Back Modifications (3)
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Mothers Day Flowers

By Sylvia2210
1/30 of a sec f2.2 and iso2500 Nikon 5300 50mm lens....Aperture priority mode

I haven't really edited this picture, I just adjusted the curves ever so slightly! I like the look of the picture and got the blur that I was after..... I didn't want too much glare on the roses. (I don't think there is)

There was a dim light to the left of the flowers, on the whole I'm very pleased with it, but welcome any critique

Tags: Colour Flowers Flowers and plants

GB Sports Photographer & The Panasonic LUMIX S1


Robert51 10 7 90 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2018 10:12PM
Super image Sylvia.

The mod I have tried to bring out more colour without the loss of that softness which makes the image magical.

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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
10 Mar 2018 10:47PM
Its quite nice.

Did you use a tripod, or some sort of camera support? I ask as the shutter speed is slower than ideal for hand holding the camera? Usually you need to shoot at a speed thats equal to the focal length * 1.5, which is about 1/80th here.

Using aperture priority was a good idea, and having it that wide means the image will have a shallow depth, with the rear flowers out of focus, so well done.

The -5/3 is likely someplace you ended up trying a few shots? Since you are using aperture priority, and I guess Auto ISO, the camera adjusts the shutter speed, - it uses a faster speed than if you didnt use an exposure correction!

You ended up a little underexposed, and it seems you wanted the yellow roses to have no glare, - which in effect means you wanted the brightness of the overall image to be determined by how the brightest areas of the image would look. All reasonable steps in the right direction.

I am also guessing the light was an incandescent bulb? It may cast a slightly yellow light.

The mod is a bit brighter, slightly sharper, and less yellow, but youve done well as it is.


ddolfelin Plus
7 103 3 Wales
11 Mar 2018 1:22AM
Good shot.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2081 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2018 8:21AM
I really like what you have done here, you have looked at what the light does to your subject. And the flowers are gorgeous - that always helps!

As Willie says, this does need a tripod - to avoid camera wobble and to enable a lower ISO for better image quality.

The background is very nicely blurred (large aperture at work), but there are quite considerable contrasts of light and dark areas there. It's worth looking for a plain background, maybe a cream wall or a sheet of card placed behind the flowers. Backgrounds matter because problem areas there can completely distract the viewer's eye away from the subject.
dudler Plus
16 952 1521 England
11 Mar 2018 9:22AM
The first thing is the light. You saw hwo it was falling on the flowers, and how wonderful it makes them look, and you photogrpahed that.

As Willie nad Moira say, a tripod (or some sort of makeshift canera stand) is advisable.

Exposure - the minus 5/3 won't help, and takes away the brightness that i think may have been there.

And the dark background that Moira mentions would have allowed the flowers to shine brightly without the background intruding. I also want to play with the white balanace, to give the flowers the delicacy that is there in my mind...

Nicely seen. I think you're going to make a success of this, you know...
Sylvia2210 1 14
11 Mar 2018 10:10AM
Again, thank you all for your advice and the modifications are wonderful! I knew the photo could certainly be made better, but wow! As I mentioned before, I am a complete beginner at this so itís all quite overwhelming at the moment.

I sat for about 2 hours (never thought to use my tripod) I managed to get the iso I wanted but then noticed the shutter speed adjusted itself, even after I set it? I know Iíve still very much to learn.. dudler, you mention the minus 5/3... I presume you mean the exposure compensation? I have absolutely no idea how to adjust that whilst taking a picture! I took over 100 pictures messing with the manual settings. I had everything from a bright glare to a black picture... quite frustrating at times.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2081 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2018 10:37AM
Exposure compensation - press on that +/- button and twiddle the thumb wheel - I'm guessing that's the way with the D5300, it's standard Nikon practice. You can do that very quickly in between shots.

