Back Modifications (1)
Views: 85 (34 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By nbatchford
My first attempt at any close up work.
I'm new to dSLR photography, so this was taken with a standard 18-55mm lens and a tripod.
Av 5.6
Tv 1/125
ISO 200

Any feedback would be great.

Tags: Flower 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.


lianna 8 13 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 3:11PM
A nice detailed image, the flower is a lovely colour!!! For a first attempt this is good... I feel however that there is a bit to much green around the flower which keeps drawing the eye to the surrounding. Maybe a tighter crop or one the allows for most green at the bottom would enhance this. Hopefullibg giving the flower a look of growing upwards. This angle just looks a wee bit flat, esp where the flower has so much texture and colour..

Also perhaps giving it a black bg would truly make this stand out Smile

I do not mean to be overly critical as I do like this shot... I hope this helps a little??

X x x

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lianna 8 13 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 3:23PM
Decided to come back and have another look.... Thinking maybe if you use a higher aperture... Possibly f11 (play around a bit) you will get a better dof and blur out some of the leaves... Therefore allowing you to keep the natural bg x x
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 3:24PM
Excellent first attempt. I too thought a tighter crop would work better, plus some blurring of the background and some tonal contrast work to add impact to the flower - so I did a mod to show you what I mean.
8 Feb 2011 3:54PM
Lianna and LynneJoyce
Thankyou very much for the feedback and advice.
I haven't played around much with Photoshop or other editing software, so I wouldn't have been able to do what you've done with the shot. This is another area where I need to have a play around and try a few things out. I must admit though, it does make the whole shot look better.

I took this shot as part of my homework for a short "Introduction to dSLR Photography" course that I'm doing, but perhaps I'll print your one out instead Wink hehe

Once again, thanks for the feedback.

lianna 8 13 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 4:07PM
Haha that be cheating Wink

A great mod by Lynne... Photoshop (or whichever software you have) can take a while to understand... I'm still learning too. Would loved to have done a mod for you too but alas am on iPhone at work lol Wink good luck with the project x x
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2011 5:24PM
PLAY with Photoshop - its one of the best ways to learn, plus buying one of Scott Kelby's books on Photoshop for photographers. His language is very accessible and his lessons brilliant, well worth the investment.
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 12:31PM
Hi, Neil, and welcome to the critique gallery. This is a good start and there are lots of helpful tips above and I'll add a few thoughts. Lynne's mod is excellent and a good point to aim for.

The composition could, I think, be improved in one of two ways. Coming in close and filling the frame with the flower is a good way to showcase its detail but it does mean that the areas above and below seem a bit redundant -- with that big, pink flower in the frame, nobody's going to be interested in looking at the background of leaves so a square crop makes more sense to me. Alternatively, step back or zoom out a bit and show the flower more in its environment. In that case, positioning the flower off-centre is likely to lead to a more interesting composition and the rule of thirds is a good place to start.

Sharpness is a bit of an issue here. Ideally, this sort of shot would be taken with the camera on a tripod because working close-up makes you more susceptible to camera shake. Close-up work also needs a narrower aperture (higher f-number) to get everything sharp because depth of field is limited when the distance to the subject is small. Here, the middle of the flower is reasonably sharp but the edges, being farther back, aren't quite in focus. I'd try to aim for an aperture of f/11 or so for a shot like this, which should give enough depth of field to get the whole flower sharp -- check the image on the back of the camera after shooting and zoom right in to see if everything's sharp. However, it will also slow your shutter by a factor of four, which means you'll either have to up the ISO and risk noise or will need a tripod to hold the camera still.

One disadvantage of using a narrower aperture is that the background will come more into focus. To be honest, I don't have a problem with the leaves in this shot, as the flower is strong enough to stand out. If you do want a cleaner background, here are two ways to do it with minimal use of an image editor. In many cases, a small amount of work at shooting time will save you a lot of work with the editor and that can be a big time saving. If you want a more out of focus background, try to get more distance between your subject and its background, which may or may not be possible. To get a completely clear background, hold a piece of card behind the flower -- black and white work well but so will any colour that complements the flower. If you can't hold the card in place, another option is to cut a slit to a small hole in the middle and mount the card on the stem. In that case, you'll need to clone out the slit for the final image but that's much less work than painting the whole background.
9 Feb 2011 12:56PM
David, many thanks for your feedback. The shot was taken with a tripod, but I think the issue with the Sharpness was due to the low f/5.6 aperture. I'll give it another go when we get some better light and try increasing the aperture to your suggested f/11. The flower was actually "borrowed" off a bouquest that I'd bought my fiance and it was placed outside on a Rhododendron bush to try and get some background. I'll get some coloured card and try that too. Hopefully you'll see some improvement with the pictures over the coming months.
Glad I followed someones advice and opted for the Critique instead of the Votes. Lots more helpful feedback.


DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 1:51PM
Ah, I thought the flower might not have matched the leaves. Smile That also means you can mount the flower farther from the background to get a little more blur on it. On a tripod, shutter speed is irrelevant for static objects so you can always stick it on f/11, ISO-100 (for least noise) and shoot away, even if the shutter stays open for a second or two.

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