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Garlic 'n' Onion

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I set up this still life in my conservatory using natural light.

My intention was to use colours and props that blended well together, and to try and produce a rustic look.

I would have preferred the background to have been a bit more muted and I tried to add a contrasting grunge layer but couldn't figure out how to add the layer to blend with the hessian background but keep the bottle, flowers etc still sharp.

I'd appreciate comments on whether the background, and indeed the whole image, works.

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D3100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:2 Jun 2012 - 6:21 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.7
Aperture:f/16.0
Shutter Speed:1sec
Exposure Comp:-1/3
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
Title:Garlic 'n' Onion
Username:WeeGeordieLass WeeGeordieLass
Uploaded:3 Jun 2012 - 10:55 AM
Tags:Flowers & plants, General
VS Mode Rating 102 (100% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
ams99
ams99 Junior Member 365 forum posts England9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 11:12 AM

Yes and yes from me. I like it.

The only issue from my point of view is that the object on the left hand side keeps drawing my attention away from the excellent image. It may be because it has a more reflective surface than the other items and i can see what i'm assuming to be the windows which is slightly distracting.

Nice windows though, although they could do with a clean...Tongue

Cheers,

Alan

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Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114521 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 11:13 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It's a nice still life shot to be working with, but I find the background a little too sharp and in focus for my tastes......I see you shot it at F16, which seems to my mind to be too small. I think I'd have moved the background further back from the main subject and shot it at something like f5.6-8 and then seen how it looked. The reflections bouncing back off the pot lid distract a little too too, but that could easily cured when processing or by shooting a stop lower.........It's a great effort all the same and the image definitely works, it just needs a slightly different approach......Hope you find my comments of use....

Ade

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mooreish
mooreish  2 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2012 - 11:15 AM

Been looking at it for ages now, I do like it and the light works well Just not sure about the flowers, The flowers are nice and suit the frame but baybe a bit high, I think maybe crop the top background to bring it closer to the flowers.Smile

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 11:39 AM

Hi Alan,

Glad you like the shot, and thanks for your point about the garlic roaster lid - totally agree with you! I'll try and tone it down in Elements.


Quote: Nice windows though, although they could do with a clean...Tongue

What? - Me?............cleaning windows...............nah.........it'll rain soon!!!Wink

Cheers and thanks for your feedback.

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 11:48 AM

Hi Ade,

Yes I feel that the background is too sharp. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction as I think the shot would be much improved shooting at a larger F stop.

I hadn't thought about the reflections on the lid of the garlic roaster being distracting - but now that you've mentioned it........yes. I'll bear that in mind the next time I shoot a similar shot.

Thanks for giving your time to help me - I've found your comments really helpful.

Cheers

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 11:51 AM

Hi Cliff,

Thanks for looking at my shot and your advice.

I did wonder if I'd left too much space at the top - I'll try cropping it a bit to see if it looks better - I think it just might.

Thanks again.

Cheers

Elaine

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Deep_Bhatia
3 Jun 2012 - 12:52 PM

Nicely done still life picture. Deep

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 12:58 PM

Namaste Deep,

Thanks for giving your time to comment - I'm pleased you like my shot.

Elaine

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cattyal
cattyal e2 Member 96065 forum postscattyal vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 1:20 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Not bad at all Smile

My approach would be to lose the garlic roaster - too shiny - add a couple of whole garlic bulbs instead - preferably with nice loose outer layers to give a bit more texture.

Maybe play with the light a bit - I've recently cut a rectangle in a piece of foamboard which I use to adjust the natural light a bit - works a treat Smile

Get yourself off to the local curtain fabric supplier and find yourself a nice boring piece of beige fabric - fairly tight weave - similar colour to the hessian will be fine. That'll help you with the texture issues Smile Hessian is nice but more useful to provide something for the bits and bobs to sit on it you want (and when I can find my cut bits of hessian rather than the huge roll of the stuff I have which I don't want to cut, then I'll give it a go too)

If you want to go for a larger aperture then maybe combine a couple of pics - sometimes I'll take a couple focussing on the background object and then foreground object and combine the two.

As for the texture layer - find yourself a nice texture (Shadowhouse Creations do some goodies), dump it on top of your image, change the blend to multiply. In the case of the one I chose for the mod it's bit dark so I just used curves to lighten it up a bit. Then select your object/s (which can be a right pain with lots of little leaves but you don't need to be too precise) - switch to the texture layer and apply gaussian blur to the selected area - quite a heavy dose too. That will remove the texture from the objects but retain the colour of the texture.

And that's about it - takes a bit of practice and fiddling about but usually works quite nicely in the end Smile

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JenniCh
JenniCh  932 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 2:30 PM

Love the composition, and the subtle light, but do find the background a bit too intrusive; if you take note of Alison's comments you can't go far wrong, and as she says a bit of practice with textures and layer masks will enable you to do so much more with this sort of set up.

Jenni

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 2:57 PM

Hi Alison,

I love your mod. It's how I envisaged my shot - but didn't quite achieve the look.

Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing your knowledge.

I've often admired the shots in your pf, and wondered how you produced such amazing images. It's very gracious of you to share your techniques.

All your advice is very useful to me as I've been fiddling about for ages and have never been satisfied with my results - I've produced many "bin" shots - but that's all part of the learning curve I suppose - quite frustrating though.

Thanks again Alison.

Cheers

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 3:03 PM

Thanks Jenni,

Just checked out the shots in your pf. Those are the kind of shots I admire so much - they're fab.

Maybe now that Alison has pointed me in the right direction I can experiment.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Jenni.

Cheers

Elaine

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom855 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 3:27 PM

A nice still life, and I would leave the content alone, but I, too, am not sure about the sharp hessian background. Would prefer it a bit softer - possibly achievable by using aperture, but may be too close. Could try a wider aperture and use the rules of depth of field by focusing the critical point a little in front of the subject.

paul

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cattyal
cattyal e2 Member 96065 forum postscattyal vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2012 - 3:34 PM

You're welcome Elaine Smile

Thanks to you I've spent far too much time this afternoon playing with bubble mix - I'm going to choose which pic to use for the challenge and be done with it so I can do something useful! Smile

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 4:36 PM

Hi Paul,

That's a good tip for me to try - focusing a little in front of the subject - I'll have a go at that and see how it looks.

Thanks for your advice, and taking time to comment.

Cheers

Elaine

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 4:37 PM

LOL Alison - hope you've had a "bubbilicious" time this afternoon!!!

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2341 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
3 Jun 2012 - 7:08 PM

Hi Willie,

Thanks for the mod - it was very helpful showing me the background you used.

That's how I wanted the shot to look.

Thanks for your time.

Cheers

Elaine

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