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Activity : Photo Comments


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  • A reflected drop

    Soo sorry for the long reply wait - I was away for a few days!

    Many thanks for the comments all - certainly something to think about! The idea of lighting the subject rather than the drop itself didn't occur to me when I shot this, but its something several people have suggested now and I think it might be the right step forward in getting the shot to work with less of a highlight reflection problem on the waterdrop.

    Tripod side I would have used a tripod for this - if I had brought it with me on the day - I'm scrabbling around and getting one of thsoe shoulder straps for a tripod soon because at present carrying it along with a regular bag is a pain (I have to hold it rather than the camera which means no shots). I certainly agree that such a shot would work better with a tripod.

    Composition wise - yah I gotta agree there as well (its my weakest area at present so somewhere I do really have to work on). If I get another chance hopefully I can work some composition into the reflected subject as well - in this case I was just after a clearer reflection so that is why its bramble and awooden post in the reflection.
    • 13 Dec 2009 12:45AM
  • Any Port in a Storm

    Thanks for the input all!
    I really like the input on people not understanding fully what it is your seeing, since its something that I didn't really think of. I guess I have just got a little too used to viewing butterflies this close - though I can fully agree that he is very squashed into that corner. (and sadly with all the water on him he was in a total mess with wings and antenna control).
    I like the crop suggestion and was thinking along similar lines, even though I do rather like the burred background areas on the left, but the idea of rotating the image is new, but I can see how his look changes to be one more similar to those more commonly seen.

    Many thanks also for the contrast/brightness suggestions - certianly there appears tobe more scope with the shot than I have gone to, though at the moment I am slightly reluctant to really perfect things on this level (mostly as my screen has horrific brightness and contrast changes even if I change the viewing angle a tiny bit Sad ).
    • 20 Oct 2009 9:29PM
  • The Bold Robin

    Many thanks all Smile
    • 15 Sep 2009 5:06PM
  • In the Hole

    Beauty of a shot -- really great catching one of these sneaky devils at the centre - and that he is nibbling is even better
    • 1 Sep 2009 12:38PM
  • Hidden Joy

    Many thanks all Smile
    • 25 Aug 2009 6:19PM
  • White Wing

    Many thanks for the input Smile
    I suppose a lot of the butterflies in those houses get to (enjoy?) oldage more than their wild counterparts - so I do agree there are more with the tattered wingtips.

    I did pester Dalecath, however he is keeping his golden method a tightly kept secret, but the bees in flight thread in the forums has caught my eye - along with some of the linked setups people have used with lasers and the like - its certainly something very specialist to construct - possible with the right tools and gear.

    As for the apertures I still feel that a smaller aperture might be better, if only because one can never garantee the angle that the wings will be at when the camera fires, as well as the point that the AF locks onto - if it catches a wing a shallow depth would give a nice wing, but soft body. Though as I found this puts even more pressure on the flash - I think more than one flash would be needed - so that they could fire at a lower power, thus allowing nice rapid firing, whilst still giving the lighting needed (or one of those fancy highspeed flash units on Dalecath's website link)
    • 18 Aug 2009 3:06PM
  • Funghi

    I really like the idea of this shot - good lighting coming through the mushroom and getting a good low angle to show that aspect in the shot! The bright and colourful background also works well to offset against the more drab colourings of the main subject.

    Lighting on the background areas though seems a bit harsh and I guess that is a result of slight overexposure in those areas so that you could expose under the darker mushroom better.

    Its something that in the field I think would only be solved with 2 exposures and a tripod to steady the camera so that you could then blend the two together (one for the mushroom and the other for the background) into a single composit shot - though its not something easily taken in the field if your working without a tripod.

    As it stands you went for the mushroom to be exposed correctly and in this case I feel that it was the right choice to make - well done!
    • 17 Aug 2009 10:50PM
  • Light on a Lady

    I've been looking at this macro shot for some time, even looking at the large version, but something seems off to my eye. It might just be that this butterfly has vastly different colourings to the ones I am used to seeing, but if you look at the wing closest to the camera around the shoulder, lower bpdy and in some areas back along the length of the wing there is a really odd colouring - the like I normaly see when I pull the levels or curves lines a little too much on one direction.

    However loooking at hte top of the wings they appear to be blurred in motion so it might be that this along with an unusual colouring is making me see things that arn't there - this is also a little apparent as the markings don't appear anywhere else on the photo.

    Its an interesting puzzle to me in a good macro shot
    • 17 Aug 2009 10:46PM

    Beauty of a shot - creative and mysterious as one wonders what is deeper into those petals. Really like this
    • 17 Aug 2009 9:55PM
  • Hey love, give us a lick of your lolly!

    Hehe lovely and cheeky shot there! I like the compostion of it as well
    • 5 Aug 2009 10:01PM
  • Mothstack

    Many thanks all Smile
    for those wondering about the process there is a bit more info in this thread here: link
    • 13 Jun 2009 5:28PM
  • First Flower of the year

    Many thanks all Smile
    • 8 Jun 2009 9:51AM
  • Hiding Place

    Great shot - love the lighting getting the bird in full clear details! Also I think your colourcast is gone - at least I cannot see one at all
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:47PM
  • Young Goldie

    I agree with the others a great shot showing a lot of fine details with good strong colours. I agree with doghouse - cropping some of the frame off from the right hand side would help since at the moment its just sitting there as deadspace
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:38PM
  • Dustbin Lid.

