Back Modifications (4)
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Tulip Still Life

By swilliams71    
Trying some new things. It is a focus stacked image in which I wanted to highlight the colour relationship between the tulips and the apple.

Life in lockdown gives us plenty of time to explore new creativity Grin

Tags: Colour Flowers Creative Still life Tulips Art Atmospheric Fine art Artisitc

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dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
17 Jan 2021 7:48PM
Chase is your only woman on this, really: right in her area.

However, until Janet arrives, I'll comment on the crease, top right, and the quite loose crop at the bottom. Shorter and wider will work, I think - and - as I can't iron the crease out before the event, a little spot healing tool.

Would I have moved the apple a fraction lower? Possibly.So it doesn't break the 'horizon', maybe, and so it isn't in line with the bottom of the jug so much.

Nice work, and the focus stacking has worked well, I reckon.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
17 Jan 2021 9:24PM
Hi Sharon and welcome to the Critique Gallery, I can't see that you have been here before but I guess you know what it's all about.
You have some beautiful floral images in your pf, very inspirational.

Yes, the crease top right was the first thing I noticed so, that needs to go and John has done that really well.
The light looks ok to me just about coming in from the left.
I'm not quite sure why you stacked this tbh as combining the frames can be a bit hit and miss sometimes but, you have done ok here thankfully and, it is a nice process to learn.Perhaps try it on something a little smaller ? I would have gone for F16, shutter speed don't matter coz it aint going anywhere Wink
If this had been mine, I would have cut a wedge from the apple to mirror the shape of the Tulip petals and leaves and placed it dropping away from the Apple, just like a slice that has been cut and fell over.

I can see some lighter areas around your subjects, did you apply a texture or is it just from lightening them during post processing ?
Ok, I am going to try a mod or two and will come back to you.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
17 Jan 2021 10:58PM
I did 2 mods for you.
Quite difficult to assess the effect of the stacking as this is a really small file at 242kb but, I am not convinced it has worked, some of the Tulip heads seem quite soft.
From what I have heard and done myself, focus stacking is used generally to put a bg OOF so if you have another go, try something like F4 but with subjects like this you are going to have to take plenty of frames with different focus points to create the effect.

I moved the Apple and is shadow a little closer to the Jug.
Cropped quite a bit from the bottom, I don't think all of the table covering there was adding to the frame.
Added a bit more canvas on the RHS to give that leaf a little bit more room.
Removed the crease top right with the patch tool.
Cloned in the light areas around the subjects.
Neutralised the whites, especially on the jug. I used the white neutraliser in Nik on a separate masked layer and put the new whites where I thought they should be.
Lifted the whole thing with a simple levels layer.

Softened the bg using a paint effect in Topaz Studio 2 and applied it only to the bg.
I applied a very teeny bit of diffuse glow to the bg to soften it further.
Lightened much more with a brightness/contrast layer
I put my hand up to adding a bit of lace behind your subjects just as a bit of light play and to again try to soften the bg.

Perhaps a bunch of red or even yellow tulips would have given you a better colour relationship with the Apple ?

Lastly, I converted the colour profile to sRGB which is the one recommended for ePz and the web.

Absolutely nothing wrong with exploring new stuff Sharon, I applaud your efforts.
I look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts and any questions you may have.

pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2213 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2021 11:01PM
Hello, Sharon. I have been a fan of your flower photography for some time. But it's good to try new things like this.

Janet's first modification really appeals to me because she has eliminated some unnecessary space and brought the flowers and apple closer together, which helps to achieve your goal of showing the colour relationship between them. Her crop also removes the crease middle bottom.

With still life, even the smallest of details need attention. A crease such as the one top right will pull the eye up into that corner, just as a bright light will do.
I like your lighting, the little highlight on the shiny apple, and the way the stalk seems to point up to the flowers. Most of all, I like the image's simplicity, also the plain white jug, so that the colours are only in the tulips and the apple. Well done.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
18 Jan 2021 9:04AM
Yes - Janet's mod, making the apple break the horizon more boldly and moving it closer in makes the relationship stronger, and enlarging the apple seems to me to help as well.

Lots of good analysis from both Janet and Moira, as I suspect you've realised.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 405
18 Jan 2021 9:18AM
I have a stong suspicion that this may have been posted to the Critique Gallery by mistake. You know, mistakes do happen. I find it very beautiful as it is. Should that had appeared on the General Gallery it sould have my award as a Guest Editor.
18 Jan 2021 12:20PM
Thank you everyone for taking the time to critique my image and working on some modifications.

Everyone has helped hight areas that need improvement that my untrained eye has yet to spot. Dudler you have rightly pointed the break in the horizon. And how did I not see the crease and fold in the cloth as distracting is beyond me!

Janet I love the modifications you have made. Even removing the decorative dots on the jug that were distracting. Thank you for so much detail in your feedback and also in your modifications. I can't decide which one I prefer. I think the darker one is leaning more towards the mood I had in mind but I really like the soft focus bg. This is something I will work on because while I like the soft focus I want the subject close enough to throw a shadow on to it. I tried focus stacking because I was experimenting with my new camera which has this touch screen focus capabillity. As you point out it hasn't been 100% successful, must do better!

My set up was tight and perhaps rushed which needs attention and more time. As you rightly point out Pamela, the camera never lies!! I love your observation of the little apple stalk! And thank you for the lovely comment on my work.

Finally, Pablo thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed creating this image and like with any image that you are thrilled with it is hard to apply enough distance to see it without bias. Your support is much appreciated.

This feedback has provided me with a lot to think about and to practice on. This critique facility is priceless in inspiring further development, as yet I have not come across another community as responsive.

Much obliged,
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
18 Jan 2021 1:53PM
Great to have your feedback Sharon, it makes so much difference to us when we gat a two way conversation going.
Thank you.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 762 England
18 Jan 2021 3:37PM
I miossed commenting earlier yesterday
All good for trying focus stacking but there's no benefit on this subject as f/11 or f/16 will do the job. Even with focus stacking at a wider aperture won't have much effect on the background as it's so close behind the subject. You need greater separation to use the technique effectively.
But to be fair the background is plain (works well) so even if it's sharp it won't distract.
The moodiness is remiscent of an old painting though it benefits from a warmer tone (as in the mods). While that mood can look good, lifting the lighter tones while reducing the darker tones gives it some punch. I've tried that in my mod, only concentrating on the colour rather than incorporating the other suggested adjustments.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
18 Jan 2021 4:03PM
Thank you so much for getting back to us, Sharon - that makes you wonderful in the eyes of the whole Critique Team, and anyone else who contributes regularly.

Have fun - and I look forward to seeing what you do next with the ideas here.
18 Jan 2021 4:28PM
Thank you Dark Lord, the warmer tones really help it I will definitely apply this to future images Wink
DaveU 15 1.4k 127 England
23 Jan 2021 7:07PM
I like the composition, the colour palette and the subtle lighting. I donít think that portrait format does the image any favours as it looks a little tight and squashed in. Iíd love to see a landscape version for comparison.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
24 Jan 2021 10:30AM
I definitely see what Dave means: though i think that allowing a little more space at either side, and the less elongated format I've suggested deals with it.

A landscape format is perfectly possible, though the apple might need to be further to the left - an L-shape composition of ten works well.

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