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Archive 2012 · Field of flowers
  
 
weissj
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Field of flowers


Had a wonderful day of shooting out in nature yesterday. I should have a few more to share later this week. Any thoughts on this picture? I feel like there may be a little tweaking to be done to draw out the foreground flowers, but I didn't want to veer into over-processed territory. Thankfully, this image required minimal processing as is.



Flower field. by josh.weiss, on Flickr



Jul 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Field of flowers


Wonderful lighting and presence! Think about maybe cropping the top to just eliminate sky, otherwise without treeline you lose sense of depth.

Regards,

Bob



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Field of flowers


I will leave any detailed comments on the processing to the experts. I do agree this seems to need only some minor tweeking. I would look at the black set point.

In terms of the overall image and composition, my style would be to hone in on the foreground interest. I would crop out the sky and trees. I don't see much of interest there.



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
weissj
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Field of flowers


Thanks for the feedback, Bob and Jim. It's interesting to hear you say that about the sky. The original actually had a decent amount of additional sky that I cropped out for purposes of distraction. I experimented a little with a tighter crop leaving no sky, but I thought it looked a little cramped (i.e., the sky and bit of trees give a little more depth). However, it is entirely possible that I was misguided.


Jul 30, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Field of flowers


I don't see it as being misguided. I think it is more a matter of preference. I often get myself in trouble when I look at another persons images and think how I would have made the shot differently.


Jul 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Field of flowers


I almost never do shallow DOF landscapes. I have done some flower closeups and a lot of birds where I wanted to isolate the subject with DOF. In this case I would want a much cleaner OOF.

First I would crop the sky and left side a bit. Then I would use Gaussian blur to tame the OOF areas. Finally, I would not apply any sharpening in those areas.

But the effect is best done during capture. Shot at the widest sharp aperture the lens offers and use one with clean bokah.



Jul 30, 2012 at 07:45 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Field of flowers


In general, using lens blur rather than gaussian blur to simulate OOF gives fewer edge problems. Gaussian can introduce some halo and blurring the otherwise sharp edges:





Gaussian blur/Lens blur




Jul 30, 2012 at 09:18 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Field of flowers


Yep, lens blur is a better choice.


Jul 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Field of flowers


Very nice capture of focal point with context seen behind it. But the flow of eye movement within the foreground focal point is vertical and the addition of all the extra space and the tiny contrasting patch of sky work to pull attention too far to the left away from the focal point. When doing retouching enlarging the image to 400% view or larger will allow you to do it with more precision than seen here.


I'd suggest this alternate crop (I cloned out the sky and tree trunk):







You don't need to show all the flowers in the field to convey the idea that the focal point is one of many. You effectively put that context behind the focal point so the viewer can see both at once and grasp the entire story without wandering far from the focal point. The mistake, story-wise, was then giving them an excuse to wander off by putting all that extra space on the left and not spotting the distracting contrast (color and tone) of the sky at the edge of the frame.

You might have been thinking the sky adds context but do you really need to see the sky to know its an outdoor shot vs the inside of a greenhouse? No. So the fact the sky contrast pulls attention off the focal point and eliminating that distraction is more important.

I cloned out the sky. When shooting you can get the sky / horizon out of shots by raising the POV of the camera. the higher the camera gets the more the ground around the focal point becomes the background in the shot. The treeline here isn't a distraction but if it were because sun was blasting through it you could crop it out of the shot by finding a higher vantage point for the camera.

For future reference: If you shoot people outdoors finding a higher vantage point and having the subject look up both eliminates the horizon cutting them in half and gets the skylight past the brow so the eyes don't wind up darker than the cheeks.



Jul 31, 2012 at 12:43 PM





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