Back Modifications (5)
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Ivy and Flower

By suejoh
This is the ivy flat (ish) on tracing paper and light under it. It did not look good on its own so I added the flower.

How do you get the ivy to behave? I could not get it to stay in place and it needed to be flatter to get a better depth of field.
Any ideas on the ivy - do you stick it?

I know the flower should not be centered but I will change that next time - when I can get the ivy to stay in place.

Also OH did not like the white flower (he said the pink would be better - we have pink Cosmos)? He also thought the light underneath should be brighter?

Thank you

Tags: Still life Flowers and plants Ivy

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12 Jun 2019 6:11PM
Maybe lie a sheet of glass over the ivy and move it around until the ivy does something you like, then squash it down. Or increase the distance from lens to subject, to give more depth of field ( which is shallower the closer you are )...* and make absolutely sure the plane of focus is parallel to the subject plane.*
Alternatively sod the ivy and stick with the flower, which is probably what I'd do. Life's too short.


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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4070 Canada
12 Jun 2019 6:15PM
He is probably right. Loaded a much brighter mod.

Like that pane of glass idea, - I normally use a shears to tame ivy.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2119 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2019 6:26PM
I'd second Alan's advice. As a further idea, I haven't tried to do this - but have you tried dunking the ivy in hot water for a few seconds, to soften it and make it more pliable? Get the timing right and it should be possible to reduce the stiffness of the leaves without losing their glossiness, so long as they are used promptly.

I rather like the formality of the central placement in a frame. Backlighting needs some light reflected back on top, I'll try a mod later on...
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2099 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2019 9:31PM
Compositionally, I think you need more ivy leaves so that they act as a strong frame for the flower.

I have done a modification to demonstrate what I mean.

Personally, I would have taken individual shots of ivy leaves, then used editing software to set them around the edges using copy/paste with layers. The same for the flower. Unless, of course, you start with the flower picture, keep or put a large plain area around it, then add your ivy leaves.

Just an idea.

paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2019 8:23AM
Not normally my kind of thing, but rather like this. What's wrong with the ivy - it's the flower that needs to be sharp. The ivy is more than adequate as a frame. Well done.

Your original is rather better than any of the mods for me.

iancrowson Plus
9 213 157 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2019 1:05PM
I like this photo, it works for me. I've done a mod too which I don't think is any better than then either your original and other mods, just different.
You seemed to have got the technique worked out with regards to camera settings. I think as the subject is a nearly flat surface everything should be in focus so a small aperture is required to ensure enough depth of field.
It's quite an original photo and although pink cosmos might be nice white is more difficult.
When I was really into this type of photography I bought a light box which gave great results with thin translucent petals. poppy petals back lit on lightbox
Good one,
dudler Plus
16 996 1553 England
13 Jun 2019 6:54PM
I feel that this needs to be brighter, too. The background, all of it, needs to be pretty close to true white.

As to the ivy - use Blu Tack, use florist's wire, use books holding it down outside the frame: stick it with glue if you have to.

When what you're photographing is going on the compost heap after you've used it, there's no need to avoid damaging it, outside the frame. You can be brutal in ways that would not be possible with plants in a garden.
suejoh Plus
15 253 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2019 7:08PM
Thanks everyone. Off to get the pink cosmos and maybe try something else Grin

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