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Sunflower

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I've put this up partly cos I am astounded by the quality I got and want to share it, but I would like some feedback on the shot, too. The lens was a micro nikkor 55mm, about 15 years old and first manufactured in 1979. I finally realised what was wrong with my tripod (it's worn out) and borrowed my husband's, which has a magnificently steady head with infinite adjustments, and used live view on a rather nice camera(!) and cable release and this is what I got. Also, I found out that I could upgrad my Nik HDR program to the full suite from Google for free, and I used their output sharpener. Which is great. I am not actually making great claims for the shot - I can see that I need to deal with that grey band. But the quality breaks my heart, it's so nice. Will the picture work if I take out that band, or is the place where I removed the untidy green bit (at 5 past 12 o'clock) a total no no, and is the crop okay?

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D800 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:micro nikkor 55mm 2.8 manual Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:14 Sep 2013 - 5:16 PM
Focal Length:55mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/2.8
Aperture:f/f11
Shutter Speed:don't know - doesn't matter much on a tripod!sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Sunflower
Username:SueEley SueEley
Uploaded:14 Sep 2013 - 7:03 PM
Tags:Close-up / macro, 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.
mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7439 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1026 Constructive Critique Points
14 Sep 2013 - 7:15 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Beautifully exposed, good detail in the centre as well as the petals. I'm seeing your exposure as 1 second by the way.
That grey area has to go - particularly as it is above the centre, that spoils the balance particularly noticeably. I'd like to see more space on the right too, this looks a bit cramped. But those details are cosmetic. Mod to follow...
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 14 Sep 2013 - 7:15 PM

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SueEley
SueEley e2 Member 8271 forum postsSueEley vcard Wales96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Sep 2013 - 7:41 PM

I'm with you on v2, Moira. Thanks Grin

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SueEley
SueEley e2 Member 8271 forum postsSueEley vcard Wales96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Sep 2013 - 7:43 PM

Sorry - I don't know what the exposure was. Manual lens (old style), limited info. Could have been a second, though. Definitely something I waited for the end of!

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NDODS
NDODS e2 Member 43282 forum postsNDODS vcard United Kingdom103 Constructive Critique Points
14 Sep 2013 - 7:47 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

As far as your composition goes it is imaginative, interesting and very well crafted. Yellow can prove to be a difficult colour to capture and reproduce perfectly, however I think that you have handled that hurdle so very well. My only criticism would be the light, shooting against a pure white backdrop isn't easy, and all too often we end up with a range of grey and off white hues that look out of place against your chosen white surround. There are many ways to overcome or combat this problem. One being to check your White Balance settings and the positioning of your lighting. If you still have problems getting the backdrop crisp, you can always carry out a few adjustments in the digital darkroom.

Here is a great tutorial which you might find useful: http://www.ehow.com/how_6531135_white-background-stock-photography.html

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom855 Constructive Critique Points
15 Sep 2013 - 8:35 AM

Quite like this. See a lot of full sunflowers so makes a change. I think a deep blue sky background would have been superb against the yellow, but as is, a cleaner background might be better.

Quality is excellent. No one should discount old lenses. I have a 30 year old Tamron 90mm SP macro which I use with a manual EOS adapter. Slow to use but quality as good as any modern lenses. If they are clean, they are usually OK.

Some older lenses cause internal reflections and you get flare. I had a 100/300 EOS zoom which I used on a film EOS 600. It was a cracking lens, but not so good with a digital sensor. Some flare and contrast loss. The thing is to try them. They do slow you down, but does that always matter?

Paul

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10875 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2875 Constructive Critique Points
15 Sep 2013 - 2:46 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Sue.

It is a really nice detailed shot.

You have to give yourself more credit for this outcome than you seem to be doing!

That lens is a classic with a reputation for sharpness, like many of the manual lenses from Nikon and Canon at the time before autofocus.

So your technique was influenced by the lens, in that you had to decide on exposure; you had to manually focus; and you used the correct approach for a long exposure, solid support and remote release.
Use this technique with any decent camera and sharp lens and you will get a similar result. This is technique Im seeing here, assisted by good equipment.

The question about the shot is answered, and you know that band detracts. But, when I look at this when I download it, the image overall is a little underexposed, including the flower. Its not a whole lot, but it helps minimise the grey area.

This background is obviously grey in one area, but is unevenly lit across the entire background, with the bottom being brighter than the top in general.
So I would suggest not limiting yourself to that area. Replacing the background with a white one is option as suggested, though you could very carefully even out the background to be similar all over, which Ive done in the mod. Its not perfect, but you can make it better with more time. I used the background point reference from close to the flower, and between the second and third large petals at the bottom. Thed used that to paint in the rest.

I also increased exposure on the flower by about 1/3, maybe a little less. You will have some nice centre detail also when this is done.

As for its format, - I personally like it as it is, and can see it as a long vertical panel on a wall, working well.

EXIF data from the camera does record the exposre, one second, but not the aperture, as its a manual lens.


regards, and well done



Willie

Last Modified By banehawi at 15 Sep 2013 - 2:47 PM

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SueEley
SueEley e2 Member 8271 forum postsSueEley vcard Wales96 Constructive Critique Points
15 Sep 2013 - 7:58 PM

Thanks all. I will fix the exposure, Willie - that is much better!. And I have found rather a nice blue sky with fluffy clouds, which I think will be my background Smile

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