Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 23rd June 2011
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Aquilegia

Another one to discuss. I'm interested in thoughts on composition and lighting.

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Old 23rd June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

Please take this with a pinch of salt, it's a better image than any I have produced but...

I don't like the white highlights either side of teh stems agaisnt teh black bg.
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Old 23rd June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

I like the white highlights, they provide contrast and separation of the subject from the background and to me they are an important part of the picture. I love the simple, elegant composition but I wonder if it could have been simplified further, by ommitting the separate stem in the bottom right. The advantage is that you would no longer have the main right hand stem cutting across the smaller of the two lower buds. Also, this subordinate stem is the one area where the outlining highlight effect is perhaps a little too strong. The disadvantage is that you would no longer have the two buds lower down to counter-balance the main buds and flowers at the top.
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Old 24th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

Hi Duncan - Composition with flowers is the bane of my life and I agonise over it.
I really like your photo and agree with everything Zuiko has said.
The Aquilegia is an elegant flower and its long stems need to be a feature in the photo.
I too think the lower right flowers could go - balance could be upset a little, but let's not get too fussy!
I wonder if cloning out the small bud going behind the lower right flower may be enough?
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Old 24th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

Thank you all for the comments.

The light was natural. The set up was in the conservatory with a sheet of black cloth about a metre behind the flower. This is what gives the light the strong edge to the stems. I worried about the lowest leaves being a distraction but no one has mentioned it. Cloning out the small bud is probably the easiest, simplest and aesthetically most pleasing alteration. And that I shall do.

In the meantime. Later that evening, when it was dark, I had a chance to have another go but this time with a hired (thanks Ian) ring flash. the lighting effect is remarkable. It turns a light ethereal flower into something of a sculpture. It may be my lack of expertise.

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Old 25th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

My 2p for what it's worth:

In that first shot, I am a bit concerned by that single green leaf at bottom of frame. My instinct says it is too near the bottom of frame... I am also not certain what to make of the second flower stem behind the main stem. If this were a "going on the wall" picture, I would move or remove the leaf and make that second stem slightly out of focus to pull the attention back to the main flower.

The side lighting is a good idea with the black background, but might be a tad too bright...

Actually that all add up to 4p - sorry about that, but we are looking for perfection, eh?

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Old 25th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

Quote:
Actually that all add up to 4p
In for a penny, in for a pound.

I'll try some of these suggestions.
I'm quite surprised how much light is reflected off the stems. The flash picture does the light on the stems in reverse.
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Old 26th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

Duncan, aha! aka "Granma's Bonnet" ... one of my very very favourite flowers and I love every photo of them, each for different reasons. Thanks for sharing! They are One of my first flowers uploaded here too!
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Old 26th June 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

I don't know enough superlatives, I like it the way it is!

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Old 2nd July 2011
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Re: Aquilegia

I like the lighting, and prefer the first image. I really like the light on both sides of the stems. However, it's a little too tight for me, but I am one for space

I would extend the canvas a little bit sideways and clone the black background so they get a tiny bit more space around them. I've made an example in PS, it was really easy as the image background is pure black.

I've put in a little bit more on the left hand side than on the right, and also a little bit on the top. Something like this, just as an example:



I also like the lower bud and don't really mind the bottom leaf. I haven't quite made up my mind whether I'd like to see the bottom leaf cropped away, because I like the way the stems meet at the bottom.
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