Back Modifications (4)
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By Roblipman
Taken indoors using 10 stop nd filter to attempt blurred background. Used Nikkor 70-200mm lens at f8, iso64.

Tags: Flowers and plants Orchids

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Robert51 11 7 92 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 8:05AM
This is really strange looking at the image I thought it could be brighten up a little so I went to the download and the image was much brighter and more that I had in mind. So no mod needed. It may have been worth leaving the pot in so you see the whole plant.

The image itself of these beautiful flowers shows why people love them so much. The wife has the exact same ones on the kitchen window.

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
15 Nov 2019 12:31PM
Theres a very faded yellow appearance you may like here, however there are a couple of points I would like to make.

First is that a long exposure with a 10 stopper has no effect on blurring the background, it smply reduces the brightness. That baclground, though Im not certain, may be a window?
Either way, the orchids are back-lit, which makes them underexposed, filter or no filter.

The colour tone, as I mentioned is very yellow, - a matter of taste perhaps but may also be a natter of white balance, and/or the ambient light inside the room.

Either leave all the put in, or select a section of flowers to make the best of it.

I have uploaded two mods. The first is full width, with space added at the top and removed from the bottom; it is significantly brighter to expose for the flowers, not for the background; mod2 if a section, showing the difference in composition of a section of the plant ( it is huge) is extracted; I have of course taken some liberties with what had to be removed from the frame. You can see two very different images IM sure.

Last point, - 4 minutes is a dangerously long time to expose a sensor due to heat, thankfully you had a full frame, as a smaller sensor may well have encountered heat issues.



mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 2:25PM
The flowers are very elegantly captured, but better in Willie's lightened modification. Once exposure is adjusted, the light background works, it gives an airy feel - orchids can very easily look heavy and plasticky.

But I must admit to being at a loss to understand the rationale here for the 10 stop ND and four minute exposure - it seems to be a case of overkill. Use of a sheet of white or cream card as a background, placed not to close to the subject, should give the neutral featureless background that you want, without the risks of such a long exposure which gives no advantage here.

I assume that the canes and clamps were needed to keep the stems motionless for the long exposure but I would much prefer to see the plant without them - will the plant stand up unaided for a shorter exposure?

The base of the frame seems unsatisfactory, with the leaves cut off awkwardly and the narrow band of table top visible. I would suggest standing the pot on a base in order to lift it a bit higher, so that you can have the leaves in full without the table top intruding into the frame.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2096 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2019 5:31PM
A lovely subject, Robert.

My first thought was to reduce the amount of flowers, as Willie has done in his modification.
The unfinished leaves at the bottom are unsatisfactory. Better to have them complete and not cut off. Also, as has been mentioned, the line at the bottom of the frame needs to be removed.

With flower photography, you are aiming for simplicity and a clean finish, with the blooms as the stars of the show. There isn't a rule that says you have to include the whole of the group of flowers inside your frame. Try being selective, depending upon which part of the group you find most pleasing.

I have done a modification, using Willie's first modification (he's done a lot of the hard work). I liked the left side of the group, but wanted it to fall into the right of the frame, so I cropped and mirrored it. I added a little more canvas either side to give it breathing space, then removed all of the clips, just for a tidy finish.

You have a very nice subject here, so make the most of it while it's looking so beautiful. Put some card, or drape some material behind, place it where some natural daylight can fall upon it, then do some shooting, going in closer for some drama. Be bold and think outside of the box. Alternatively, be creative with different apertures.

Have a look HERE for some inspiration, or go abstract with THIS.

dudler Plus
16 978 1536 England
15 Nov 2019 11:07PM

I'm bemused by the big stopper: to blur the background, you need:

1 a wide aperture;
2 the greatest possible differential between the distance of the subject and the background; and
3 a long lens.

You've got the last one, but it would have worked far better at f/2.8...

Or were you shooting in fromt of a moving background, such as passing clouds, in which case the ND filter makes sense.

Can you explain a bit further, please?

Losing the windowsill at the bottom is a major improvement: little details liek that matter, even when you are working on an advanced technique...
16 Nov 2019 10:56AM
I agree with all the above.
I think your orchids may have been better served with a contrasting colour for the background, which would add some vibrancy to the image and make the flowers stand out more.
And those clips are downright ugly... they do your image no favours at all!

I'll upload a mod, to suggest a different approach.
I've cropped, adjusted exposure, changed the background colour, added a subtle vignette, and removed the clips ( using the spot healing brush... carefully )

dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
16 Nov 2019 11:19AM
The composition could be tidier.
I appreciate the clips are there to hold the stems but they're not attractive. If removing them tepmorarily is an issue, you could try turning them so they are edge on, as one is, to make them less noticeable.

Underexposed due to the light background, so you need to apply one stop or so ex[posure compensation. You may only then need a small tweak in post processing, maybe none.

Get some large pieces of coloured card from an art shop that you cn use as a background, both pale and dark. I'd even try pale pink, yellow or green hare, less stark than white and mirroring the colours in the flower.

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