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Garden Flower

By marcsneddon
One of the first photos I have taken on my new FujiFfilm X-T30 with standard 18-55mm lens. This is a step up from taking shots with my camera (the P30 Pro).

I am trying my hardest with black and white and staying away from HDR when i can!
Any support would be appreciated.

Tags: Flowers and plants Black and white


banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
12 Jul 2019 4:34AM
Congratulations, - thats a nice camera!

One thing you decided to do here was to underexpose by -0.67. You did this because you saw the target flower has a bright light behind it, and you wanted to make sure your image wasnt overexposed.
This is a mistake everyone makes at first; the reason its a mistake is that the cameras metering system, which measures the ambient light and decides on exposure, also sees that bright light, and takes it into account when assessing the scene; and in doing so, the cameras decision will be to underexpose the subject. Then you also add further underexposure and end up with a very underexposed image.
What needs to be done, understanding how the cameras metering system will assess the scene and set exposure, is to apply POSITIVE exposure compensation to counter what the camera will do as a result of the very bright light. Its the opposite of what you think, and in fact, the vast majority of exposure compensation will be positive and rarely negative.

Ive corrected that in the mods, and I added a +1.3, so in fact you needed to add a +2/3 rather than -2/3.

Colour and a mono mod have been uploaded with this adjustment.



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12 Jul 2019 7:14AM
That's great thanks. I have struggled with exposure but kind of understand it now. I need to get out and play more with the camera!
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2019 8:26AM
Yes, congratulations on the new camera, have fun with it!

Continuing from Willie's comment: the first problem here was the patches of bright light in the background. Not only will that light trick the camera into underexposing, it also means that the light was behind the flower so the centre is in shadow. Back lighting can work very well with thin, translucent petals but these are quite thick so it doesn't have the same ethereal effect. Best to aim for gentle light hitting a flower from the side.

And the closer you go in on the central structure, the better chance you have of eliminating background problems!

I've uploaded a series of three mods. For the first I lightened and brightened, and also got rid of two annoying blown highlights, where back light hit a couple of water droplets.

Then a suggested crop to include the bud top right for balance, but contain the flowers in a tight frame.

Then b&w, worked in Nik Silver Efex Pro. I love mono flowers, they have a sort of aloof, elegant mystery. And I love dark images. But there needs to be light to bring the image to life. That's what I have aimed for.

When you are converting to mono, does your software include colour channels?
dudler Plus
15 877 1496 England
12 Jul 2019 9:29AM
A really good idea is to bracket shots for a while. Take a shot at the indicated exposure, then take further shots at plus and minus half a stop, one stop, and two stops. Compare them when you download to your computer, and analyse which work best, and why.

Also, you can enable the histogram on both viewfinder and review - that can be a good guide. Nailing good exposure is important, and anythign you can do to help with this in the taking and the reviewing (as wel las processing) is worth it!
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2082 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2019 5:50PM
The passion flower is one of my favourites, Marc, mainly because of its unique physical structure. The name derives from its structure being symbolically related to the Passion of Christ and the crucifixion.

I also love its colours, but appreciate that you are getting to grips with using black and white.
I like your original picture and the way you shot it at a slight angle, which helps to show the intricate central parts of the flower, especially the 3 stigmata and the 5 anthers, all of which are nicely in focus.

My choice for processing this would be the 5th version, by Moira.

You don't say where you took this photo, but if you can return, you will see several blooms on the one vine, and you can then check where the best light is coming from and try this again, getting a nice leafy background with no hot spots. Another way of photographing the lovely passion flower is from its side, so that the central parts that protrude from the flower are set against something plain. Careful focusing is required to get those bits sharp, but I love the challenge of thatSmile.


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