    I love the "looking at you" effect this shot has - a great angle to shoot from and well composed as well. A great shame that your ISO was so high though.
    And at least he was only flying round the bin - I have tried chasing the devils as they fly from flower to flower - they have some speed when they want to!
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:36PM
  • Butterflies

    Both are great shots and its really nice to see a feeding butterfly on a flower.
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:34PM
  • Male Cirl Bunting

    Beauty of a shot and great to see the eye details clear and not just a dark blob! Also gratefull for the info that you posted with the shot - helps give it a story!
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:29PM
  • The Lizard

    I do like the colouring in this shot - have a very real feeling to it which we don't often see much in digital shooting as was seen in the film era

    However it seems that your focus missed his head and hid the middle of his back, if you can in such shots you really want the eye of the animal (which is looking right at you in this shot) to be in focus, even if nothing else is. I would have either zoomed/stepped back to get the AF on his head (using a single centre AF point only) or used manual focusing to correct it.

    Also the lighting has been tricky for you and very harsh. I have done an edit where I used the highlights and shadows tool in photoshop elements; I added light to the shadows to bring out his head more, whilst also adding a lot of shadow to the highlights to lower the glare in the shot to a more acceptable level. I also used a layermask on this (though you can use a selection wizard instead) so that it only affected the insect and the rock he was on and not the background, which does not need the added lighting.
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:25PM
  • bird in flight

    I can't tell what settings you were using, but I suspect a wide open aperture combined with a shutter speed that was as fast as you could go - with a little underexposing as well for more speed. It looks like your focus is good and that you captured the moment, but even with underexposing for a faster speed (assuming this) the shutter has just not been quick enough.
    If in this case again I would say flash or a very high ISO are your only real options and of the two I would reach for the flash myself - rather than high noise from a higher ISO.

    Its a tricky thing but birds in flight need a lot of speed - its no trick that many bird in flight shots are taken in very bright weather - its because dimmer weather just does not give the light needed for those faster speeds.
    • 6 Jun 2009 4:13PM
  • Shallow Depth

    Thanks Adam, especaily the point about the leg brightness aspect - I recently came across some info about brightness in a shot and how it attracts the eye of the viewer (been watching Zack Aries crit videos on his website) though haven't really started applying that thinking to my current works. I might try darkening that leg a bit so that it no longer stands out as much.

    As for the range and difficulty it was a little easier this shot since the butterflies were very docile (heck several were so sleepy they appeared dead) so getting close was not too tricky - the setup I had with the 150mm macro and 1.4TC as well as the larger non-native butterflies meant I could keep a decent distance back and I was not at the minimum focusing distance here - close to it, but not as close as fully possible. I can't recall the distance specificaly though
    • 9 May 2009 12:06AM
  • Not quite the right angle!

    Many thanks for the input both - I do agree on the depth of field point and I can certainly see the benefit of cropping closer ot try and reduce this large foreground out of focus area.
    Pamela - I rather like the darker background of your second edit - I tend to favour lowkey in general an upon reflection the background in this shot is suffering abit from the bars between me and the cat causing lines and such to form - though I think the last edit a bit extreme with things Wink Smile
    • 17 Apr 2009 9:49PM
  • purrfection

    I would agree with that comment on the whites - even on the camera histogram they were showing blown out results. I have used flash for fill on some occasions and then underexposed to get the whites undercontrol whilst having the flash for filling in the missing light - it all sounds good in theory, but I need to put more practice into it (at least she was a lot easier to work with than the black cat was!)

    edit - also where did you crop in that edit - I can't see quite where it is (must be a fine cut)
    • 11 Apr 2009 1:10PM
  • Beauty in a simple fly

    Many thanks all Smile
    as for paying I wish I could - though rotting fruit and honey can work well so I hear
    • 3 Apr 2009 12:56PM
  • Coming to get ya!

    Thanks for the advice all!
    Brettb - plamps and reflectors are something that I have considered using and a reflector like the one you describe is most likly the sort I would go after for some versatility. I do rather like "collecting" kit together so I try to control myself by making very sure that I not only want to but also understand how to use new bits of gear before I get them. I have been wanting to look into a plamp and reflector setup for some time now - the plamp mostly as I do a lot of my shooting handheld and so would like the plamp to hold the reflector - in light/no wind is this easily possible whislt remaining mobile?

    Datman - that rule might work well, but sadly I don't think I can put it to use at the moment since my understanding of settings is rather basic - and because my camera lets me change increments in less than one stop sections I don't have a good idea what the full stop settings are as such. Its something to consider for the future though.

    As for ringflashes in general I would really like one though at the moment I have my sights set on the canon twinlight setup - mostly as I also have my eyes on the MPE65mm macro also.
    • 30 Mar 2009 11:52AM
  • Portrate of a bee

    Thanks all Smile
    • 28 Mar 2009 7:46PM
  • Dinner!

    Thanks all Smile
    • 28 Mar 2009 7:46PM
  • Swan

    Thanks All!
    I do agree with the highlitghts and background contrast boost CB it makes a noticable different - still can't get on with the cropping though - though square is possibly the best rout.
    Online I think its best to leave it as is - were I ever to print this though I think the square would be needed otherwise way too much of the print is wasted space
    • 5 Mar 2009 1:31PM
  • The old dog

    ahh Frodo - thanks Peter

    And thank you to the rest of you as well Smile
    • 25 Feb 2009 9:35PM
  • A Giant shares its food

    Thanks CB!
    I agree with what you have suggested in your edit - the selective sharpening actually makes a much more noticable change than I thought it would when I read it in your comments.
    Its odd, but yellow appears to be a very strange colour with plants - on flowers I find that it soaks up saturation and had to be tone down quite a bit when compared to the rest of a shot - whilst the banana yellow appears very reflective to my flashlighting.
    • 19 Feb 2009 6:16PM
  • ... fox ...

    !! that'll teach us not to put the cameras away till we are well out of the centre!
    Fantastic shot there - great depth of field and the background blurs out well - and he is looking right down the barrel as well Smile
    • 4 Feb 2009 7:26PM