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By Rose73
Hello again,

I spotted these barnacles on the underside of the hull of the Enchanter.

The photo was taken the same day as the others, and the camera was on Auto. Unfortunately, there is a big soft area on the left of the image!

When it comes to camera settings with the Lumix – I didn’t set any. I’d not long had the camera and also had bought the DSLR shortly afterwards – so that was my focus for learning about settings. I just used the compact to shoot anything I saw that interested me – as they say – ‘point and shoot’!!

That aside, I was wondering about the composition for this subject? Should I have got closer in – more macro type?

I’ve tried to make the image a bit more square in format by cropping it so the upward diagonal meets the top right corner of the picture.
At first I thought the green grass in the background was a bit distracting, but when I changed it to B&W I didn’t think there was enough detail and contrast showing, since there is also bits of blue in amongst the barnacles.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions ….thanks. Smile

Tags: Boats Close-up and macro Hull Barnacles

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2021 1:59PM
Hello again. It's interesting that you are revisiting earlier files, I think you have learned a lot since this was taken but it's possible to learn further from looking back.

These are mussel shells, I like the way they are festooned, almost like trailing blossom.

Various things jump out. As you say, there is a large out of focus area in the foreground, before we get to the interesting area, and that is off-putting. It acts as a barrier that the eye has to get past. Hold your fingers up in front of your eyes and try focusing on the view beyond, it's not easy, but that's effectively what you are asking the viewer to do here.

One problem is that the rock surface slopes away from us. Remember that you only get half the depth of field (ie the area within which you have acceptable focus) in front of the spot where you focus, compared with behind that spot. That's why the more distant shells on the edge of the rock, top right in the frame, are much sharper than those on the left.

No, this was not a situation for auto, I'll refer back to the comment that I made on your last upload. It's a bit like the washing machine, you don't use a General household wash setting for silk or wool... The camera has a good calculating brain but absolutely no imagination or intuition, it doesn't know what effect you are looking for. This needed a smaller aperture and higher ISO.

Another problem is that the interesting textures are on the under side of the rock, and that area is in shadow. The way round this is to have someone hold a sheet of white card or similar as a reflector in order to reflect light up at the textures. That would have transformed the image.

I think this was a subject that would merit going in a lot closer. You mention having cropped this, it would be interesting to see the full frame, but I have uploaded a much tighter crop, keeping your aspect ratio and placing the edge of the water on the upper third. I also increased exposure slightly, lightened shadows, darkened highlights, and added 10% on the textures and clarity sliders - that's in PS Camera Raw.

Just suggestions. Now look for something like this again, and see how much better you can do now!
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4227 Canada
30 Mar 2021 2:29PM
You can get more opportunities for close/macro shots in a situation like this I think. And this camera should work quite well with care.

I uploaded a mod that shows why the left is soft. Its also got exposure increased, shadow detail lifted, contrasted dramatically reduced. Perhaps you have your JPEG setting to have contrast set high? Check your basis JPEG settings...


Hi Moira,

Thanks as always for your feedback.

I’ve uploaded as a modification the uncropped image you asked for, and will upload a scenic shot showing the boat in its setting tomorrow for you to look at. You can see the hull better in that one.

You mentioned several times in your comment ‘rock’ instead of 'hull'? I’m not sure if this is a typing or word choice mistake? It’s the underside of the hull of the boat. I flipped the image after cropping it.

You can see better the hull and the mussels (I thought they were barnacles!) hanging off the underside if you zoom in closer in the scenic shot. Yes, I thought they looked pretty as trailing blossoms!

I wasn’t sure at all about how to go about composing this kind of shot. I really like your modification - going in much closer and there being more water in the background.

Yes, I’ve asked one of my friends who has a car to keep an eye out now for any old boats or fishing equipment that appears on the beaches or the smaller piers around the island. Not driving myself, its hard to know what’s there and don’t want to miss any opportunities. I can then go out on the bus equipped with my tripod!

Thanks for telling me what you’ve done in Photoshop to enhance the image - that's very helpful...
Cheers Smile

Quote: You can get more opportunities for close/macro shots in a situation like this I think.