You were in aperture priority, so the camera will automatically adjust shutter speed in order to suit the aperture and ISO you have selected.
dudler Plus
16 952 1521 England
11 Mar 2018 11:02AM
As Moira says - in Aperture priority, yo uset the aperture, and the camera adjusts the shutter speed to give correct exposure, as far as it can work it out. The exposure compensation allows you to shift this if the result is too light/too dark.

For instance, if you are photographing a flower in a vase against a white wall, the camera will try to reduce the wall to a mid grey, so dialling in a stop of two of exrtra exposure will get it looking as it should. Vice versa with a white flower against a dark wall...

Play with it and see - it consts nothing to shoot a hundred frames and see what happens - the beauty of digital...
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2018 8:27PM
You did well, Sylvia.
It may have been trial and error, but that's how you will learn. Frustration is all part of the learning processSad.

Choosing to shoot a bouquet of flowers is a nice idea because it provides a permanent reminder of the gift, even after the flowers themselves are long gone. However, there will generally be a mixture of colours within the bouquet, some light and some dark, as here, and this is where the difficulty lies because you want both well exposed. The danger is that the light ones may be too overexposed and the dark ones underexposed.

As a beginner, you gave yourself a difficult task, but you persevered and your efforts are to be applauded. However, if you had simply separated a few blooms of the same colour from the bunch and photographed them on their own, you would have found it easier to get the exposure right.

Backgrounds have been mentioned. Always pay attention to that. Move the flowers to a clean background, or make one yourself. Perhaps set them near to window light, which is gentle on flowers, use a tripod and get shooting. You will probably find that you don't need such a high ISO then.
Adjust your white balance according to the light you are using.

If you still want some blur, you can focus on just one of a small bunch of the same colour and use a wide aperture/lower f number for the shallow depth of field that you want.

dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 591 England
11 Mar 2018 8:31PM
A wide aperture has produced a nice result. Usually you'd be at f/11 or f/16 to get all the blooms sharp but that also makes the background more distinct and it then often becomes a distraction. Wider apertures will leave just one or two flowers sharply focussed.

Always be aware of leaving exposure compensation set as it cam compromise the quality of later shots in hat more extensive post processing will be required. The white fowers here would have a negative effect on exposure anyway so the situation would require a small amount of positive exposure compensation. You need to learn how to read the histogram on the camera's screen and adjust exposure accordingly. An underexposed image for example will have a histogram pushed over to the left hand side with no ;light tones. If that's the case, adjust exposure and re-shoot.
The tripod would allow you to shoot at a much lower ISO for maximum quality - the shutter speed will be correspondingly slower, possibly around 1/2 second which is in the region I'd expect for an indoor still life (of course, some situations will requitre much longer speeds).

Three thoughts.
First, though the backgrouns is nice and soft, consider finding something neutral or use a piece of cloth or card as a replacement backgropund so the flowers stand out well.
Second, the white rose blends in with the white flower behind so think about adjusting the position of the flowers to avoid a confusing look.
Thirdly, red and white go togehter well, but the small area of yellow bottom right is a distraction, not only because it's the only bit of a different colouir but also because it's not a whole flower. Again, tweaks to the arrangement are required.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2018 3:30PM
Photography is all about light. think light. For a set piece like this you should not be at 2500 ISO. You need more light! Move the flowers near a window, try diffused flash off camera, but get some light in there! Plan set piece shots. Tripod if possible, decent aperture to get some depth and a much lower ISO.

Sylvia2210 1 14
16 Mar 2018 7:44PM
Can I thank you all so much for the help and advice that you are so freely supplying.... and for the modifications, they're brilliant. I am taking in all the information and slowly trying to put each of them to the test! As soon as I can get my camera out and about I shall post more for critique and hopefully my efforts/learning will become noticeable... Thank you again
dudler Plus
16 952 1521 England
17 Mar 2018 5:31AM
Thank you, Sylvia!

A conversation always makes this worthwhile, and I can only add - you can do pictures in and around as well as out and about...

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