Back Modifications (4)
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Garlic 'n' Onion

By WeeGeordieLass
I set up this still life in my conservatory using natural light.

My intention was to use colours and props that blended well together, and to try and produce a rustic look.

I would have preferred the background to have been a bit more muted and I tried to add a contrasting grunge layer but couldn't figure out how to add the layer to blend with the hessian background but keep the bottle, flowers etc still sharp.

I'd appreciate comments on whether the background, and indeed the whole image, works.

Tags: General Flowers and plants

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


ams99 Junior Member 5 65 9 England
3 Jun 2012 11:12AM
Yes and yes from me. I like it.

The only issue from my point of view is that the object on the left hand side keeps drawing my attention away from the excellent image. It may be because it has a more reflective surface than the other items and i can see what i'm assuming to be the windows which is slightly distracting.

Nice windows though, although they could do with a clean...Tongue

Cheers,

Alan

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Ade_Osman 13 4.5k 36 England
3 Jun 2012 11:13AM
It's a nice still life shot to be working with, but I find the background a little too sharp and in focus for my tastes......I see you shot it at F16, which seems to my mind to be too small. I think I'd have moved the background further back from the main subject and shot it at something like f5.6-8 and then seen how it looked. The reflections bouncing back off the pot lid distract a little too too, but that could easily cured when processing or by shooting a stop lower.........It's a great effort all the same and the image definitely works, it just needs a slightly different approach......Hope you find my comments of use....

Ade
mooreish 4 2 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2012 11:15AM
Been looking at it for ages now, I do like it and the light works well Just not sure about the flowers, The flowers are nice and suit the frame but baybe a bit high, I think maybe crop the top background to bring it closer to the flowers.Smile
Hi Alan,

Glad you like the shot, and thanks for your point about the garlic roaster lid - totally agree with you! I'll try and tone it down in Elements.


Quote:Nice windows though, although they could do with a clean...Tongue


What? - Me?............cleaning windows...............nah.........it'll rain soon!!!Wink

Cheers and thanks for your feedback.

Elaine
Hi Ade,

Yes I feel that the background is too sharp. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction as I think the shot would be much improved shooting at a larger F stop.

I hadn't thought about the reflections on the lid of the garlic roaster being distracting - but now that you've mentioned it........yes. I'll bear that in mind the next time I shoot a similar shot.

Thanks for giving your time to help me - I've found your comments really helpful.

Cheers

Elaine
Hi Cliff,

Thanks for looking at my shot and your advice.

I did wonder if I'd left too much space at the top - I'll try cropping it a bit to see if it looks better - I think it just might.

Thanks again.

Cheers

Elaine
3 Jun 2012 12:52PM
Nicely done still life picture. Deep
Namaste Deep,

Thanks for giving your time to comment - I'm pleased you like my shot.

Elaine
cattyal Plus
11 7.9k 6 England
3 Jun 2012 1:20PM
Not bad at all Smile

My approach would be to lose the garlic roaster - too shiny - add a couple of whole garlic bulbs instead - preferably with nice loose outer layers to give a bit more texture.

Maybe play with the light a bit - I've recently cut a rectangle in a piece of foamboard which I use to adjust the natural light a bit - works a treat Smile

Get yourself off to the local curtain fabric supplier and find yourself a nice boring piece of beige fabric - fairly tight weave - similar colour to the hessian will be fine. That'll help you with the texture issues Smile Hessian is nice but more useful to provide something for the bits and bobs to sit on it you want (and when I can find my cut bits of hessian rather than the huge roll of the stuff I have which I don't want to cut, then I'll give it a go too)

If you want to go for a larger aperture then maybe combine a couple of pics - sometimes I'll take a couple focussing on the background object and then foreground object and combine the two.

As for the texture layer - find yourself a nice texture (Shadowhouse Creations do some goodies), dump it on top of your image, change the blend to multiply. In the case of the one I chose for the mod it's bit dark so I just used curves to lighten it up a bit. Then select your object/s (which can be a right pain with lots of little leaves but you don't need to be too precise) - switch to the texture layer and apply gaussian blur to the selected area - quite a heavy dose too. That will remove the texture from the objects but retain the colour of the texture.

And that's about it - takes a bit of practice and fiddling about but usually works quite nicely in the end Smile
JenniCh 11 32 2 England
3 Jun 2012 2:30PM
Love the composition, and the subtle light, but do find the background a bit too intrusive; if you take note of Alison's comments you can't go far wrong, and as she says a bit of practice with textures and layer masks will enable you to do so much more with this sort of set up.

Jenni
Hi Alison,

I love your mod. It's how I envisaged my shot - but didn't quite achieve the look.

Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing your knowledge.

I've often admired the shots in your pf, and wondered how you produced such amazing images. It's very gracious of you to share your techniques.

All your advice is very useful to me as I've been fiddling about for ages and have never been satisfied with my results - I've produced many "bin" shots - but that's all part of the learning curve I suppose - quite frustrating though.

Thanks again Alison.

Cheers

Elaine
Thanks Jenni,

Just checked out the shots in your pf. Those are the kind of shots I admire so much - they're fab.

Maybe now that Alison has pointed me in the right direction I can experiment.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Jenni.

Cheers

Elaine
paulbroad 9 117 1077 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2012 3:27PM
A nice still life, and I would leave the content alone, but I, too, am not sure about the sharp hessian background. Would prefer it a bit softer - possibly achievable by using aperture, but may be too close. Could try a wider aperture and use the rules of depth of field by focusing the critical point a little in front of the subject.

paul
cattyal Plus
11 7.9k 6 England
3 Jun 2012 3:34PM
You're welcome Elaine Smile

Thanks to you I've spent far too much time this afternoon playing with bubble mix - I'm going to choose which pic to use for the challenge and be done with it so I can do something useful! Smile
Hi Paul,

That's a good tip for me to try - focusing a little in front of the subject - I'll have a go at that and see how it looks.

Thanks for your advice, and taking time to comment.

Cheers

Elaine
LOL Alison - hope you've had a "bubbilicious" time this afternoon!!!
Hi Willie,

Thanks for the mod - it was very helpful showing me the background you used.

That's how I wanted the shot to look.

Thanks for your time.

Cheers

Elaine

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