Thanks Willie - will have a go at that next time, getting in closer...

Quote: Perhaps you have your JPEG setting to have contrast set high?

I'm not sure, but want to just stick to using the DSLR now for my images and shoot in RAW and then convert them....
Cheers Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2021 5:09PM
Thanks as always for getting back to us, and I'm sorry I didn't pick up that it's the hull of a boat. Blush
That's ok was probably confusing because I'd flipped the image... Smile
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2021 7:44PM
Hello again, Julie.

It occurred to me that the rock showing in the background, bottom left, might have influenced Moira, as it did me when I first viewed this.
Since there is no indication that it belongs to your boat, it will be viewed as an abstract. And that's fine.

With this in mind, I have done a modification that completely isolates the pendulous mussels. I cloned out the rock. I used Moira's modification for speed and just lightened it a bit.

You can now see that the mussels are the main feature and their outline is unbroken. Perhaps simply choosing a slightly different angle would have removed the rock from the frame?

Yes, I like your modification Pamela! And now the mussels are definitely the main feature. I like them...I think they are 'pretty'! Smile
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
30 Mar 2021 9:14PM
Hi again, Julie.

It is what it is, as they say, and it's really helpful to have the reminder that you were using your compact as a sort of visual notebook, as a painter might. With what you know now, you might well take the same view (if it was available) with a view to keeping all of the shellfish on the hull sharp. But it's easy enough to crop the blurry area out, and it leaves a decent composition available: several, in fact.

The way you have commented on the image when you posted it indicates to me that you have learned a lot, and are really thinking about your images - I hope that we have given you enough bits and pieces to help structure your pictures, and your technical approach to them next time out.

I'm really encouraged by this post!
Thanks John. Yes, I hope something similar comes my way soon to photograph…its usually in the better months that boats etc appear around the island, so fingers crossed.

Both Moira and Pamela’s crops have given me a better idea of how to go about composing something like this…
Cheers Smile
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
31 Mar 2021 12:39PM
Hi Julie,
Good to see you posting something very different and I like the fact you have gone in nice and close.
Flipping this was a good idea but a hefty crop would probably be in order to remove some of the very OOF stuff, the shadows do need a bit of a boost too.
Removing the rock gives this a much more abstract feel as has been suggested.
There are lots of things to think about when going in really close to a subject, a tricky exercise to get right, at F4.7 there is not much room for manoeuvre.
Try having a go with something close to home or even a flower in your garden.

There really is nothing wrong with photographing something that holds your interest and I see you are taking in some of the advice/comments you have had....nice to see.

Hi Janet,

Thanks for your feedback – its much appreciated.

Yes, I went in close with the camera…too close to the subject in fact! I had the compact camera on Auto – laziness I know not to have read the manual about how to input my own settings – but it was more for just a quick shot or reminder so I could go back with my DSLR and take more considered images of it later.

Not the best image to upload but I was more interested in composition of the subject matter, not having thought about photographing this sort of thing before. I really liked what I saw when I went exploring under the hull!

The modifications that Moira and Pamela did were excellent with regard to giving me ideas about composition. I’m looking forward to another opportunity when a boat arrives somewhere around the island – hopefully soon.

I’ve learned a lot here so far by studying my old images and getting feedback on them. I’ve also regained my enthusiasm which is much more important!

I’m going to have a go photographing some statues again. I like to have something specific in mind when I go out, rather than just see what I come across - I suppose we are all different in that respect.

Macro does interests me…so I’ll try experimenting with focusing very close to something as you’ve suggested, and see how I get on. Thanks so much for your comment. Cheers. Smile
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
31 Mar 2021 9:43PM
Julie -

A further thought: you have got to the stage of being interested in making what I call 'photographers' photographs' - images that are interesting for the composition, textures, shapes - rather than the subject matter. You have definitely caught the bug!
31 Mar 2021 10:00PM

Quote:You have definitely caught the bug!

Yes, I believe I have John! Wink

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