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Hydrangea in my back garden

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Macro shot of a hydrangea head. I was trying to get a perfect shot of the head of the flower and completely sharp.

Camera:Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Lens:Sony 50mm F2.8 Macro
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Hydrangea in my back garden
Username:burridh burridh
Uploaded:23 Jul 2014 - 8:32 PM
Tags:Flowers close up, Flowers & plants
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
banehawi Critique Team 111263 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada3285 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jul 2014 - 9:10 PM

Hi Helen.

We do need details about the camera settings to be able to provide useful feedback that you can use to improve. If you dont know how to upload the settings, or they are being lost in post processing, let us know and we can help. What software are you using to edit images?

This image was a good idea; it is underexposed, and thats because of the bright light from the sun at the rear of the Hydrangea, so you would have had to increase exposure yourself.

When this is done, the image is a lot brighter where it needs to be, but theres not a lot of sharpness; only the secind floret from the left has any sharpness, ad this is probably got to do with the aperture you used. But I cant be sure, as I dont know your settings.

What is odd, and doesnt make sense is the camera is identified as a Sony RX10, - which has a built-in zoom lens; but the lens is identified as a Sony 50mm macro, - so Im totally confused unless you can add some information?

Ive uploaded a modified image.

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mrswoolybill Critique Team 9827 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1314 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2014 - 9:00 AM

Hi Helen, these flowers fascinate me. At a distance they look heavy, lumpen, ungainly. Up close they are so beautiful.

As Willie says we do need your camera's settings to consider this in detail, so could you add them please to your description? Plus clarification regarding your camera model as the lens showing up under Exif looks distinctly odd for what is, so far as I know, a bridge camera! The data will probably have been wiped from the file when you prepared the image for uploading, but if you go to the original file on your hard drive, right click on the image, select Properties, then go to Details, you should find it all there.

You wanted this to be completely sharp - it certainly is good and sharp on the centre left flower, the others gradually get softer because there is shallow depth of field; a relatively large aperture was used, ie a low F number. That's one reason why we need the camera settings for reference, the aperture here is important!

A small plus exposure compensation would have helped here, and assuming the camera model is correctly stated it will give you this option. Dappled light and shadow in the background is always tricky for the camera's 'brain' to sort out - think how it can confuse our eyes! It's worth experimenting and taking several different exposures in a situation like this.

Can't really add anything more without further information.

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 24 Jul 2014 - 9:01 AM

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dudler Critique Team 12314 forum postsdudler vcard England612 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2014 - 4:45 PM

Definitely one of the cases where more info will help a good deal.

I'd aim to shoot so that there were fewer highlights in the background: change angle, or arrange some shade to fall on the offending parts. My wife's shadow sometimes helps, though I have to work fast before she gets very bored with photography!

I've done a mod, cropping, and then using the clone tool in Photoshop Elements to subdue the remaining bright areas - pretty crudely, i admit. I then used the Levels adjustment to brighten the highlights and deepen the shadows, and the burn tool to darken the background further. Finally, I sharpened, with Nik Efex software. Often, this sort of editing doesn't need to be very precise: the whole thing took a minute or so, not the age that osme digital players pride themselves on.

Nice - but more info will tell us how to suggest making it nicer.

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