Shop Amazon's Best Sellers in Camera & Photo
Back Modifications (2)
Views 38 Unique 21 Award Shortlist   

Message in a bottle

By kuipje  
Pictures taken at "de Keukenhof" 2014. World famous (mostly) Tulips show. Only open in the months March until May. You must visit "de Keukenhof" when you have the chance.
More information go to
(afterwards i think i should have a bit further away to get the whole "bottle", but that's always afterwards)
As always advise/tips/comments much appreciate

Tags: Flowers The netherlands Tulips Keukenhof Flowers and plants Flower show



alistairfarrugia 10 164 88 Malta
30 Apr 2014 3:57PM
Hi there. I visited the Keukenhof a few weeks ago whilst on holiday in Amsterdam. It is indeed a wonderful place and a photographer's paradise. I haven't yet edited the images I took, but I will sure be uploading images of my own later on in the coming weeks. I fully recall this area, where there were several exhibits similar to this one. Well worth taking pictures of.

On to the critique. I agree with the point you raised, in hindsight taking a step back would have probably showed more of the venue and the bottle in its entirety, giving a more "complete" record of the subject being photographed.

In terms of the composition, however, I think you could also have a keeper if you tried isolating the centre portion of this image, retaining the glass edges, and opting for a more "abstract" presentation, possibly in a square or horizontal 4x3 format. I can't mod from here (at work) but I might give this a go tonight and upload a mod. In my mod, I think I'll position the red-most flower on a third and give it a bit more prominence.

A final comment re: your settings. You were on aperture priority and your camera gave you a shutter speed of 1/30th, addressing the 1/3rd positive exposure compensation as well. Theoretically, this shouldn't induce motion blur given your lens' image stabiliser, but given your focal length I would have probably opted for a slightly faster ISO to go for a less "risky" shutter speed of 1/60th or 1/120th. This would minimise the risk of shake-induced blurring, at a very minimal increase in Noise levels. The 1100D should give relatively noise-free images up to ISO 400, and even ISO 800 results are very usable in my opinion. When shooting indoors with the 600D (very comparable image-quality wise), I always rack up the ISO to around 400 - 800 (depending on light levels), as I prefer working with faster speeds to avoid unnecessary blurring through shake.
kuipje 8 3 Netherlands
30 Apr 2014 4:05PM
Thanks Alistair for your comments/advise. I keep it in mind (i hope)
Bianca & Jos
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2280 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2014 6:08PM
They have some very attractive displays there, Jos, and you are showing us what a wonderful place this is for a photographer.

It's easy, in hindsight, to see what you could have done better, but it's good that you are critiquing your own picture, it shows that you are learning from your own mistakes.
However, I'm not sure that you really needed the whole dome inside the frame.
In fact, I might have gone in even closer for a semi-abstract type of image where the reflections and flowers dominate.
Another suggestion is that you get down lower, if that was possible, and take a more straight-on shot, rather than looking down upon your subject.
A lot of compromises here, though, because the flowers wouldn't have been against the lighter part of the background if you had changed your height or angle.
I like the way the glass and reflections give an attractive and subtle background to the flowers inside.

The interesting elements for me, apart from the flowers inside the glass, are the reflections on the top of the dome and the beautiful shape of it.

With this in mind, I have done a modifiation where I cropped tighter.
Firstly, I straightened the image because I felt that leans to the left.
I then had to add some canvas and clone in some areas outside the dome, areas that the straightening had removed.
The most drastic part of the crop is from the bottom, removing the pot altogether, and the drips on the inside of the glass.
I then made some contrast adjustments to bring out the flowers and the reflections.

This is one of my favourites out of all of your pictures from the flower show so far. The glass adds intrigue.

kuipje 8 3 Netherlands
30 Apr 2014 6:20PM
Thank you Pamela for your nice comments.
I took this angle on purpose, the view downwards was nicer then this picture shows.
I liked the reflections also.
Bianca & Jos
alistairfarrugia 10 164 88 Malta
1 May 2014 6:42AM
There you go. Better late than never. Cropped to square, placed the red flower in the middle to go for a "symmetrical" approach as opposed to a thirds-approach. Also converted to black and white and then revealed the colour of the flower sand leaves only. This way the attention goes there first and then you explore the fact that the flowers are under some glass object. Given that the bottle wasn't showing in its entirety, might as well show just a little bit to leave it up to the viewer to determine what the plant is covered with. I wanted to create a more "artistic" image with what you uploaded, have I managed? What do YOU think? Thanks!
kuipje 8 3 Netherlands
1 May 2014 8:17AM
Thanks Alistair for your mod.
It's sure a way to work with this photo. It's always interesting to see how other people see thing in an other way AND making the effort do do something with your photo.
I didn't shoot this picture because of the flowers but because of the shape of the "bottle" (wide from above and small down) but i think that's the way you look at it.
Thanks for taking the time/effort to help us to making better/different pictures.
Bianca & Jos

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.