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Heart of the Hibiscus (Branching Corolla)
Heart of the Hibiscus (Branching Corolla)
Schuff


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Branch (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-300D Rebel
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Front of House
Date: Sep 3, 2005
Aperture: 4.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/500
Galleries: Nature, Floral
Date Uploaded: Sep 3, 2005

Cropped
Adjusted levels/lightness/contrast
applies USM/saved for web/neatimage/USM
resized/border/saved for web

Statistics
Place: 149 out of 432
Avg (all users): 5.2399
Avg (commenters): 4.6667
Avg (participants): 5.0274
Avg (non-participants): 5.4467
Views since voting: 689
Views during voting: 402
Votes: 296
Comments: 16
Favorites: 0


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AuthorThread
09/19/2005 08:26:10 AM
Wow excellent critique. Thx Mathew!
09/19/2005 05:59:20 AM
Critique Club

Hello from the Critique Club!

This is an interesting idea, and I like the idea behind it. One of the problems with a slightly unusual take on a challenge is that you will occasionally get marked down for it - not that it should be a reason not to post interesting takes on a challenge (sometimes you will get it just right!).

Technically, there are a few issues.

Compositionally, you have gone for an interesting composition, which I think works partially. I like the stamen from the corner: it provides a strong leading line to the detailed area of interest. However, there is no reason for the eye to travel to the LHS of the picture; I would be tempted to crop to a squarer image with lesson the left, or to include more interest on the LHS.

That brings me to the Depth of Field. You have chosen a very shallow DoF, which menas that most of the stamen, and all of the detail on the petals is out of focus. The base of the stamen is in focus, and this is the subject of your entry. On the one hand, the shallow DoF draws the attention of the viewer to the point of your image: the branch. However, it also leaves the viewers attention in the one place, which makes for a slightly unsatisfying viewing experience. I think that the image would benefit from a lot deeper DoF. You can achieve this with the same photograph by choosing a much narrower aperture. You have chosen F-4.0 - an F-16 or F-22 would bring much more of the flower into focus. It would add detail into the petal on the LHS and provide the viewer with more to look at, improving the composition of the image at the same time. You would also have more detail in the stamen, adding more interest to that area.

In order to obtain a good image using a higher F-number, you would also need to think hard about lighting. The shutter speed will be slower (the aperture is smaller, the amount of light getting through the lens smaller). You will need to make sure that the subject is bright, and that you are holding the camera steady (tripod?). If you cannot get everything bright enough, then you have the option of increasing your ISO (your camera will happily take photos at ISO 400 or 800 without noticeable degradation of quality).

Here, there is a strong shadow on the bottom RHS (careful when using flash of the shadow cast by your lens!) and the detail in the stamen is burnt out. I think that I can spot a technical problem that will have caused this.

The problem stems from the fact that you appear (from the nature of the reflections) to have used the flash. The following is only relevant if this is in fact the case (ignore if you did not!). I guess that you were using the camera in Av mode, and had set the Av to 4.0 and popped the flash manually. If I am right, I guess that the image would have been too light overall (and obscured the detail in the bright stamen), which is the reason why you had to adjust contrast and brightness.

The reason for the lightness occurring (and why this is a technical fault) is that your camera has a maximum flash synchronisation shutter speed of 1/250. That means that when using the flash, the shutter cannot travel at a speed greater than 1/250 (or it might miss the point at which the flash fires). Your shutter speed for the image is stated to be 1/500. In fact, I think that your shutter was operating at 1/250 (the technical limitation of the camera when using flash) at a time when the brightness of the image dictated that the shutter be open for half that time (1/500). It was therefore, in fact, open for twice the correct length of time, over exposing your image. This means that the highlights ghet burned out and the whole image loses out.

The way to avoid this is to make sure that the camera does not exceed a shutter speed of 1/250 when using the flash. You can do this by being careful in Av mode, or by using Tv mode and setting the shutter speed to 1/250 at the fastest.

Good luck with the next challenge!

Matthew
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/13/2005 12:28:26 PM
nice face
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2005 08:39:20 PM
nice photo...good coloring. i wish the branch was a bit more in focus..otherwise great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2005 09:11:00 PM
I love this picture. THe colors are gorgeous. Nice job. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2005 09:49:23 AM
Great red! Too bad about the blown pistil. Even worse about the shadow from what I guess is the camera in the lower right corner.

Title brought the pic into the challenge theme.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2005 01:09:39 PM
Could have pulled the narrow focal range out a bit so it catches the branch rather than just the stem of the petals.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2005 12:48:41 AM
Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2005 11:06:16 PM
Great focus and DOF. I like the composition too, but the blown highlights in the stamen? are a distraction IMHO. Still give you props for a good shot and creativity.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2005 08:30:22 PM
I don't like the glare and over-sharpness in the center of the flower. Placement is interesting, though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2005 08:13:40 PM
Pretty, but not sure about the branch theme.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2005 04:44:24 PM
A beautiful flower, but don't see how it ties in with the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2005 09:58:41 AM
.

Message edited by author 2006-08-17 12:41:42.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2005 04:18:48 AM
Great Picture! I love how close the photo is! Nice focus
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2005 08:52:31 PM
My eyes only look at the stem leading to the center of the flower and I don't really see the left hand side of the photo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2005 07:53:44 PM
It's not a branch.


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