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Black Tulip

By bwarnke
This is a picture of a black tulip i saw in oregon a few years ago. I have been considering lately to try to sell my photos professionally so i would absolutely be agreeable to any constructive criticism. Hope you all like it. Thanks

Tags: Orchid Flowers and plants Flowers and plants Blooming flowers Flowers close up Orchid flower

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paulbroad Plus
12 131 1286 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2016 4:54PM
If you are going to try selling you must go for maximum quality and ISO1000 will not give you that. There should be no need for such settings here. A tripod, careful focusing and a smaller aperture to give maximumcrispness and a decent depth of field.

Backlight to make the droplets twinkle, say an off camera flash to do this, then arather tighter crop to improve image impact.

Selling requires a different outlook. Quality is all unlees hard news.


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pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2096 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2016 8:12PM
Welcome to EPZ, Brian, and its Critique Gallery.
This is the part of the site where you can't get votes or awards, but you can be pretty sure of focused and constructive comments on your pictures.
Remember that the more information you give us as regards your photographic aims and intentions, the better.

The black tulip is an attractive subject, and the droplets create extra interest.
To give those droplets the sparkle they need, you need to have a bright day, or provide some extra light yourself.

Your high ISO setting has produced quite a bit of grain/noise in the darker areas of your flower.

You have a nice angle on the flower and have placed it on a diagonal. It would be good if you could have positioned the stem in the bottom left corner when composing your shot. It usually looks better that way.

Your background is better on the right than on the left. The background is something to always be aware of because it can make or break a flower shot.

This is a good start. Practice is always the best way to improve, and become competent with your camera, getting to know its settings and how to use them to best effect.

In my modification I tidied up the left background, made the stem a little more obvious, cropped, brightened, adjusted Levels, and selectively sharpened the droplet highlights. To view modifications, click on the modifications tab below your picture, then on the numbered modifications.


dudler Plus
16 979 1536 England
27 Apr 2016 10:07PM
Hi, Brian, and welcome both to Ephotozine and the Critique Gallery.

As you've clearly realised, this Gallery is where you go for constricutive comments - the main gallery allows you to have votes, but here is where you can be sure of some decent advice.

If you plan to sell, the rules alter - and Paul knows, as he worked as a professional, and still sells images. You need to be as technically sorted as everyone else, and twice as keen is my perception. There are millions of excellent photogrpaehrs around, so you need to offer buyers somethign they can't get elsewhere. that may be unique subject matter, but that's not likely - so you either need to tailor things to a specific client, or you need to research and understand your market.

This all sounds a bit harsh, and that's how the market is these days. As I udnerstand it, prices for stock pictures have fallen, simply because there's so much supply.

What we really can help with here is the basic technical stuff, and the artistic side. The latter is not absolutely essential, but the former is. Really high technical quality and an understanding of the demands of your chosen market will sell.

As Paul says, the ISO is rather high, and that's a result of the light being quite dull. And Aperture priority would be a natural choice here: you need to get the depth of field (how much is sharp, front to back) right, and be sure of that. As it goes, this looks pretty good, with hte background nicely out of focus.A smaller aperture (higher number) woudl have made all of the tulip sharp, which would possibly make it more appealing.

Paul referred to the sparkle, and there's some here. But a magazine editor will be looking for knockout sparkle: Disney standard, if you see what I mean. That means going for a contrasting background and lighting that picks out the water drops (and water drops really add to the appeal of this shot). Exposure that shows velvety-dark tones in the inside of the petaisl will also help, and this may depend on processing as much as careful exposure during taking.

There's probably a lot more to say - and others will be along to say it shortly.
dudler Plus
16 979 1536 England
27 Apr 2016 10:12PM
A thought - if you post recent work, and follow up a post and the feedback by applying hte ideas to new pictures, it will accelerate your learning... It could also help if you can tell us whether we are being too basic, or are talking jargon you don't understand.
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
27 Apr 2016 10:25PM
Welcome from me too.

The flower is a good specimen. That's another essential for an image to sell, the subject has to be pristine. Unless you're going for decay and then it needs to be properly past its best though there won't be as many outlets for that sort of image.

The angle is good too, though it would be better if the stem was easier to pick out.

However, the background top left is messy and distracting. You need to have flawless images, so take some time in composing and arranging your subject. Even if taken on your travels where you may have less control you have to take that time.

Quality is definitely an issue. Not only in terms of composition but also technical quality. You're up against shooters using top DSLRs and even medium format cameras with still life and flower shots where low noise is taken for granted, and bitingly sharp results which give a customer much more freedom over the use of the image, such as cropping options, use in high quality print and large displays.

So while better equipment is something to aim for, you can hone your technique and artistic skills (not to mention learn your market) with what you have.
TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2016 2:51PM
There's some fantastic advice above about some things you'll need to think about if you're going to sell your work professionally. I've nothing to add to that, seeing as I've never gone down that route.

However, while technicalities have been more than covered already, I've added a mod which gives a different, artistic twist on your lovely tulip image. I will add that it's my own interpretation, and you may hate it, and that's absolutely fine Smile It's another idea for you to consider if you go down the aesthetic, art-type image avenue.

Think hard about what style you want to sell - Dark Lord's comment above about the kind of people (and equipment) you'll be up against is particularly valid. People make money from photography in all sorts of ways, though. Consider Instagram, for example ... or Holga / pinhole type images ... there's a massive market out there for that style of imagery.

It doesn't have to be all about pin sharp, superbly noise-free perfection. If that's what you're working towards, well and good. Learn lots, practice even more and, more importantly, learn from the mistakes you make. Same thing really with the artistic route ... if you can evoke emotion in your viewer with your imagery, then you're half-way there already!

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
28 Apr 2016 8:51PM
This is an old image. Have you upgraded your camera since then? This is a so called "bridge" camera, and if you are looking to sell images, think about a DSLR or the like with a lot more potential for you to work with.
28 Apr 2016 9:00PM
this was actually taken when i first got the camera i currently use and i have been giving thought to upgrading when i can. by bridge camera to you mean in between a basic point and shoot and a dslr? But yeah when i do i think i would want a dslr with higher aperture capabilities. mine has from f/2.something to f/8.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
29 Apr 2016 4:23PM
Im not suggesting you need to run out and replace the camera, Im suggesting you have way more latitude and creative potential with a camera that produces higher quality images from the start.

This camera says its f/2.8, but it doesn behave like an f/2 on a DSLR, either APS-C or Full frame, or M4/3; it has an equivalent aperture at its f/2 setting, which is nowhere near f/2 on the larger cameras; the larger camera equivalent aperture is something like f/8; so shallow dof is beyond its capabilities, as is dynamic range, and low noise performance. And its only f/2.8 at the wide setting, - it immediately drops when you start zooming. It also says 20 Mpixels, however these 20 Mpix are incredibly tiny, fitted on to the smallest sensor thats made for cameras.

You can still get good images, but you will have to be very creative, know and understand the limitations of the camera,- perhaps consider abstract images, to be competitive.

Heres a link to images taken with your camera on flickr, - you can see theres many very good shots, and you can also see the camera setting in most cases; you can use this to help with your photography.



29 Apr 2016 5:54PM
Thank you Banehawi, I will definitely look at that link and think of other shots i can getSmile

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