Back Modifications (4)

The Great Burnet

By Bore07TM
Close-up of a Great Burnet in meadow near the Wilts & Berks Canal.

I was trying to focus on the area of the head where the seeds pods have opened (top front).

Cropped in Lightroom.

Shot using a tripod and remote trigger.

How could the shot be improved?

Tags: Macro Flowers and plants

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pablophotographer 11 2.0k 429
17 Jul 2017 11:49AM
Good focus on the spot you mentioned. My modification changed only a single thing: Exposure
See the difference it makes?
pablophotographer 11 2.0k 429
17 Jul 2017 12:00PM
Can you please upload the original uncropped image and give information about location (indoors or outdoors) and weather conditions ?
I think the overall light of the original combined with a multi-segment light reading, instead of spot reading on the flower, did not serve you well.
Modern cameras can handle ISO 400 without loss of quality in the image, so if you were outdoors and wanted a fast shutter speed to ensure the flower is still, you could use the Aperture Priority mode, or Manual mode after setting a higher ISO. Shutter speed priority is better used for action sports but it is not the wisest choice here, especially when you are indoors where you can control any drafts of air to ensure a plant remains still to be photographed (and bring extra light nearby if needed).

banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4319 Canada
17 Jul 2017 2:00PM
Focus on that top bit is ok, but framing can be better. Thinl of leaving more space above the tip, and moving the flower off centre.

It also needs an exposure increase of around +1.6 as in the mod

dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1948 England
17 Jul 2017 6:11PM
I'll add - depth of field will always be limited at moderate to wide apertures: that tends to be a problem with a subject where you may want a decent depth of sharp focus. But - did you?

So I'd have stopped down a good bit. A windbreak to shelter the subject might be necessary, then - or waiting for brighter light...
Bore07TM Plus
5 376 3 United Kingdom
17 Jul 2017 6:21PM
Yes I did, so what would recommend? - I remember the Dark Lords' comment about my Colby Daisy so I thought that f5.6 would be OK.

That said, I know its more a question of experimentation and seeing what suits a particular flower type.
pablophotographer 11 2.0k 429
17 Jul 2017 6:30PM
I think you are right, it depends the specific nature and shape of the flower you want to shoot.
Thanks for uploading the original.
I worked on it as well. I increased exposure and colour shadows and pulled the tint nearer to green as the distant nature around the flower. My crop kept away the flower that creeps from the bottom but left the main flower in a similar place with the one in your original picture.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1948 England
18 Jul 2017 5:54PM
Looking back at Keith's comment, I think he was suggesting experimentation - try things out, and decide what suits each flower best.

Depth of field is a major part of controlling how a picture looks, adn you need two things to get to grips with it:

1 a decent idea of how much you want sharp in any given image - that's the vision, which needs to be matched by realisation, with
2 an understanding of how much sharpness a given lens will produce at each aperture. There are tables to allow you to calculate this, but trial and error, magnifying on your camera screen, will actually show you a more revealing picture, and maybe less sharpness than you thought.

A really good technical exercise is to set the camera up with a closeup subject at home, and try every aperture in turn, to see what the differences are. With a zoom lens, try it at at least two or three different focal lengths. When you've done that, you will have a far better idea of what to do for any given situation...
Bore07TM Plus
5 376 3 United Kingdom
18 Jul 2017 6:14PM
Dudler thank you for clarifying what Keith meant.

Having moved from a bridge to M4/3 camera, I think I'm finding it more difficult to adjust, particularly with the macro lense (I Think you are seeing that!).
dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 825 England
18 Jul 2017 9:59PM
Thank you Johm, yes I did mean experiment. It will vary from subject to subject what aperture works best.

You have a nice effect on the background here. Sometimes you'll need a smaller aperture for the flower which will affect how the background is rendered, so it's often a compromise between the two.

I like your thinking on where to place the point of focus.
However, there's quite an area that's out of focus at the front which the eye notices before it gets to the sharp area so I'd bring the plane of focus slightly further forward. You'd still get those open parts of the flower sharp.
It just comes down to the fact that focus is critical when shooting close-up and we don't get it right all of the time. Does your camera have a live view function that you can see the effect of your chosen aperture or can you zoom in on the screen for fine tuning of focus? If so, worth giving them a go.
Bore07TM Plus
5 376 3 United Kingdom
18 Jul 2017 10:17PM
Thank you Keith for your comments and clarification. I went to Westonbirt yesterday and expetimented as suggested by dark_lord - you can certainly see the difference between f2.8 and f4.5 !

I've also tried to use different apertures on an orchid to see the difference in infocus/out of focus areas - maybe not the best subject but a start.

On my camera you can certainly can zoom in on the screen to fine tune focus, which I do use (but obviously not very well on this attempt).

it also has a preview function (which I haven't worked out how to use yet), I'm not sure about live preview (will check).

dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1948 England
19 Jul 2017 9:40PM
When you press the depth of field preview button, the aperture stops down, and you can see how the depth of field is. However, the image wil lbe dark, and not magnified, so things can look OK when they aren't really.

Live view may do better, depending on how it interacts with depth of field preview.

With digital, though, you can always take a shot and see how it looks magnified on the screen...
Bore07TM Plus
5 376 3 United Kingdom
19 Jul 2017 9:59PM
Dudler - many thanks for the tip, I will have to remember that!

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