Back Modifications (2)
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Budding Poppy

By Disee      
Taken in the garden of a friend where I got down into the flower bed and shoot towards the light to back-light the hair follicles . As I did not have my tripod, my camera was handheld so whilst it's not pin sharp, with several attempts, I got it as sharp as I could.

I shot it in RAW with 70-300 lens, manual focus at 180 mm and ISO speed 200.

In Photoshop, all I did was some tweaking to darken the background a bit and then enhance the green.

I was tempted to crop some of the top off, decided against it but now cant make up my mind which I prefer.

Tags: Flowers and plants Close-up and macro

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


Tibetan 5 3 England
29 Jun 2012 4:39PM
Good macro detail in this shot and I like the angle it's taken at, regards,Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin

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Trev_B 11 151 68 England
29 Jun 2012 7:00PM
Hi Dinah, not using a tripod doesn't always mean your images are not going to be sharp. Looking at your EXIF data you are using an aperture of f4.5, shutter speed of 1/160 a focal length of 180mm and an ISO value of 200.

The wide aperture is going to give you a shallow depth of field, making your focussing critical, try f8 this will give you some depth.
At 180mm you should be using a shutter speed of at least 1/300, the faster speed will reduce the effect of camera shake. To workout the shutter speed when hand holding a camera click on this link
Finally increase your ISO setting to achieve changes to both of the above.

And don't forget to use the unsharp mask to sharpen the image.

Hope this helps.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3878 Canada
29 Jun 2012 8:13PM
As Trevor has said, same for me, and Ive uploaded a mod where I have applied sharpening and cropped. It responds well on the front to sharpening, - so you need to sharpen after you re size, and the shallow dof prevents the parts of the bud further from the lens from being sharp as theyre out of focus.

faster shutter, smaller aperture, higher ISO was needed.


Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 10:17AM
The lack of focus is a shame and shows the true value of a tripod or monopod as a minimum. Like most similar shots I prefer a square crp and so have uploaded a mod to demonstrate it. The sharpening has little effect on the hairs that you memntioned but nevertheless I have sharpened it before uploading the mod.

paulbroad 10 123 1242 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 9:05PM
It's not depth of field that is the problem - it's movement. You have no chance with the settings you used I fear without a support and a shot of this type must be sharp. Willie's mod does come close to a sharp plane and then. I must admit, a little more depth would help.

It is my opinion that a grainy sharp image is much more to be prefered to a smooth unsharp one. Thus, if you do not want to use flash in similar situations, ramp up the ISO.

Disee Plus
8 21 United Kingdom
1 Jul 2012 11:50PM
Thank you all for your helpful comments all taken on board. Willie and Frank thanks for your mods, I will go back to the original and play around with it following what you have done and advised. Frank I do like the square crop and framing very much.

Taking your tips, I will try again - with a tripod - and see what I can come up with.

Thank you again for taking the trouble.


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