Back Modifications (4)
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fun in the bluebells

By cathsnap
Liked this image as all the others I took of bluebells were fine but dare I say it, a bit boring. Changed the iso settiing on my camera from 100 to 200, Used aperture priority. The light kept changing so it was a bit hit and miss with what aperture to choose. More colour needed? Not sharp enough?

Tags: Flowers and plants Portraits and people

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dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 779 England
27 Apr 2014 8:26PM
You have a nice focal point in the child. The lighting is flat, which is much better for bluebells as the lower contrast enables the detail to be seen. However, it's easy enough to add some contrast to give some visual punch, and I'll upload a mod shortly. Boosting the contrast with Curves rather than Levels gives greater control, and also boosts colour, which should address your question.

You say you used ISO 200 but the exif says 720 so I don't know what has gone wrong. Nevertheless, you could have used ISO 400 easily enough as you are under the trees and you wanted to maintain the sharpness of the child. If there were no moving subject I would stick to a low ISO and using a tripod also choose most likely f/11 for good sharpness and depth of field.
Even here, with the subject relkatively small in the frame you could manage a shot at 1/125. A smaller aperture of f/5.6 to f/8 would mean most of th ecarpet of bluebells would be sharp apart from a few quite close to the camera, but th eviewer can accept that. At this size on the site your current settings maen the image looks fine but your original it will be more obvious where the sharp plane is.

I can understand you using the log as foreground interest, but does it add to the image?
With no child present, yes, but I'd like to see more of it for a greater sense of depth in the image. And that's where samller apertures would help, as it's not quite sharp as it stands here. Given those two comments it looks more like a log that got in the way than one you intended.

In fact, with the child as the subject you can do away with the log altogether. A crop would make the carpet of flowers seem endless and the child won't be in the dead centre of the image. In many cases such a subject is beter balanced to one side or other of the centre.

27 Apr 2014 8:59PM
Thanks very much for the mod, it does look better without the log. I took it like that thinking I need something in the foreground, great advice to use curves for colour, I wouldn't have known that.
Sooty_1 11 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2014 10:45PM
Just to echo Keith, the mod is what I would have done too. You don't need the log with figure because you don't want to confuse the viewer as to what the main focal point is. The child alone, or the log alone, not both. As the focus is on the child, the foreground interest is unnecessary.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2435 United Kingdom
28 Apr 2014 3:20PM
This really is delightful. Keith has mentioned the light - it's actually easier to photograph flowers in flat light because there's far less risk of blown highlights from light bouncing off the iridescent scales that cover a flower's petals. But you do then need to do some editing, to introduce contrast for brightness and vitality. If you look back at you Life is Good! upload, I explained the histogram, which is the basis for adjusting light with either Curves or Levels. It's worth taking the time to do that.

I rather like the foreground log, because it gives a firm base for the composition and tells us the viewers precisely where we are standing in all of this. (Using the burn tool discreetly on it would give it more presence. I might also cheat and move it a bit to the right...)

My feeling though is that there is too much in the frame, and the child's delightful movement is rather lost in it all. So I would definitely go for a tighter crop, but for comparison I would try a square and a portrait. Square allows the eye to roam freely; but portrait does something that is quite relevant here, it directs the eye to explore up and down the frame, from here to there and back again, rather than drifting sideways. And I think that upward direction is important here because we are following the child's exploration into the woods.

Mods to follow...
chase Plus
15 2.2k 566 England
28 Apr 2014 6:05PM
A lovely moment captured in the camera & I like the fact that the girl is central in the image.
I have to agree about the light,just a touch flat but so very easily fixed using a curves or levels adjustment in your editing program.
I too would have gone with the same crop as Keith,removing the log & letting the viewer get right to the back of the image...the log just serves as a block for me.

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