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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Change of pace,please comment.
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05/14/2003 07:14:02 PM · #1
I'm throwing this out just so everyone can have a little change from looking for a "Matrix" shot.
I just took this shot and would like your comments. I am practicing, in hopes of improving.
Thanks for looking.
Practice rose shot
05/14/2003 07:25:06 PM · #2
Hi autool!
I think this is a pretty rose, but the angle/presentation does not really glorify the beauty of it. It is a nice documentary, but not an expression or very personal.
Would love to see more.
05/14/2003 07:30:18 PM · #3
Thanks Karen,
I will shoot some more, and try to put some personality into it.
05/14/2003 07:32:27 PM · #4
Autool,

This is definitely worth pursuing some more... I am no expert on flower photography, but I think some softer light would help accent the textures of the rose petals and create some soft contrast...

Try some different perspectives as well and you will be amazed at what you will come up with...

05/14/2003 08:59:59 PM · #5
Well I'm back from an errand.
Here is a close crop of the same rose, giving it a different prospective.
Closer Crop
Same rose in a vase.
Rose Sundae
I got a different one (smaller) and put it in a vase.
Am I doing any better?
Dark Rose

Thanks for the comments
Dick

Message edited by author 2003-05-14 23:40:08.
05/15/2003 09:50:29 AM · #6
Bumping this to try for feedback.
Thanks
05/15/2003 10:01:37 AM · #7
On "Closer Crop" I think the lighting and detail on the petals is OK, but the background noise seems a little distracting. I'd make a soft-edged mask and blur the background, or fill with a subtle gradient.

I did something similar to "Rose Sundae" a while ago (I'll look for it later) and found the best views were in tighter, getting the bloom and the rim/top of the cup, but maybe losing both stems...

You will have the most options available if you can make the lighting as bright as possible without losing detail in the highlights -- you can always tone it down in Photoshop.
05/15/2003 10:11:45 AM · #8
[quote=GeneralE]On "Closer Crop" I think the lighting and detail on the petals is OK, but the background noise seems a little distracting. I'd make a soft-edged mask and blur the background, or fill with a subtle gradient.
quote]

This is real intereting to me. Is there that much difference in how the picture looks to different viewers or monitors? I don't see the noise you refer to on my monitor. If others see it and I don't is it my compression,monitor or what? The background is dead black to me???
Thanks
05/15/2003 10:14:08 AM · #9
I see the background as mid-light grey with a lot of noise. The photo also looks washed out colour-wise. I guess its a monitor issue.
05/15/2003 10:15:19 AM · #10
To see the background as pure black I have to turn my monitor brightness down to 20%-ish
05/15/2003 10:18:04 AM · #11
I likely is a monitor issue. Open the image in your editor and check the values of the pixels as you scroll around...they will probably be changing a bit. Also, open up the Curves or Levels controls and compress the range extremely (posterize) and you'll probably see splotches in the background.

I will play around with it when I get back from work.
05/15/2003 10:21:58 AM · #12
Related question - would anyone know of a good tutorial on "curves and levels"? I can't make sense of that. TIA
05/15/2003 10:23:28 AM · #13
Make sure it's #000000 for black. Yours is #1D1D1B in places, and in some places even lighter.
05/15/2003 10:26:14 AM · #14
It could well be just me, but I really don't get a lot from these sorts of shots of flowers in a really dark background/ studio sort of environment. The black always ends up feeling really oppressive/ heavy and getting good even lighting is a challenge.

Have you thought about taking this outside and shooting in daylight, with a more natural coloured background ? If its cloudy the light is perfect, if it is sunny, a shade/ diffuser helps to get more even lighting, and you can use natural vegetation etc for an out of focus backdrop.

A couple I took at the weekend to illustrate the point (click for larger versions):

1/ shooting upwards, using the sky and some clouds for a complementary coloured background
' . substr('//www.pbase.com/image/16582835/medium.jpg', strrpos('//www.pbase.com/image/16582835/medium.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

2/ shooting straight down to use some surrounding leaves for background
' . substr('//www.pbase.com/image/16582832/medium.jpg', strrpos('//www.pbase.com/image/16582832/medium.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

For both the light was hazy/ diffused sunlight, taken with a tripod, mirror lock-up and a cable release, Canon D60, 100mm macro and the saturation on low with custom white balance.
05/15/2003 10:26:45 AM · #15
Originally posted by uabresch:

Related question - would anyone know of a good tutorial on "curves and levels"? I can't make sense of that. TIA

From another thread:
Originally posted by magnetic9999:

hello :)

Here is a tutorial in Using Curves.

And here is something you may want to read first, that will lay the groundwork to understand what you're doing when you adjust Levels or Curves, or when you use your digital camera's histogram :

"Understanding Histograms"
05/15/2003 10:28:58 AM · #16
Originally posted by Konador:

Make sure it's #000000 for black. Yours is #1D1D1B in places, and in some places even lighter.



