Macro Photo Critique [Chimes]

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rasheemo, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. rasheemo

    rasheemo TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    i fixed the levels and threw in some color effect in CS. let me know how i can improve! thanks =]
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One point is that this is a close-up image rather than a true macro. Overall, there are a couple of issues. One, the deep shadows the lower-left are very distracting. As well, the subject is too far to the left.

    I would suggest a reshoot metering the roof of one of the chimes, and use a combination of fill light and reflectors to eliminate the dark shadows. Ideally an off-camera flash with a diffuser aimed up at the chimes, and a bright white reflector at camera left should do it.

    I would also suggest cropping off the RH quarter of the image which will place the subjects more in the LH 1/3 where they will look more balanced.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.

    ~John
     
  3. rasheemo

    rasheemo TPF Noob!

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    oh ok, i didn't know the difference between macro and close-up.

    what deep shadows are you talking about? i made sure the shadows of the chimes was out of the viewfinder. maybe your talking about a different shadow though...

    fill light? reflectors? diffuser? i've only had my camera a week so i really don't know much about those, but i will research!!

    thanks for your critique =]
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, apologies for the over-use of technical terms. The deep shadows to which I refer are those on the lower, left-hand edge of the chimes. If you look at the upper chime, and draw a line down from the left-hand edge of the house all of the area from there to the left-hand edge of the bowl is dark, nearly black instead of the terra-cotta red of the rest of it.

    The lower chime has deep shadow all around the base/bowl, and the opening, is just one black hole. These would be improved if some of that shadow was eliminated, and the bases/bowls (bottom parts) of the chimes were a more homogenous red and even exposure.

    To achieve that, I would suggest different lighting. The light source here is very harsh, casting strong shadows. Equate this to walking outside on a clear, sunny day at noon. You cast a very strong, very dark shadow on the ground. Since shadows obscure detail, their appearance in photographs isn't always something we want.

    There are three types of tools we can use to help us achieve this. One is fill light; going back to the sunny day analogy, pretend there were two suns in the sky; one to the north and one to the south. If you are walking east or west, you'll be evenly lit on both sides.

    The next tool is reflection. This is nothing more than taking something with a shiny surface and using it to reflect light. Large pieces of white or light-yellow posterboard work great for this.

    Finally there is diffusion. This is simply "breaking up the light" in the same way that clouds do. Equate it to walking down the street on a very cloudy day; you cast virtually no shadow at all, and while there's isn't as much light, things are more evenly lit. Any translucent plastic placed between the light source and the subect will act as a diffuser. Even tissue paper will work if you need a large cheap diffuser. Bleach and other cloudy-clear plastics make great diffusers for flashes and fill lights.

    What I would suggest to improve the lighting in this image is using an off-camera flash if you have one, or even just a strong light placed a few feet below the chimes and aimed to illuminate the bottoms. A reflector placed just to the left of them, outside the field of view, and if you can, a diffuser to the upper-right (which appears to be the direction of the primary light-source). Of course, assuming that this is daylight I'm seeing, if you re-shoot this at a different time, things will change.

    I hope this clears things up a little bit.
    ~John
     
  5. rasheemo

    rasheemo TPF Noob!

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    thank you for your very thorough response!

    it was very sunny when i took this so i suppose i could have bounced some light to fill the left side as you said? i will try these things. thanks again! ^_^
     

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