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For Want of a Nail

By queengu21
Macro shot

Tags: Macro Close-up and macro Nail

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mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.2k 2247 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2018 9:59AM
Hello Ely, it's several years since you last posted in the Critique Gallery, but I looked back to this upload , taken with the same lens. This is quite a change of subject!

On that upload, Willie pointed out that you were routinely using a minus exposure compensation, resulting in images being underexposed. Here you used plus 2/3 stop compensation, and the image is overexposed! Rust is a very popular subject, it produces amazing colours, but those colours need strength and depth. There are specific circumstances where a plus or minus compensation is useful, if you want advice on that please let us know; but it's not something to use as a matter of routine.

Second point, this is not particularly sharp. There's either a focusing error or camera shake, or both. It needed a tripod, the ISO indicates that the light was poor, but I suspect that it was hand-held. I do not have total faith in the powers of IS, and I do suspect that camera shake is involved. Can I ask a couple of questions?

First of all, I assume that you are using AF with a single focusing point? But are you locking the focus and then recomposing? Just that small movement of the camera risks losing the focus.

Secondly how do you hold the camera? Are you using the viewfinder, or composing on the screen with the camera held in front of you? The former, with good technique, will allow for much greater stability. Holding the camera in front of you to compose on the screen creates a pivot.

Finally, composition. You have a diagonal in the edge of the wood but the image would be stronger with either the nail on a diagonal, or vertical and off-centre in a larger frame. Here it is not quite horizontal, and not-quite is generally weak.

The Exif indicates that the image was taken nine months ago, I suggest that you go out, find a similar subject but with better light, avoid the exposure compensation button, and practise getting the focus good and sharp. I hope we'll see more from you!

By the way, you ticked the Adult box when uploading, I would suggest that you edit that out, it restricts the number of people who will see the upload.

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dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1679 England
4 Aug 2018 10:16AM
Two links about equipment coming from me.

I posted THIS shot taken with my macro lens, and a series of images that illustrate the setup. I am rather ashamed of the lack of sharpness of the front image, but it's not my area of expertise.

Paul Broad uses macro regularly, and he's really good at it: his setup is HERE.

The flash in Paul's setup is a plus for record shots, but is possibly not helpful for pictorial images - but it does assure maximum sharpness by removing camera shake as a potential problem.

I also note that you used spot metering: can you tell me which area you metered from, please? (More questions!)
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4149 Canada
4 Aug 2018 4:08PM
It does look very bright, but it is not overexposed. Ive uploaded a screenshot of the histogram to show that.

This does also infer though that theres a shortage of contrast, and in post processing this can be improved.

The biggest issue though is that all of the rusty nail isnt in focus, so the camera may not have been precisely in the same plane (no pun!) as the nail, the nail was ben, etc.

I have this lens and it can provide image stabilisation at macro distances, thats its forte, and Ive used it handheld at 1/25th with success so this should not be a big challenge for it. It does always help though if you can avoid depending on IS with a faster shutter.

Mod of the nail uploaded with improved contrast, and some sharpening. The result doesnt solve the issue that all of the nail is not in focus; it look like you focused on the entry hole in the wood?



5 Aug 2018 4:35AM
Thx for all your constructive comments. I will try a reshoot AND TRY TO IMPROVE .

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