Back Modifications (3)
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Allium Bud

By Tonicsix
Camera Panasonic G9
Lens Panasonic 100-300 @300mm
f 5.6
1/640 sec
ISO 320
Using a telephoto zoom lens for a macro image with lots of Bokeh.
I think it works.

Tags: Bokeh Wildlife and nature Allium flower

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banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4247 Canada
17 May 2021 1:34PM
First time uploading to the critique gallery Tony?

Thanks for providing the exif details and what you were looking to achieve.

Its effective in that you have an isolated flower bud in a sea of softness, almost like a mist!

The long lens certainly blurs and softens the out of focus area; to me Bokeh would mean having something in those areas or behind that would impart some sort of quality to the out of focus areas; you often see circles of light, etc though this is effective.

The bud itself does benefit with a little bit more sharpening, - if you re-sized the image before uploading it may have lost a little sharpness; the square format may not make the most of what may be a tall single flower, so perhaps the standard 3:2 framing would work here?

Ive uploaded a mod that has a little sharpening, its a little warmer, and its framed as suggested.

Let me know what you think?


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2420 United Kingdom
17 May 2021 2:08PM
Welcome from me too. Thanks for telling us both your Exif data (and the site has picked that up automatically) and your intentions.

'Bokeh' is simply the Japanese word for blur. So if you want bokeh you really need out of focus background lines and shapes. Here the background is blank, which works well but it occurs to me that you could have used a smaller aperture in order to get greater depth of field on the actual bud. That would need a tripod, from the Exif I suspect that this was hand-held.

Alliums make wonderful subjects, at all stages from bud to seed-head. I like the textures in the nearly transparent sepals. I'd like to try rotating the bud a bit, to get an off-centre, asymmetric V shape in those lines. (I hope that description makes sense).
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2224 United Kingdom
17 May 2021 4:36PM
Hello, Tony, and welcome to the Critique Gallery.
You have chosen a very attractive subject, and we can anticipate lots of beauty to come.

Your background looks fine to me, completely devoid of any distractions, no problem there.
I just feel that your presentation lacks finesse, so I sought to do a modification that would give you just one idea for a more appealing composition. You may, of course, not agree with me.

I rotated the flower clockwise so that it faces to the right, is on a diagonal, and so that the stem emanates from the bottom left corner. I gave the background a slight vignette, adjusted contrast and sharpened, then added a frame.

Your subject is nicely isolated, so you could go for different angles, height, etc., even some selective focus, just seeking a more creative approach that others will want to look at and admire.

17 May 2021 6:31PM
Thanks all for your comments. I will take your suggestions on board and see what works for me. Some will, some wont.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4247 Canada
17 May 2021 8:25PM
This is a good read regarding Bokeh. Its more than out of focus blur, as it also refers to the Quality of that out of focus blur.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 776 England
17 May 2021 9:47PM
Welcome from me too.

Bokeh describes he aesthetic quality of the out of focus areas and is qute an abstract idea.
But going for a plain defocussed background is good as the main subject stands out nicely.

It's not as crisp as I'd expect, but given the focal lenght used tou'd need to be steady using that shutter speed. So was this handheld or on a tripod or other support?
How much of a crop was this from the original frame? Heavy cropping will exacerbate any effects of camera and subject movement.

As well as making sure the camera and lens are well supported, you need the subject to be quite still as when you're close in like this any movement of the flower can be quite marked and even a small breeze can appear to be a hurricane. There are usually some lulls where the flower is relativly still. Today for example has been quite breezy so in such conditions tieing the flower to a firm stick (out of shot) is another tool in the flower photographer's arsenal.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1859 England
19 May 2021 8:12PM
A belated welcome from me, too.

Not a lot to add - merely to say that Bokeh is about the quality of out of focus-ness, rather than its existence. So you can have good or bad Bokeh, rather than more or less - some lenses produce a nasty, wiry look to the OOF areas, others give buttery-smooth transitions.

Having said that, differential focus is a great way to isolate a subject from a messy background - though a relatively blank and light area - as you have here - makes it less necessary.

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