Back Modifications (9)
Views 71 Unique 37 Award Shortlist   

Red Flowers

By suejoh
Just messing around with these red flowers.
This one is taken with a grey background highlighted by a handheld light to whiten it. Flowers lit by window.
The vase may not be quite right?

Tags: Flowers Still life

PortraitPro Sale - 50% Off + Save An Extra 20% With Code: ZBFV23


pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2275 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2018 11:36PM
It's good to "mess around", Sue, and hopefully you achieve a result that you are pleased with. The trick is to keep a note of what you do, especially in post processing, because it's easy to forget.

I like the composition of your three flowers, all a bit different to the other, in size and angle and state of growth. That's an excellent choice, as is the number three. Odd numbers in a composition always work better than even numbers.

The vase is attractive, but I understand why you aren't sure about it being right. Patterns aren't a good choice because the eye will fall to the vase's patterns, away from your red flowers. It's subtle enough for you to get away with it, but a plainer alternative would be good.
I like the texture of the background material and the way it falls without leaving a line across the frame. But I feel the light behind the flowers is too strong, removing a lot of the texture and colouring it pink instead of grey. I feel that light needed to be less strong. The window light on the flowers is far more gentle.

It looks like you have removed the colour from the stems and leaves, and you were probably seeking to make the red flowers stand out more, but I don't think this was necessary, and it looks unnatural.

I have done some modifications.
The first one shows a small rotation because I feel the vase tilts to the right, has a bit of the background filled in around the flowers, a close crop to eliminate the darker areas and shadows, offsetting of the flowers, and then brightening and a Levels adjustment.
The second is mirrored, so the flowers face to the right.
The third has the vase toned to pink.
The fourth has the vase toned to gold.


PS: I've just seen your two other images under the mods, and am not sure why you uploaded these. Can you clarify?
I'm very drawn to the single flower in the 2nd version, but am not keen on the depth of the 1st version. By excluding the pattern on the vase, you avoid the pitfall I mentioned above.
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
1 Sep 2018 1:23AM
Ive seen you do something like this before, and then, as now, Im not really sure what it is youre trying to achieve?

If you had laced a simple white board behind the flowers, and took the image to expose the flowers properly (they are very underexposed) you could readily, and easily make the background alone pure bright white in a few minutes post processing?

Anything backlit will be underexposed, unless you deliberately overexpose, or add the same amount of light on the front as the back, which really defeats the approach, as you can see?

Am I misunderstanding what it is you want to achieve?

I agree the vase distracts.

Ive loaded two mods, bith with a very, very strong magenta cast removed; its so severe that the green of the leaves has disappeared to be replaced by light purple.

Mod 2 is a very rough attempt at making the vase plain.

Let us know is we are missing the mark with feedback,


dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
1 Sep 2018 9:06AM
There's a lot ot like here, but it's a picture that would benefit form a slow approach, and careful refining of the image. I've not thought of it before, but I wonder if a good approach to this kind of shot is to leave the camera and subject set up, while taking the card out to go and process the pictures - so you can go back and refine things.

My thoughts on things to refine -

1 the tilt. Working with a tripod and static subject, there's no excuse for not spending the time to level it. If you missed it, you hsould find and correct it as a first step in processing (and that applies to all images - I often find I've got a degree or two of tilt, and usually remove it before posting or printing...
2 the background. The texture is fine, so long as everythign is light and airy. In practice, you've got dark areas on both sides, and a reddish tint. 'Light and airy' is a good mood. Dark and mysterious works, too - but this shot straddles the two, rather uncomfortably.
3 the vase - there's certainly a risk that the picture on the side distracts. Simpler is very often better in pictures, and a plain or gently-abstract vase might work better.
4 the flower may look better lighter.

My mod did three things - 1.5 degree rotation; Levels adjustment to lighten midtones (which siimplifies the background and makes the flowers brighter); and a square crop (losing the darker areas of the background, and makign the flowers and vase bigger in the frame).

What do you reckon?
suejoh Plus
18 257 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2018 11:25AM
I bought this darker grey background as they said you could turn it white and black as well as having it grey so that is what I was doing. Seeing how it worked.
I actually love the background texture and ease of use but I don't find the colour easy to work with although I thought the red flowers would suit it. I will load this photo today (unaltered background) for critique.
Thank you for all the versions loaded. They all improve on mine and I probably like the white background the best. I find the vase pattern not so intrusive in that one.
Also thanks for all the comments. The pictures don't feel right to me and this helps me see why I feel like that.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
1 Sep 2018 11:36AM
That's all good to know, Sue.

A second pair of eyes can often see and isolate what one only feels as a little uncertainty...
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2018 6:41PM
Really, when messing like this there is no correct image. everyone will have n idea what they might prefer to see. this version is not for me, too little flower and too much very bright background, but the opinion of anyone here is going to be subjective.


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.