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By cymru2019
This is my first attempt at putting in a background and then removing it from the flower itself. The original photo was taken with my Canon 300mm F4, which takes sharp shots, because the poker was far away from the pathway. The background is from an unusual peachy coloured sky above our house a few years back. I used the soft blend mode at 100% opacity on the clouds. In Version 1 - never done versions before - I moved the poker to the right to give it a diagonal aspect and chose the overlay blend at 100% capacity. For getting this far the inspiration has come from seeing many good quality images on EPZ. However may I gave thanks to Ivor ( Capto ) and in particular to Janet ( Chase ) who has given me much direction and encouragement. To me this is my first step into this kind of photography and it feels something like first getting to grips with three blind mice on the piano when I was eight years old. Any advice or critique is welcomed. David

Tags: General Flowers and plants Red hot poker Formal gardens Hestmonceux castle

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mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 11:46AM
I'll leave the technical stuff to the experts, but I reckon you've done this very well! I prefer the light / colour in the version, it looks 'cleaner'. But I don't care for the composition there or the cut-off at the bottom, the flower looks as though it's toppling out of the frame.
Well done!
dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 824 England
29 May 2020 12:10PM
It looks convincing to me as though there are lots of pokers in the background. The version does have a bit more zing in the color and contrast stakes.
There's nothing wrong in using a telephoto lens for close-up work if that's what it needs. In fact I've sometimes found it allows a better angle than getting nearer with say a 100 mm macro.
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 12:11PM
Thanks Moira. After reading your comments I have looked up the series of shots I took of the red hot pokers and I do have one showing a lot of the supporting stalk and yes your critique is well merited. Thanks for taking time out to send me your thoughts and I appreciate the encouragement very much indeed! David
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 12:17PM
Thanks Richard for sending me your thoughts as well. In hindsight I think I may have been better using centre-weighted metering. David
29 May 2020 12:30PM
Nice work David,
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 12:38PM
Thanks Fred! David
CaroleS Plus
12 442 3 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 2:05PM
I prefer the colour in the version, you have good detail too. As 'pokers' tend to be very upright, I prefer the composition in the lead and perhaps just a tad more stem to show the form of the flower. I do like the way you have worked this.
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 2:08PM
Thanks Carole.
boov 9 2 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 2:41PM
Red Hot shot
chase Plus
16 2.4k 623 England
29 May 2020 2:47PM
Very well done David, the bg is nice and complimentary and you have plenty of detail in there.
I agree with the majority that the colours are better in your version but I prefer the upright flower on the original.
Spot metering is not ideal but I reckon you have got away with it here. Maybe centre weighted or Matrix ( that's on Nikon cameras, I don't know the equivalent on the Canon) either would perhaps hive you a better all round exposure on other subjects.

Love the little fly Wink

You do need some stem at the bottom though, lots of nice texture on the flower itself is missing and you do have some spare space at the top of the frame.
Try different blending modes at different opacities, each one gives a totally different look to an image, then perhaps you can move on to using more than one texture, blending them differently at different opacities.
Opportunities are endless.

You have made a really good start here David, I am proud of you !
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 2:53PM
Thanks Janet for the encouragement and advice. It means a lot to me. David
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 2:55PM
And thanks Jim! David
mac Plus
20 14 Scotland
29 May 2020 4:23PM
My main thought was the background is too close to the flower colour, more separation required?
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 4:48PM
That's interesting Ian. Would you suggest I tone down the background? David
pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2263 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 5:50PM
Very nice, David.
I have to agree with others. I like the upright version (the lead image) and the processing in your version, but without the tilt.

The warm background fits the fiery nature of the plant very well. The decision is yours, of course, but I have found that a background that emulates the subject's tones can work well in many situations. When you are out and about, look out for pictures that can be used as backgrounds and keep a file of them, for future use. You can blur them and even change their hues, lightness or darkness later on. A bit of texture can be nice, but not too much.

I agree that the image would benefit from having a bit more stem showing, and it's also often a nice idea to have some foliage showing, not only to show what that flower's foliage is like, but also to add another element to your image, for added interest. See a picture of mine HERE as an example. By the way, I added that background. I use a different method when combining background with flower, but I won't go into that here, especially considering you have found a method that works for you and are doing well with it.

cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 7:55PM
Thanks Pam for your very wonderful and wise comments. I have considered all the comments made and will be uploading another Red Hot Poker next week. I have begun a folder for backgrounds. I have seen your image. It is fantastic and I have commented as such. Its encouraging to know I have had support from critiques and it looks like I have made a decent start. With much appreciation. David
capto Plus
10 7.0k 32 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 8:18PM
Great stuff..... your on your way now, keep going.Smile
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
29 May 2020 9:32PM
Thanks Ivor for your encouragement! David
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
30 May 2020 12:35AM
This is outside my area: I'll just echo comments about composing with a little space below as well as above.
30 May 2020 3:25AM
I agree with many of the critiques, David. Prefer the color of the version....and I do tho k thepat hour crop is a bit too close...a little distance could ahow the drama of the red hot,poker.

cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
30 May 2020 7:56AM
Thanks John and Peter for your comments. David
sparrowhawk Plus
13 282 3 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2020 9:49PM
cymru2019 3 17 7 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2020 8:18AM
Thanks Steve. David

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