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Reach for the Sky

By briantjjones
A macro shot taken of a very small fern growing from a crevice in a stone dyke on a very overcast and rainy day. It was the vivid colour of the young plant against the dark wall reaching up to the light that I wanted to capture in an abstract way. The shot was hand held as the tripod was still in the car!!

Tags: Flowers and plants Macro abstract

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


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
13 May 2013 6:50PM
As you probably know, the hand-holding has taken the edge off the sharpness, as has the limited depth of field at f/2.8. There seems to be a bit of luminance noise in the background too.

I think just cleaning up the composition would have helped - ie including the tip of the frond at the top right and not having any extraneous bits like the extra leaf at bottom left. A polariser would have helped with the colour saturation by helping to remove the highlights and intensifying the green (by eliminating the scattered light) at the expense of a couple of stops of light. You cannot replicate the effect of a polariser digitally.

This really is a tripod shot, as these little things are usually tucked away in dark corners and require longer exposures with bigger depth of fields.

I would say, lower ISO to 100, use a tripod, aperture in the f/11-f/16, use a polariser and let the shutter speed do what it wants.


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paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 8:54AM
Nick covers it pretty well although not sure the reflected light from vegetation is polarised. Would need to try it.

Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 7:11PM
Reflected light from foliage isn't polarised - it's scattered light, which is why using a polariser will all but eliminate it, strengthening the colours.

Polarisers will help eliminate non-metallic reflections, more effectively the closer to Brewster's Angle you get.


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