A day of failure?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RobNZ, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    We went to a local forest park today to take some shots and have a day out with family, my goal was to get some cool fern shots.

    All shots taken with the Canon 50mm f/1.8, mostly at around f/1.8 to keep shutter speed up and isolate the subject, hand held, low light and full on sun, last 4 shots taken under forest canopy, I kinda forgot I had my polarising filter on which I think is the real issue here, getting as close as I could to the subject in most cases.

    Here are the "best" of a bad bunch.

    My issues with the shots are DoF way to shallow in most, should have known better and the 50mm is usually tack sharp but I think the combination of the polarising filter, dim light and large aperture munted them. My bad.

    This one taken in strong full sunlight, cropped but otherwise untouched.

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    Full sun, but shaded fully by my own shadow, heavily cropped but otherwise untouched, some of the outer edges of the petals are slipping out of focus, damn, very cool flower though.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty much shooting into full sun here, mid afternoon, cropped and untouched.

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    Under forest canopy, DoF a touch to shallow.

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    Same as above.

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    I like both of the following 2 shots but there are things niggling me about them, a bit of CA going on as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes I do feel as though I am being too hard on myself, maybe my own expectations are too high for my skill level and that gets fustrating when you can see the shot in your head but cant quite capture it, but then again I could be wrong (just dont ever tell my wife I said that :sexywink:).

    Only 3 months of owning a DSLR, this I need to remind myself perhaps.

    Anyway, thanks for looking and feel free add some c&c.

    Cheers.
     
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Rob
    I see the flower shots as being to blown out, due to the sun.

    I like your fern shots (I too am partial to ferns, it will be a couple more weeks here before the fiddle head start to show themselves)

    The lighting on these fern shots is so close to being awesome, 1 & 3 really work for me. I love the color and how you shot these angles. Keep shooting them, and posting...it will help me in the next 2 weeks. :mrgreen:
     
  3. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Uh... #2 is an awesome shot. Don't worry about the very petal edges. It gives it a very nice softness that says 'hey, I'm not completely detached from my surroundings'. Composition is great, exposure is spot-on, and the background is so fluid and provides just enough motion to not be boring but doesn't show so much that it distracts from the subject.

    #3, while it does have some instances of things blowing out, is again a really nicely composed shot with a lot of great elements -- out of focus areas proving a natural frame, good subject isolation, good subject definition... you can tell you shot into the sun, but it's in an eye-pleasing way. If you shot this raw, you could potentially use the 'shadows/highlights' adjustment or 'fill light' adjustment to bring in just a hint more of the very dark areas.

    The fern shots do show some technical issues but they also show some nice compositional instinct. I wouldn't worry about the DOF in the first fern shot too much. I think it works with the lines in the image and where the fern moves through the frame.

    Actually, your polarizer will often bring out richer colors which I think shows in the greens and the flower in the second shot.

    You've noticed your own technical issues and that's a good thing but yeah, you're a little hard on yourself especially considering the artistic merits of shots #2, 3, and 4.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Does your camera have DOF preview button?

    Has it an LCD that allows you to zoom into the images to check DOF after each shot?
     
  5. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    "A Day of Failure" is NOT the title for this thread! Your pictures are beautiful, and it's clear from your comments that you grew and learned from the whole experience. There are some great qualities in each of these, and the second shot in particular is absolutely stunning!
     
  6. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Aayria, the title reflected how unsure I was at the time of posting, the images fall into a grey area for me, I have never really attempted "artistic" shots in the past, but I sure will be from now on.

    It sure does, Canon 500D, although the LCD is good, I sometimes dont give myself time to check, and checking without shade can be deceptive at times. Lesson learnt. Although it sounds like my "intentional" mistake has paid off to a degree.

    Thanks KmH.

    Thanks rufus, excellent feedback and most appreciated.

    pbelarge, thanks for the comments, when you refer to the flower shots being blown out because of the sun do you specifically mean the shot with the butterfly and how the shaded side of the lavender is a little dark and featureless?

    I will keep at the fern shots, the silver fern in particular is a national icon here and with the right shot it should appeal to kiwi's.

    So after my experience yesterday with the 50mm and shooting wide open I did some research and put some of that new information into some shots today, often taking the same shot 3 times, @ f/1/8, f/3.2 and f/5 and then compared them, f/5 for this lens is supposed to be its sweetspot for sharpness and I would have to agree, dof is deeper as well of course but for what is in actual perfect focus, it is much sharper.

    Anyway here are a few more from today.

    Beach flowers, somewhat of a setup shot here, just looking at new ideas and angles to compliment the subject, it has also been rotated 90deg to the left, the colour you can see running up the left is the sea, but as you cant make out what it is what does it matter? Shot in full sun just before midday.

    [​IMG]

    Again playing with orientation, rotated 90deg to the left, who'd know :sexywink:, but compared to the original orientation I think this works much better.

    [​IMG]


    And lastly, a little more artsy and abstract, I kinda like it, more of a darker feel, but simple. But then again it could be a wtf is that as well, haha.

    [​IMG]

    C&C for old and new welcome, thanks.
     
  7. anm90

    anm90 TPF Noob!

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    I really enjoy #2 in your first set. Love the detail and the flower is very interesting.

    From your last set, the flower shots aren't bad. I wouldn't have been able to tell that they had been rotated if you hadn't pointed it out. Looking at it closer the line where the water meets the beach is fairly evident.

    The tree shot does nothing for me as it is, but I feel like that subject has a lot more potential for a very striking image. I envision that tree on the right side of the frame with the branches leading toward the center and its surroundings filling the rest of the frame. If you got low and put the tree on the rightmost 1/3rd line and the horizon on the bottom 1/3rd line, with an interesting sky that has some clouds in it (don't shoot mid day if you can avoid it), I think that could be a great photo. I'd probably stand about 15-20 feet away from the tree. A well done black and white conversion could really set it off as well. I'd use an aperture that will give a pretty large depth of field, like f/11 or even smaller.
     
  8. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Alex, the "tree" is not a tree though, so I guess I have kind of succeeded in abstract :sexywink:, its the middle bit that sticks up out of a flax bush, but all is not lost, your advice is helpful and I might just follow through on a shot from your description.

    Thanks.
     

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