Back Modifications (1)
Views: 57 (34 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By ladigit
Taken in Glendalough House, Co. Wicklow - Ireland.

Playing with depth of field and trying to make the most of the beautiful colours.

Tags: Ireland Flowers and plants Bluebell

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


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3840 Canada
7 Jul 2014 4:23PM
Welcome to EPZ Tracy.

This is an attractive, shallow, soft image. The out of focus background is really smooth and lovely.

The camera doent recognise your lens, - perhaps its a manual lens? Lets know.

The focal point, those bluebells on the left are a little too soft I think, and their position may be too far to the left.

Theres a bunch of bluebells competing for attention further right, and it might be a good idea to remove them, so the eye has one place to focus. Sharpen the subject flowers a little also.

I have uploaded a mod to show what I mean; scroll up, click the modifications tab and view the mod large.

Enjoy the site,



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ladigit 3 229 1 Ireland
7 Jul 2014 4:28PM
Thank you Willie,

Appreciate your feedback. Your mod has certainly improved the image, I understand what you mean regarding the focal point and distractions.

The lens was a 28mm prime lens, autofocus was used. I'm not sure why it wasn't recognised.

Thank you again,
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3840 Canada
7 Jul 2014 5:45PM
Theres an interesting review of that lens HERE

Looks like the centre mainly is sharp at f/1.8, so think about either stopping down to f/5.6 if your subject is outside the centre, or use 1.8 and place the subject in the centre of the lens. It can be cropped later.


ladigit 3 229 1 Ireland
7 Jul 2014 5:56PM
Wow that makes so much sense, I've used the lens quite a lot for a variety of photos - landscape, street scenes etc. and was always wondering why sharpness was such a problem. You have hit the nail on the head!!

I can't afford to upgrade to the equivalent L prime right now, but at least I can center focal points and keep in mind the problems with the corners/edges until I can afford to.
viscostatic 11 35 5 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2014 8:00PM
I like the original with the out of focus woodland and tree trunk in the background giving an impressionist feel to the image. Having said that I do like the composition of the modification even more.

paulbroad 10 123 1230 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2014 8:30AM
The possibilities are great, but the main flower stem is very un-sharp. It needs to be slightly larger and very sharp. You used autofocus. Did you lock it on the flower head? Were you too close for the lens to focus?

Tripod, manual focus and a bit closer. Critical focusing and exposure, the latter being correct, are the two main features of photography that you must master.

ladigit 3 229 1 Ireland
8 Jul 2014 10:19AM
Thank viscostatic and paulbroad for your feedback.

I don't think I realised just how unsharp the main flower was, I guess I should have had a higher aperture and a faster speed on a tripod, but it was quite windy so I'm not sure if it would have helped at all. I will certainly be keeping an eye on it though for future shots and will try to get the main focal point sharper.

dudler Plus
14 670 1279 England
8 Jul 2014 5:18PM
Welcome from me, as well - I hope that you will enjoy both Ephotozine and the Critique Gallery!

While I've had a look at the review Willie mentions, and I sometimes have fits of the quaking hab-dabs about lens performance myself, I think there's a need for a sense of perspective about lens quality. Almsot any fixed focal length lens from a major manufacturer is going to be pretty good, and I've only had real issues with two lenses I've owned - a 30mm f/3.5 Meyer Lydith, forty years ago (unsharp at any aperture), and a Canon consumer-grade 75-300, twenty years back (just not quite as good as the 70-210 it replaced).

What I have found is that I don't always get the full quality that my lenses are capable of. At wide apertures, the slightest focus error means that a subject isn't properly sharp. Taking several versions of the shot is one way I deal with this: tripods and switching off IS can help.

One other thing... While this picture will obviously work best with one area pin sharp, there are many pictures that won't necessarily be better sharper. A lot of shots I've seen have been oversharpened in processing, giving an unnatural, wiry look. And - while I admit to upgrading a lens in the last month (and being glad of spending more than I ever have before on a bit of glass in a tube) - I have also, in the last year, bought a secondhand Lensbaby Muse. Getting anything nearly sharp is a challenge with it - but it has produced a lot of shots htat I've been very pleased with.

Sharpness when you want it is a fine servant of art. But - unless you are selling work to someone who wants sharpness above all - it's not a good fetish to cultivate!
ladigit 3 229 1 Ireland
8 Jul 2014 5:35PM
Thanks dudler, I see where you are coming from. However, sharpness in many cases is essential and even in cases where it isn't the be all and end all, an image can be dramatically impacted upon by not being sharp. I have so many that I should just delete, but haven't as they were shots I really like. Having said that, I wouldn't post them or print them as I know they are just not good enough.

I struggle with sharpness, it's a combination of things. I think sometimes I'm not comfortable, in an odd crouching position trying to balance whilst taking the shot. Other times it's weather - the wind etc. Or as pointed out above, sometimes the lens is against me Smile Having said all that, my point of focus and the settings I was working with could have improved this shot.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1872 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2014 7:00PM
I'm a bit late here. But I like what you are trying to do, seeing through the camera rather than making the camera see though your eyes. Does that make sense?

Most has been said. Do be very careful when focusing, either manually or using auto-focus. The larger the aperture the more critical it is that the focus be 100% exact.

I wonder here if you placed the flower in the middle of the screen, focused and then recomposed? Normally a good idea, but at F1.8 and this close to the subject, even that small movement will knock the focus out.

One other point - for my taste the 'horizon' is too near to a 50/50 split. That can work - but here the effect is a bit top-heavy.

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