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Morning Dew

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f13, ISO 100, 1/200sec
Lighting was a single speedlite flash with small softbox diffusion.
Gah forget shiny insects there shots are hard!

I'm thinking the only way I can get these kinds of shot are going to have to involve focus stacking so that the surface and the waterdrops reflection are in focus - added to that either long exposures with natural light or cross posterization of the flash light to try and hide those horribly large and distracting highlights.

Overall I feel that on a technical level I've mostly failed with the lighting in this shot; and composition and content wise I'm divided on if I've done any good or not. So as well as any advice on the technical and lighting aspects I'd welcome composition and content based advice.

Camera:Canon EOS 400D
Lens:Sigma 70mm Macro
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Morning Dew
Username:Overread Overread
Uploaded:22 Nov 2010 - 10:21 AM
Tags:Close-up / macro, Macro
VS Mode Rating 101 (66.67% won)
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
CathR  8145 forum posts United Kingdom564 Constructive Critique Points
22 Nov 2010 - 12:01 PM

Amen to the thought that these kind of shots are hard, Alex!

I've never tried focus stacking - it all sounds a bit too difficult for my liking. But perhaps others can give you advice on how to make it work. You might be able to squeeze more depth of field out of the shot if you choose a smaller aperture. May be even f22. You might have to increase the ISO but you have some latitude to do that.

As for the distracting highlights in the background I would have another think about the composition. Here the leaf is only taking up half the space so you have a very large area for the background highlights to intrude. Also the pic becomes very much divided into two halves which can look a bit awkward on the eye. So I would be looking for the leaf to take up more of the picture space with less background. Also putting the leaf on a diagonal would help with the composition.

I don't know whether this is possible but I would be looking to make sure that the largest water blob is the most in focus. Here your largest water blob is up near the top which is going out of focus.

Just some thoughts - don't let it drive you mad! You are definitely on the right track but patience and perseverance are needed for this kind of work.

Best wishes


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15 Dec 2010 - 8:38 PM

The light to me looks like its right above the camera in the on camera position. Maybe try a bracket or slaved speed light allowing you to have it more to the side, that way the light won't be bouncing straight back at you.

A larger diffused area should also give you a softer light.

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