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A lonely survivor
A lonely survivor

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Flowers (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Akureyri
Date: Jul 1, 2006
Aperture: 7.1
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/80
Galleries: Nature, Floral
Date Uploaded: Jul 2, 2006

Haven\\\'t fealt like contending in challenges lately, don\\\'t know why! Feel kind of bad that my come back sucks so much but i had nothing better. I have been doing so bad lately, most people better them selfs but i sure don\\\'t. I know my weakness is lighting but i just have no idea how to do that stuff. I allso don\\\'t know shi* about my camera and cant seem to change that. Well i have nothing more to say really.

Place: 285 out of 375
Avg (all users): 5.0100
Avg (commenters): 4.6000
Avg (participants): 4.9565
Avg (non-participants): 5.1270
Views since voting: 700
Views during voting: 249
Votes: 201
Comments: 8
Favorites: 0

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07/12/2006 09:56:08 AM
Greetings from the Critique Club!

First Impression:
This is a nice shot, but doesn't necessarily have that "Wow!" factor that seems to bring in the high scores around here.

I think you've placed the main subject well in the shot. Perhaps placing it a bit lower would follow the rule of thirds more closely, but if you went too much lower you would lose the leaves on the flower that you were shooting, and I like those. The background is good, as far as its coloring that doesn't distract from the subject, but I think a shallower dof could have helped to blur some of it out which would have put more focus on the flower itself.

As you noted in your photographer comments, you realize that your lighting is off, and it gives this shot a bit of a flat look. This is an area that I struggle with as well, and I find it easier to play around with lighting inside where I have more control. But back to this shot, perhaps playing with the flash, or a simple reflector could help. What I do like about the lighting you used is that you didn't just put the flash on or shoot in the middle of a sunny day and blow out the highlights of the white flower. So I think you're already understanding some of the important aspects of lighting.

Going back to the shallower dof, you used an aperture of f/7.1 which gives a relatively shallow dof, but bumping to to f/3.5 would have given you an even shallower dof, and an even more out of focus background. However, in order to do that, the shutter speed would have been too slow to hand hold, and a tripod would have been necessary.

Post Processing:
Clearly there have been varying thoughts on the use of the border here from other commenters, so I'll start with that. I like borders, and I like the use of a white border inside the shot. I think it works nicely here. However, I think it might have been a bit too thick and distracting for some voters. Perhaps a simple stroke of just a few pixels would have worked better. The other thing I noticed in your post processing is the extra rows of pixels to the right and bottom of the shot. It looks like you cropped the shot, but accidentally cropped outside the area of the photo, so you ended up with blank pixels in those areas.

I think the 5.01 this shot received was partially due to the challenge it was in. In a challenge where voters are voting on hundreds of flower pictures, you need to really wow them in order to get the higher scores. You seem to know where some of your weaknesses are, so maybe reading up on some of the tutorials here or some of the learning threads in the forums would help you. Here is a thread on landscape photography where lightning was one of the first topics covered. Learning Thread - Landscape Photography

As for learning your camera, take it out of Auto mode and just start shooting and playing around. Look back at the EXIF data for the pictures to see what you changed and what you like best. Good luck in your future challenges! :)

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or comments about this critique!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/08/2006 06:35:13 PM
Image seems grainy or noisy. I find your border excessive and distracting. Comp is good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2006 08:18:42 AM
Nice composition and choice of boardering for shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2006 04:40:27 PM
Great photo. Colors are really nice. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2006 09:04:45 AM
I would not use borders. Nothing should distract the viewer from the image of the flower
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2006 03:05:30 AM
The flower feels a little overprocessed to me. It just doesn't look natural.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2006 09:00:14 AM
i like the subject isolation from background and good detail in the flower. i would have shot this from the top instead of angle, if possible. somehow i think the background of leaves a bit overwhelming, maybe some cropping would help. not sure about the framing--good shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2006 02:11:39 AM
Good Job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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