Back Modifications (3)
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Alpine Poppies

By crookymonsta
This is by no means perfect - hence being put up for critique just as it came. I haven't done any flower photography for months and am very out of practice. Obviously it would have been vastly improved had all the flowers been in focus but there are things I quite like about it despite that.

It was taken in the Alpine House at Kew Gardens on our day there with Josh and Natalie from EPZ and Clive Nichols. There was a bit of a breeze blowing through so it needed quite a fast shutter speed but clearly the f stop I used was wrong. Flowers being the short lived things that they are there is no going back, all I can do is use it to learn from.


Advice is much appreciated

Tags: Flowers and plants Alpine Poppies

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


PattiW 12 24 2 United States
19 Apr 2012 12:46PM
Love the rich red tone here, beautiful image, Patti Smile

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susanbarton 10 11 1 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 1:29PM
I like this Sandra I like the bright red poppy against the starkness of the wall, and lets face it most of my life is out of focus nowerdays WinkWink

vickyf 12 8 8 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 1:44PM
This was a really difficult image to take (I know 'cos I tried!) & you've done well. The out of focus bit doesn't bother me - in fact, I think it could have taken an even wider aperture if your lens allows to throw the background out. What about a crop leaving just the 3 poppies and removing the labels and rock on the left hand side? Smile
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 2:57PM
A beautiful flower captured at its finest, full of natural colours, detail, and quality.

Regards Nathan.

P.S. Glad you had a good day out at Kew Garden.
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
19 Apr 2012 3:40PM
Not a lot wrong with this. Would have been better with a smaller aperture, but the cebtre flower is very sharp. The main issue is simply that its underexposed, and the reason for this is that its shot against a light coloured wall, which is bright enough to fool the metering system into under exposing. If you had snown this, or checked your histogram on your LCD after taking the shot, it would show underexposure, and you could have applied a positive exposure compensation, perhaps +2/3 for a well exposed shot.

Ive corrected the exposure in the mod, and also cloned out the sconce on the wall to the left which distracts a little. I also blurred the out of focus flowers a little more.

Its better than you think. View the mod large.


barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 4:06PM
i love theseflowers as is but like most find the thing on the left side is distracting I am ure that could easily be cloned ouy so you have a more uniform grey background
The comp as is .... suits me fine
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 8:14PM
I think the poppies provided you with a fine natural composition here, Sandra, and the background wall has some nice texture and is a good neutral colour.
The bright red stands out well, and I think the focusing looks ok, although I find the one blurred poppy that overlaps in front of the one in focus is a bit distracting, and it's a shame that you couldn't have got just those two sharp. The poppies that are out of focus and away from the main one look fine. So, although you may not have set out to have such a shallow dof, it hasn't turned out at all bad.
Your vertical format is obviously right for the flowers and, since they are slightly leaning to the left, you have rightly given a bit more space on that side.
You have probably heard people say that the human eye tends to read from left to right, so in my modification I mirrored the image and also gave the poppies a bit more of a lean to the right, then cropped a little. I brightened the image and did some cloning to the background to make it more uniform. In my second mod, I removed some of the base foliage on the right.
Niknut Plus
8 1.8k 76 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 8:52PM
Beautiful shot !!!
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2012 8:28AM
Could have been superb, but the small very out of focus bloom in front of the main one spoils the whole composition for me. It is very distracting in that position - I know you could hardly 'garden', but that's the problem.

ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
22 Apr 2012 9:57AM
Hi Sandra Smile my opinion, I don't think ALL the flowers need be in focus. I mean, it would be nice, sure. But to do that, you'd have to use a smaller aperture which would require a slower shutter speed and that would make everything non-sharp 'cos of the breeze. Also, a smaller aperture would mean your background would be less nice and blurry.

Of course you could seriously pump up the ISO...but that would degrade your image.

Basically, with a breeze around, there's little you can do even with a tripod. I think you've done pretty well here, all things considered.

Just one thing I think was within your control which could've been changed. Eliminating that grey curvy thingee on the left. If you had taken two steps to the left, that should've got rid of that. Unless of course there was something on the right you were trying to avoid Smile


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