Back Modifications (3)
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Purple Iris

By arthura
Took this photo tonight with the camera's flash. Wanted only the flower so I used Photoshop to blacken in the background, but there is no modification of the flower. Manual focus, F-stop f/8, Exposure time 1/60 sec, focal length 40mm. 1st upload to ephotozine.

Tags: Flowers and plants Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


ali63 Plus
5 775 1 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 9:03AM
Beautifully sharp, I may have been tempted to present it in portrait style ,great first up load,

Ali SmileSmile

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NEWMANP 9 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 10:50AM
nice and sharp, lovely colour against the pure black great record but just a couple of tweaks takes it somewhere else.

try a square crop because the two large areas of black are not adding any interest and distract from the subject area.
secondly the single unopened flower at the bottom left should be connected to the main stem or not there at all and it could be painted over or cloned.

slightly tone down the stem in its bright areas (but this could be my office monitor setting)

i guess it would look nice in a frame or on a card too.

mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1723 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 11:23AM
Hi, welcome to the site and to the Critique Gallery, I see that this is your first upload!

What works here is the formal elegance of the flower against the black background. As noted above, the image is good and sharp.

Criticisms: you have used flash, at a relatively close distance, and that has produced a rather garish effect. Are you using the camera's pop-up flash? It needs diffusing - just draping a Kleenex hankie over the pop-up would soften the effect, make it subtler.

The harshness of the flash has caught the little 'hairs' on the petals, and the dots of light have been exaggerated in compression for uploading. Are you resizing pictures for uploading here or leaving it to the site? The site uploads at a maximum of 1000 pixels per side for e2 members, 600 pixels otherwise. Larger files are automatically (and rather aggressively) compressed. White dots such as here may be scarcely noticeable in the original file on your hard drive, but resizing will exaggerate them. Always resize the file yourself. Add any sharpening after resizing not before, and check the file over for any issues.

So here I would like to reduce brightness a bit, and do some de-spotting.

Composition-wise the balance of the unopened bud is potentially a strong feature but as Phil says you need more stem at the bottom, to connect the two. Having detached stems entering the file separately is always risky, it looks awkward.

There is no rule that says that you have to use 3 x 2, or landscape, or place your subject centrally. There are different crops/placement options available, I'll upload a Modification or two to demonstrate. They will appear in due course under the Modifications button below your upload, click on the thumbnails to view.
mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1723 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 11:32AM
I've uploaded three Mods, I haven't touched light as I have to go out, these really are about composition and placement.
4 Dec 2013 5:55PM
Thank you both for your comments and suggestions. I hope to be able to retake the photo tonight and take in more of the stem and use the Kleenex. I let the site resize, so I will resize before uploading. I will look at the mods.
Thank you,
mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1723 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 6:32PM
Thanks for the feedback, it's often difficult to know if we are helping or not! Looking forward to seeing more.
paulbroad 10 123 1170 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2013 9:10PM
This is technicaly well done and the flash, actually, very well handled. Why all the black on each side? Either a portrait format, a tall thin composition, or landscape with the bloom well to the left.

5 Dec 2013 6:34AM
I was not able to get a good photo this evening. I think the cold got to the bloom and it was not as brilliant. I will try and capture when the next flower blooms.
I did experiment with the Kleenex and saw how it gave a softer effect. Thanks for the modified examples, especially the difference between the floating bud and having it attached to the stalk.

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