight of yellow, suitably out of focus, remains a distraction as does the leaf creeping into the top right of the frame. With the shape of the flowers you have caught perhaps a portrait composition may have made for a stronger image and allowed you to frame without the leaf or less of it which could later be cloned out in editing. This would also allow a little more space at the top of the frame to see the flower stem a little more. As it is it feels too tight at the top and the eye runs up the flower and out the top of the frame. Giving consideration to the highlights in the background at the time of taking may have allowed you to reframe to lose the yellow in the background.

The lighting is quite strong on the main subject and creates a harshness that for me doesn't sit well with the delicate flowers. If you could have diffused the light source a little this may have helped with the mood of the picture. This can be achieved by bouncing flash and with ambient light from a window source using a purpose made diffuser or a sheet of tissue or even card to help shape the light.

Requires a little bit of patience and playing around to modify what you have to work with and will change the picture from being a straight record type image to one where you create the mood and balance that suits the image or creates the feeling you want to convey.

Interesting subject with lovely colour and with a little bit more time at the taking stage to consider what the final image will look like will make a difference for you.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom845 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 4:15 PM

You used flash, so why such a wide aperture. This is a deep group of blooms but the choice of flash means a darker background, which I have no problem with in terms of a clear rendition of the blooms. Flash means you could use a slow ISO for best quality and a much smaller aperture to get better depth of field and to use the lens sweet spot. F8 or f11 would be rather better, then use manual focus to determine the exact focal plane and remember 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind will be sharp.

The problem here is a lack of sufficient sharpness. You need a decent depth of field and critical sharpness. I assume the camera flash was used. Unfortunately these are not very strong. If you are doing a degree in photography you are going to need a bit of extra gear, external flash, tripod and so on.

I obviously don't know the stage you are at, but learn all about camera management, exposure, focusing, lens types and so on before you get arty. So many people buy a 'good' camera and are instant experts, watch some wedding photographers. Learn the basic so you can do it without thinking. There is no better way to start.

After all that, this is a nice composition with considerable potential.

Paul

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