I am getting lost. Where did you find this information. Boy am I getting into something I don't know anything about?
Bear with me, please
Thanks
05/15/2003 10:30:38 AM · #17
GeneralE, merci, thank you.
05/15/2003 10:46:08 AM · #18
Originally posted by autool:

Originally posted by Konador:

Make sure it's #000000 for black. Yours is #1D1D1B in places, and in some places even lighter.



I am getting lost. Where did you find this information. Boy am I getting into something I don't know anything about?
Bear with me, please
Thanks


He's read the pixel colour values using his photo editing package. Most of them have a function which will display the colour value of the pixel under the cursor as you scroll around.

The funny numbers refer to the red, green and blue values in each pixel. In the RGB (red, green, blue) colour model (which is what computer displays generally use) each true-colour (24-bit) pixel is comprised of an eight-bit value for each of the red, green and blue colour components in the pixel. So you'll sometimes see colours expressed as a triple of numbers between 0 and 255, e.g. 192,192,192 (which is a mid grey). The numbers are between 0 and 255 because 256 is the maximum value you can represent in an eight-bit value (aka a byte).

The numbers Konador quoted are in a number system known as hexadecimal which uses base 16 instead of base 10 (as in the 'normal' decimal system). In hex, you have the digits 0-9, plus the letters A-F to represent the values 10-15. An eight-bit byte can be represented by a pair of hex digits (in hex, 255 is represented as FF), so our triple of colour values from earlier becomes C0,C0,C0 (C represents 12, so C0 is 12x16+0x1 = 192) or more usually C0C0C0 - the # prefix indicates the number is in hex.

True black is represented as 0,0,0 which is 000000, your background was reading as 1D1D1B in places which equates to 29,29,27 which is pretty dark, but not black.

Hope this makes sense

Oh, and I almost forgot: 'Practice rose shot' looks a little soft to me - I'm not certain it is, but that was my first reaction. I agree with KarenB's comments.

The close crop really does look soft to me. The other two look much sharper, but I don't really like the vases.

Rose shots which seem to work well are intimate close-ups which concentrate on the complexity of the petals in the flower. Soft lighting usually goes well with this. I think they're a difficult subject just because they're so often photographed.

But keep 'em coming!

Message edited by author 2003-05-15 11:00:41.
05/15/2003 10:58:36 AM · #19
You guys are making me feel pretty ignorant, but, I am willing to learn! I also realize that I have done extremely well on this site for as little as I know about editing.

GenerlE; Thanks for steering me and others to the curves tutorial.
Pinback; Thanks for explaining the numbers, I will have to search PS to find where I can see this information.

I think I will change my name to Dumb and Dumber, both of us are having a new awakening!
Thanks....Maybe
05/15/2003 11:08:09 AM · #20
I am going to be totally honest autool. You might want to get a different rose. That one is not very pretty. The black in the back ground goes from black to grey near the bottom. The angle is not very interesting .

Here is a picture of a rose I took awhile ago. //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=15494

I think that you must first find an interesting flower or it will ruin the shot. I think you are doing a great job. keep trying.
05/15/2003 11:13:57 AM · #21
Originally posted by autool:

You guys are making me feel pretty ignorant, but, I am willing to learn! I also realize that I have done extremely well on this site for as little as I know about editing.

GenerlE; Thanks for steering me and others to the curves tutorial.
Pinback; Thanks for explaining the numbers, I will have to search PS to find where I can see this information.

I think I will change my name to Dumb and Dumber, both of us are having a new awakening!
Thanks....Maybe


No problem. And not knowing something is nothing to worry about - I know nothing about machine shops :-)

The 'Color Sampler Tool' is the PS thing you want - you get it by right-clicking on the eyedropper. It gives you RGB and CMYK values for the pixel you're over.

Cheers
05/15/2003 11:20:08 AM · #22
Sonifo; Your rose is superb. This whole thing is more about me finding out what others think about my attempt at the picture. I have found out a whole lot with this post and I certainly appreciate all of the feedback. I know I will improve after this experience.

Pinback; Thanks some more! Oh by the way if you have any machine shop questions.... I have about 45 years experience there.
05/15/2003 04:12:54 PM · #23
In Photoshop, just put up the Info window and it will display the color of the pixel under the cursor, regardless of which tool is selected. Use the palette options to determine which color model you want to use -- it can display two sets at once.

I usually set the first to display Grayscale, which gives me a read on the absolute darkness of the area. I usually set the second set to CMYK because I'm used to interpreting those values as colors, but it can also be RGB, LAB, total ink (good for duotones), etc.

When you put up an adjustment layer (e.g. Curves) the Info window will display both the Before/After values.
05/15/2003 04:32:25 PM · #24
Do you have a solution for those without the $700 to buy Photoshop with?
05/15/2003 04:34:24 PM · #25
Originally posted by eloise:

Do you have a solution for those without the $700 to buy Photoshop with?


Any of these will probably do it too.
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