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By conrad  
I'm really interested to hear your opinions on this. When I got home and viewed this on the monitor, I immediately thought: nice, but I should have changed aperture setting. I still like the shot, but if I had changed the aperture of 4.0 to, say, 22, it might have been better. What do you think?

This was shot at Batenburg (The Netherlands). I had gone out when it was still light to shoot this windmill. I stayed longer than I thought, and therefore got into this situation where I should have had a tripod with me but didn't. :-(
I used fill-in flash to solve part of the problem, but of course that way I lit something that's not in focus.

So, whats the verdict? Is this all wrong because of the shallow dof and the focus on the windmill, or do you think the shot still has merit?

Any suggestions and mods welcome!


Tags: The netherlands Windmill Hogweed Batenburg Flashlight Fillin flash Landscape and travel

Voters: jaktis, Boyd, johnjohn01 and 16 more


jaktis 15 84 Sweden
15 Aug 2005 12:48AM
Agree with you it would have been better in my opinion with sharper foreground but it is still a good picture


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Boyd 16 11.2k 11 Wales
15 Aug 2005 12:49AM
Hello neighbour. With this kind of thing it's a personal choice of the photographer what he wants to achieve, were you concentrating on the plants or the windmill or did you want both sharp?
Whatever the answer, this works well and so I'd be happy.

johnjohn01 17 58 England
15 Aug 2005 12:58AM
I'd have preferred the foreground to have been in focus Conrad but I still like the shot.
Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 1:00AM
i think its great conrad
alexya85 15 5
15 Aug 2005 1:12AM
Since you choose to lit the foregroun and through the windmill into darkness you should focus on frgrnd!!! Or at least try hyperfocal dist. But the shot is realy good either way Smile)
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
15 Aug 2005 1:20AM
agree with Boyd. But the pic does work.

AngelaR 15 155 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 1:25AM
Sorry Conrad - no technical expertise here at all. Just think it's a superb shot and presentation, and very effective.
MoWiz 14 114 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 1:30AM
I feel either the plants or both should be in focus
conrad 15 10.9k 116
15 Aug 2005 1:36AM
Wow, lots of feedback here! Thanks, everyone, so far!

On the one hand it's nice to hear many of you still like the image. But on the other hand it's good to know that my own first reaction to it when I saw it on the monitor seems to have been right as well. I'll just have to go back and take some new shots - I'll consider this one part of my "practice session"! Wink

digicammad 16 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 2:05AM
You're right that it would work better with the foreground in focus but it is a decent shot as it is. Funnily enough, the thing that I noticed immediately was not the soft fg but the fact that the windmill is sitting on top of the flowerhead, a little to the left would have been better IMHO.

Kris_Dutson 17 8.2k 1 England
15 Aug 2005 2:27AM
The plants are so prominent from the light, and the slight unusualness of it, that sharpness as well may have detracted from the windmill too much? As it is, the slight softness makes you look elsewhere in the image and you find the mill - so I like it as is.

Of course, I may be talking complete b*ll*cks Wink

conrad 15 10.9k 116
15 Aug 2005 2:47AM
Kris, an opinion on something as subjective as this can never be errr... nonsense. Wink Thanks for giving yours!

Ian - I do also have shots taken more to the left and the right, but in those shots the light is going in the wrong direction. (I used my modest on board flash - don't have an external flash. Yet.) But you're right, the mill seems to sit on top of the flower head. The weird places the Dutch have built their mills, eh! Wink Thanks for your comment!

IanBW 14 65 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 4:52AM
I agree with Ian, the first thing my eye was drawn to was the windmill on top of the foreground flower. I like the way the bright foreground melts into the gloomy background, which gives some empahasis to the cloudy sky.

The only problem I have with the softness of the flowers is maybe they're not quite soft enough, and I would have liked there to have been more of them to give a soft focus screen at the front of the picture, leading into but not detracting from, the moody background.

davidbailie 16 457 7 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 6:05AM
Like it to a degree - though I feel it's a bit half way house - the pronounced light on the flowers intrudes a bit for me- and/or one of the flowers is a bit too lined up with the mill ??


conrad 15 10.9k 116
15 Aug 2005 6:28AM
Okay, the opinions are clear - thanks for explaining in detail what you mean, IanBW and Dave, that's very helpful! I've decided to go back and do this over, some time. (It's not that far from where I live.)

Tooth 14 5.8k 227 Ireland
15 Aug 2005 8:34AM
I agree with some of the comments above about the position of the windmill sitting on top of the flower - I find it a bit jarring. As for what should be in focus, I think the way it is the 2 elements are in direct competition - which one is to be given preference comes down to a personal choice

glazzaro 14 70 23 United States
15 Aug 2005 11:27AM
It appears to work, but I too think the flowers are soft. I like the overall presentation, but also agree with most of what folks have said. Spot on! Click!!!

kinfatric 15 550 9 Scotland
15 Aug 2005 12:09PM
Hi Conrad its a lovely shot but I hope you captured one or two more shots in front of the foreground weed...? that you have in your present version as I think just the tall crop/grass and windmill would make an excellent shot in that particular light, I can see and understand why you have went for the one you have uploaded too.
Westers 15 3.9k 1 Burkina Faso
15 Aug 2005 12:35PM
The one thing that stands out for me is the lighting on the plants in the foreground is too much - it makes the scene look false.

Interestingly the dof isn't an issue, or maybe the bright plants detract from it.

Nice idea but less fill in flash next time.
akh Plus
15 1.2k 5 United Kingdom
15 Aug 2005 2:58PM
The only thing I would say is that perhaps the foreground is just a touch too light. Have had a little play with it.
conrad 15 10.9k 116
16 Aug 2005 12:02AM
Thanks, all, that's really helpful. Some interesting thoughts here.

Ian (Westers) - I hardly ever use my flash, and therefore have no idea how to reduce the light. How do you do that?

Tony - I never thought there could be too much light on the foreground, if you consider the foreground to be a feature, but your mod is interesting, thanks! Something to think about. I'm going to rummage through the other shots and see what I come up with, and have a play with it.

Thanks, everyone!

georg 14 4 South Africa
16 Aug 2005 2:44AM
I'll leave the clever people to comment on technical things. It seems to be a nice mistake you made here. I like it.

conrad 15 10.9k 116
16 Aug 2005 5:03AM
Thanks, Georg!

16 Aug 2005 1:15PM
I like it.

juliem 14 613
17 Aug 2005 11:47AM
Keep looking and looking at this one and I'm finding peoples comments really helpful. However I have to say what I think when I see it and to me it has such a strange unreal sort of quality to it that it works for me. Some people might have wanted to achieve the look you have got here.Maybe a bit cropped off the top?
conrad 15 10.9k 116
17 Aug 2005 12:54PM
Thanks, Johnny!

Julie - Thank you very much for your insight. It takes courage to deviate from other comments and just say what you think - I appreciate that. And I think there's something in what you say. It does indeed look unreal, and I might ask myself if that perhaps is enough. Good point!


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