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  #1  
Old 8th July 2008
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I'm having a Problem with Clover

After becoming entranced by the delicate beauty of the flower heads on clover I have tried to capture it in an image. However I feel that I have failed, somehow what I am getting looses the impact of the individual heads, the results are 'pretty' but....

OK part of the problem is the plants habit of growing in low clumps surrounded by other (very green) greenery. But the other part is I'm not seeing how to pull the heads into the right image.

So how about it folks, while the heads of clover are still about, someone come up with a cracking shot so I can see how it 'should' be done.












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Old 8th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Nick,

Whilst I cannot post some demonstration shots on here I can tell you what I would try.

I think I would cheat and use card to provide the background. Choosing a colour that provides plenty of contrast. This would show the beauty of the flowers without having the background distract the eye. Choosing the right aperature to provide the dof which makes the card oof.

I think I shall try that myself tomorrow. A small slot in the card would enable you to surround the flowers.

Just a thought. Hope it helps

PeterD
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Old 8th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Peter

Yes - a bit of portable background is one approach and I look forward to seeing the results if you do try it (please do).

Since posting I'm wondering if use of the built in flash might work, but I'm not sure.

Still up for other suggestions/examples

Nick
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Old 8th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

The use of a flash might work. I shall have a go tomorrow (assuming its not pouring down) and tell you how I get on. Can't post images but will have to describe the results.

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Old 9th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Nick

I would love to have a go but need some sunshine.

I suspect that would lift your shots too. I took some family shots at my sons speech day yesterday some dull but some in very bright backlit conditions and the light makes all the difference.

If I cannot get sun before the weekend it will need to be French clover... which will probably be even nicer - petite and sexy with each wearing a little beret.

At the moment it is pouring down here.

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Old 9th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

With the exception of possibly the 2nd and 3rd image, they look 'flat' because there are no whites/highlights.

I've taken the last image, cropped it and adjusted the levels and saturation. Finally I use Photokit Sharpener.



Looking at it again, maybe I overdid increasing the midtone levels, which has made the background too light!

Jim
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Old 9th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Nick

Are you not happy with all of your pictures??Number 3 looks pretty good to me.The others look as if the sun was not out.
I notice you were using matrix metering,have you tried with spot??

What Jim has done has caused banding problems with the background.Not really to my taste.

Just an idea.
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Old 9th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
With the exception of possibly the 2nd and 3rd image, they look 'flat' because there are no whites/highlights.

I've taken the last image, cropped it and adjusted the levels and saturation. Finally I use Photokit Sharpener.

Looking at it again, maybe I overdid increasing the midtone levels, which has made the background too light!

Jim
Not sure - it certainly brightens up the image - and maybe I should have driven the whites towards overexposure, but there is a lot of subtle colour tone in the white of clover I wanted to preserve. I like the treatment and thank you - but?.

Maybe treatment as a single specimen isn't the best approach - doesn't look like the weather will let me try anything today.

Nick
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Old 9th July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by andym View Post
Nick

Are you not happy with all of your pictures??Number 3 looks pretty good to me.The others look as if the sun was not out.
I notice you were using matrix metering,have you tried with spot??

What Jim has done has caused banding problems with the background.Not really to my taste.

Just an idea.
Unhappy with - well I'm not 'unhappy' with any - they are all reasonable, but they are not (to my eyes) right. It is the dififference between OK'ish and 'Yes....'. Clover deserves a 'Yes' and I'm just giving it an OK.

Actually the first one was shot with spot metering, and some quiet odd settings for the rest of the exif data - probably the closest to 'capturing' clover I have got.

The third has been a bit more manipulated to punch up the whites, which makes it more of an eye grabber.

Yes I'm becoming increasingly convinced that spot metering and driving up the seperation by use of flash is an answer. Or maybe a corner specimen clump on a bank with a meadow rolling away - looks like I'm going to have to do a lot of walking to find the right clover head. Maybe I'll be lucky and it'll be four leaved.

Thanks

Nick
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by andym View Post
What Jim has done has caused banding problems with the background.Not really to my taste.
I can't see banding on my 23 inch calibrated monitor (Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 230). Of course as I was working with a jpeg that was already reduced for display, the image quality can't be expected to be that great. Also as I stated, I think I overdid the midtone levels a bit.

Jim
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
Or maybe a corner specimen clump on a bank with a meadow rolling away - looks like I'm going to have to do a lot of walking to find the right clover head. Maybe I'll be lucky and it'll be four leaved.

Thanks

Nick
Nick,

Making one flower or a clump the foreground subject in a scenic photo may be quite good.

I notice you use an 11-22 and an 8mm Peleng but am not sure of the close focus of these two. They could be ideal for the purpose - I would consider the Oly 8mm or wide end of the 12-60 if faced with that kind of opportunity.

Feel free to discard this suggestion if you want.

Nick
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by Who's_E View Post
Nick,

Making one flower or a clump the foreground subject in a scenic photo may be quite good.

I notice you use an 11-22 and an 8mm Peleng but am not sure of the close focus of these two. They could be ideal for the purpose - I would consider the Oly 8mm or wide end of the 12-60 if faced with that kind of opportunity.

Feel free to discard this suggestion if you want.

Nick
The 11-22 is not the best lens close to for this kind of subject - it would require some clever composition and a really still day. I'm wondering about the peleng too, with the clover distended around an edge, whether I could get the clover prominent enough to provide the foreground though, it'll be difficult. Well it'll have to wait for some good weather and the kind of day/location that will suit rolling around in the grass.

But Jims approach has started me wondering what I can 'do' with clover to emphasise some aspects of its visual character. Now this starts to step towards the limits of what is 'acceptable' to many photographers (though surely it is no more disrespectable than hdr and tone mapping).

Anyway after a play (curves, selective sharpening, gaussian blur, lens distortion (to open up the image),Iwarp (to provide the swirl). All in The GIMP.



Now if I hadn't wasted my time getting a Physics Degree maybe I could have studied "Carpentry and the Theory of Art". Then at least I'd have the vocabulary to be prentious about what I'm trying to do. If only the BBC showed something more interesting than EastEnders.

Nick
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Nick

Well as promised I bring you a very sassy little french number.



I think it is definitely a 'she' clover and a very petite, gorgeous one too. But the sun has been quite strong on my thinning hair (not quite bald yet) and I may have lost my marbles.

I hope you appreciate the trouble it took getting this through customs.

The gendarmes are on the lookout for illegal trafficking nowadays,

best wishes

Peter



Quote:
Originally Posted by art frames View Post
Nick

I would love to have a go but need some sunshine.

I suspect that would lift your shots too. I took some family shots at my sons speech day yesterday some dull but some in very bright backlit conditions and the light makes all the difference.

If I cannot get sun before the weekend it will need to be French clover... which will probably be even nicer - petite and sexy with each wearing a little beret.

At the moment it is pouring down here.

Peter
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Great shot Peter, definetly my shots of clover are 'in the shade' when compared to this.

I wonder, also, if it is a slightly different species, there is a lot more pink on the white flowers than there are for the 'white' clovers I find around Swindon.

Nick
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Old 23rd July 2008
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Re: I'm having a Problem with Clover

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
Great shot Peter, definetly my shots of clover are 'in the shade' when compared to this.

I wonder, also, if it is a slightly different species, there is a lot more pink on the white flowers than there are for the 'white' clovers I find around Swindon.

Nick
Nick

It is possible to see the more manly white stuff too. I shot this on day one



But I like the pink one best.

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