Back Modifications (2)
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Light and Shade

By salopian
This little Welsh Poppy looked simple enough from a distance , but much more complex closer up. I thought side lighting would emphasise the detail and the slightly blurred background would contrast with the sharp edges of the flower. I just wonder if a plain background would have been better ?


Tags: Poppy Flowers and plants

GB Sports Photographer & The Panasonic LUMIX S1


dudler Plus
16 949 1521 England
21 Jun 2017 11:20AM
A little plainer would be better: would it be possible to have soemone stand to cast shade on the immediate background, then clone over more distant areas?

Otherwise, very sound choices, I'd say.

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paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2017 2:25PM
Single colour flowers can be a problem. In bright light there is little variation in tone and whilst you have xposed perfectly well, the bloom has little detail. It needs cross light or back light to give a range of shades within the bloom and thus add interest.

For me the background is perfectly OK. Not cluttered and natural.

dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 591 England
21 Jun 2017 8:17PM
I would certainly try a plainer background.

However, there's nothing wrong with what you have here. Natural, not obtrusive (complments rather than fights for attention with the subject) and withoput distractions (just imagine a red blob from another flower!).
A good choice of aperture as going much smaller would make the background more defined and that would be distracting.

I like your thinking about the light but it's harsh and that's resulted in loss of fine detail in the right of the flower.
Waiting for softer light, or shading as John suggests, would be worth trying. If you want some soft shadows, hazy sun would be best, or shoot just as the sun is going or coming out from behind a cloud. Such is the way of shooting with natural light, sometimes it's a waiting game.

All that said, as it stands it's a pleasing record.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2017 10:30PM
It's a bright and cheerful subject, Geoff.

1.26pm is a bright time of day, which is fine if you want strong shadows, but not too good for a yellow flower. I was shooting flowers in my garden tonight at 8pm, it was lovely and cool, there was minimal breeze to move the flowers, and the sun had moved away. Just a gentle light on the flowers.

When shooting a flower full-on like this, a square frame often does the trick, which I've given it in my modification.
I selected the background and blurred it a bit more. As has been said, there's nothing wrong with it. If there were some highlights of coloured areas, that would be different, they would be distractions.
An alternative would be to desaturate. Sometimes just a bit will do, to tone down the greens.
I reduced the saturation a bit on the flower, did a slight Levels adjustment, and selectively sharpened the stamens.

pablophotographer 8 1.3k 352
21 Jun 2017 11:10PM
My mod has come out of the decision to stay in the sphere of the yellow, fine-tuning sunshine, shadow, shapes and the flower in a frame that focuses not on the plant and the background but to the plant only.
I have checked the metadata, I think a fixed(?) f/2, 30mm can't give you a f/5.6, 45mm setting, unless...
Wait a minute...
you could detach the lens from the camera body and turned it front to back to shoot it as macro...
It could have worked cause I think you'd need to get deeper and closer...
A folding umbrella or a hat could prove handy too.
salopian Plus
7 3 28 United Kingdom
22 Jun 2017 10:58AM
Thanks for the interesting and very useful comments - always a pleasure to study them.
Pablo, the exif does look odd - the lens is an f2, 30 mm fixed focal length, so where the f5.6 and 45mm focal length came from I have no idea ! Your mod is fascinating.
Pamela, your advice is sound and the modification greatly improves the Image. I did go out into the garden in the cool of the evening , but by the time I had watered the thirsty plants it was too dark for photos !
Thank you all again,

dudler Plus
16 949 1521 England
22 Jun 2017 10:46PM
I reckon that the 45mm is the full-frame equivalent...

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