Some Nature shots C&C please


TPF Noob!
Aug 20, 2010
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love em all. i really like the selective coloring in #1 although im wanting more light out of it.
BUMP >>>> ???? No more C & C ???? anyone please
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Ok here we go:

1. The subject is a little boring (maybe I"ve seen a thousand flower shots but they get old). The selective coloring IS a cliche and isn't doing much here. The shot is fuzzy and/or out of focus.

2. The sky is AWESOME, very nice contrasty colors. The foreground however, is over-exposed, but I don't think that is a big deal considering the great sky you have here. I dodged the foreground a bit to bring out some of the trees etc:

3. The last has a lot of potential, it's fairly sharp, you have nice bokeh nearby, but I would lighten it up a tad and the crop it into a landscape frame:
I believe you did well in the shots. They are nicely composedand focused. Not everyone is going to see the insect, but I do;)
If you want critique on pictures done right perk peoples interest. Say something like "I did horrible, is there any hope for me?" or "I took these pictures with a Nikon but would Canon be better? Using these simple open ended rules will give you threads pages long.:lol: jk
TY Both !!!

Joe , im not postive but i think i softned the edges on the flower ,, i know its SOO cliche but like i said im just starting out soo for now i need to start off easy

but again thanks sooo much
i LOVE what you did with my bug

I have sense learn that its something called a Kadie bug i think lol
ive been trying to capture some nice sky photos and i think you did a wonderful job on #2. i do like the original, but the edit was nice when the trees were a bit more visible, gave the picture some depth. nice work!
My first bit of advice is if you want constructive input into your photos you have to do more than just post the photo alone - a picture might say 1000words, but its not always the right words ;) Both technical, artistic and compositional aspects are things that you need to address (at the very least techincal) and the more info you put you the more people have to work with and respond to you with.
With that said I recomend reading this thread here:

Luckly you have EXIF attached to these photos so I can read your settings of them (EXIF is detailed in the thread I just linked to).

1) f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec at 55mm focal length

First thing that comes to my mind with this shot is sharpness - you've gone for selective colouring to bring out the yellow middle from the background elements (its a like or hate thing this I don't mind it in this context myself) however as I focus in on this main feature the yellow bits appear a little soft to my eye. This might be a case of reworking your editing a little to bring out more sharpness or it might be showing that if you had stopped down just a little more (used a smaller aperture/bigger f number) just to give it a little more depth.
Shutter speed is not bad for handholding a 55mm lens (rule of thumb is shutter speed should be at least 1/focal lenth of lens - so at 1/100sec you should be ok to handhold a 55mm lens) but 1/100sec can be a little slow if you have even light wind.

I also note that your ISO is up at 400, it shouldn't affect things too badly (most DSLRs can do ISO 400 to a decent to good level) though it does show that lighting was a little dim at the time - its a point where I would idealy like to use flash and/or a reflector to increase local lighting a bit and help to both freeze motion on the subject and let my ISO dip down just a little more.

The other thing I notice (and this could be resizing relaited I'm not sure) is that the background has a lot of banding to it - that is defined rings of contrast change (eg look at the upper right side and lower left for good exmaples of these bands in the background). /Higher ISOs will increase the chances of this occuring, but ISO 400 should not be this bad on most DSLRs so I do wonder if its just a product of the light you had at the time or as a result of editing and resizing.

2) A tricky shot to take because of all the light you have and the massive difference in tonal range you have (pure shadowed blacks in the land through to the bright brilliance of the sun. For this shot you have to understand first that our eyes tend to shift toward the brighter parts of a photo naturally - in this shot we are instantly drawn to the sky, but also to the massive sun hotspot which has shifted from being just a bright spot to being a very dominating patch of whiteness.
Myself I probably would have tried to shoot so that I maybe caught the edge of the sun, but not the sun itself and would have focused more on getting light rays from the sun captured.

As a single shot I've think that you have gone for the right settings at the time - but I would personally have decided to go for an HDR shot here. That is I would have taken another shot with the same framing (tripods or any stable surface really help with this) and underexposed that shot by around 2 or more stops of light. This would bring out more details in those white patches on the clouds and would really help to mix in with the original. I would let the ground go black and sillouet because its acting as part of the framing for this shot so I don't feel it needs perfect exposure upon it.

3) f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec at 55mm focal length
I've talked a fair bit now about exposure so I'll differ on this shot (as the exposure, whilst maybe a touch darker than ideal on the main subect is overall decent) and talk about composition and presentation of the subect. And first off I totally admit that anything that moves is tricky to take shots of so I do appreciate that trickyness that can come with such shots.

In this shot you are clearly presenting the insect to the viewer, but the twig and some composition aspects are getting in the way. First off you have dead space down in the lower part of the shot - below the insects foot most of the shot is space where there is nothing to entertain the viewer and nothing that you appear to be wanting to show us. Meanwhile you have an insect with a direction of motion leading upwards (and there he does indeed have space to move into - ie empty frame infront of his direction of travel/direction of eye gaze). So everything in the shot is going up so I would lose some of the lower part of the shot - just crop it away.

Next up we come to focus the shot is very central (middle point af I'm guessing) which (as pointed out (harms the composition a little; but also means that your main focus is sitting over the middle of the insect - you are lucky here in that his head is also just in focus. I tend to shoot insects like this in manual focusing mode so that I can control where the focus lies in the shot (on the insects eyes/face idealy). The face and eyes are important as they are what we look to early on with animal shots (and human ones too) so its generally a hard to break rule that you get the eyes in focus.
I think the bug is called a Katydid. There is a lot of those around my parts. Lots of walking sticks too.

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