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A burst of colour

By salopian
I tried to show the complicated beauty of this rhododendron against a neutral background. I wonder if I should have included a stem or something to anchor it - looks to be floating in space or is the subdued background enough?


Tags: Gardens Clive Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
23 Feb 2014 1:25AM
It would be nearly always very difficult to include the stem when photographing rhododendron blooms, and I don't think including such would enhance the image in any way.
This would not apply to other flowers, e.g. a daffodil without a bit of stem would look pretty unnatural.
What you have here is a head filling the frame and captured in excellent detail (which surprises me given the aperture was f/5.6) and with it set against a non intrusive b/g........I can think of little that could enhance this shot.

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paulbroad 10 123 1193 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 7:53AM
Perfectly well done. No need for anything else. You have even got away with the wide aperture with all the flower heads being close to the focal plane. Whilst trivial, the problem for me is a frame almost full of exactly the same colour, which can be a bit over powering. Please, no one suggest mono for this one. Imagine the grey!

pamelajean Plus
11 1.0k 1961 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 8:49PM
A beautiful rhododendron specimen, Geoff, with everything nice and sharp, which is never easy with a "circular" subject like this cluster, as the edges tend to fall out of focus.

The leaves are always close to the base of the cluster and it's rarely possible to show the stem of a rhododendron in your frame, so I see no problem with the flower "floating".

I would like to have seen the shiny green leaves, they are so large and architectural, and it's natural, as I have said, to see them at the base. I fully understand why you desaturated your background, to make the flower stand out, but for me the leaves are just as important as the flower in this case.

If it were mine, I would simply do something with the background that is NOT leaves. I would either completely blacken it, or give it an imported background either of sky or a gradient.

You have filled the frame beautifully, with no clipped petals, but the background dullness doesn't appeal to me.

salopian Plus
6 2 25 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2014 10:53AM
Thanks for the helpful comments which seem to point to the background as being the problem rather than the flower head being "detached". I shall enjoy trying out a green leafy background ( more colour Paul ) and probably a sky ( Pamela )


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