Back Modifications (2)
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By Tianshi_angie
Very slightly cloudy conditions and I hope I have put into practice some (if not all) of the advive I have been given. Poppy with seedhead and bud (and hopefully some bokeh.

Tags: Poppy Red Flowers and plants

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banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4228 Canada
21 May 2020 10:33PM
Good work. Even with the +1 is seems a little underexposed, - but that also protects the reds.

I tried it with half a stop extra and reduced red saturation in the mod, cropped square and framed. The detail in the petals is better in your original version, so theres a trade off when adding exposure.

DOF has some variables you need to be aware of too; for example, the shorter the focal length, the deeper the dof at any given f stop; and , most importantly, the closer the lens, any lens is to the subject, the shallower the depth of field will be. Also, the areas behind the subject, the further away it is, the shallower the dof will appear. Its not easy to get a very shallow dof with flowers in situ as they are usually in a bed with leaves and flowers close by.

Its a good shot overall.


chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
22 May 2020 9:43AM
Red...and yellow for that matter.. are difficult colours to work with.
You did well here Angie, cloudy is the better way forward.
Just a tad under exposed though but almost there.
The seedhead is a bit of a distraction for me as the stem is in focus and the head not so, the bit I would have included more would have been the bud just starting to open on the left but that would have meant you would have to go at this from a slightly different angle, perhaps not possible given your circumstances.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
22 May 2020 10:10AM
I love this - by far your best upload yet, Angie.

And I see that the Samyang is doing the business for you - this beautifully sharp around the seed area inside the flower.

Compositionally, the stalk on the right is perfect as a foil for the main subject.

Well done!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
22 May 2020 10:32AM
It's all been said, this is your best upload for critique to date.

I'll echo Janet - red and yellow are the end of the spectrum that digital sensors still struggle with. It's sometimes worth reducing saturation very slightly as this can help to preserve detail.

One reason the very large aperture works here is that the flower is viewed relatively face-on, which simplifies depth of field issues.

I like the seed head on the right for balance, I find the bud bottom left a bit of a distraction. Background is as important as foreground, because you don't want any distractions, details that don't add to the overall composition. In particular, try to avoid distinct lines that will be out of focus, stems can look much messier than leaves. It's worth having a few lengths of string available, to hold back inconsiderate plants if necessary... Wink
22 May 2020 10:42AM
I'd never thought about a length of string Moira - that is brilliant. I took the secateurs out yesterday to rephotograph a rose as there was intruding leaves etc - the second photo was better. But the string would have saved me a trip.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
22 May 2020 11:22AM
I photographed a friend's wedding last year - I knew where I wanted to photograph the couple, in a quiet garden beside the Registry, but I also knew that some overgrown shrubs were spreading rather too far over the path. So I went along before the ceremony and tied them back. It needed quite an elaborate arrangement.

Then I forgot to remove the string afterwards. I often wonder what the gardeners thought when they found it.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
22 May 2020 11:48AM
Yes, your best to date here and as good as a number of flowershots that appear in the Gallery. It's all covered above.
In some ways having the seed head there shows another stage of the flower's cycle so would be good for factual illustration so it's an idea that you could use elsewhwere. Purely for the flower, yes I'd crop/ We all see things differently.
A piece of string is good, but if not pushing the stem away so it gets held back by another stem, or using a stick to hold the stem away. Improvising with what's to hand.
I like secateurs. The problem is that I can then go into gardening mode and start tidying up and lose track of time Smile
22 May 2020 12:13PM
Thank you Moira and Keith. Moira it may just have reminded them that those bushes needed cutting back!
And Keith - that is very easy to do - but then a garden is really a never ending job.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
22 May 2020 5:29PM
Angie, it's so good to see you making progress.
You should be proud of this one.

Poppies deserve to be bright and showy, but you avoided over-saturation by choosing to shoot when it was overcast.
Importantly, you got the poppy's crown and stamens nice and sharp.

A poppy's petals are papery and can move with the slightest breeze, so your shutter speed was important and you did well.

When a flower has an attractive centre like this, I often exclude any background, offset the stamens in the frame, and go for an abstract style image that shows the petals as the background, filling the frame with their colour.

Flower photographers have various ways of avoiding intrusions in their frames. I carry some clothes pegs in my camera bag, to gently hold back unwanted bits. If your subject is somewhere like a stately home, the gardener might not like you doing his job for him. I have pegged and draped some non-reflective material behind my flowers, and I have also used some coloured card to place behind some. Try to have some empty space behind your subject so that whatever is there will be out of focus.

22 May 2020 6:45PM
That is all very useful Pamela - I hadn't thought of pegs but then I try to carry the minimum with me - usually just a camera with attached lens and a lens pen - as light as possible, it was one of the main reasons for changing to the A7. But pegs are not too heavy! Thank you for your thoughts.

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