Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


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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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  #16  
Old 26th May 2011
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Re: Red glow

That's a nice shot Yorky and closer to what I was looking to get but it still seems to have a touch of that strange red glow. What I wanted to get was a shot that showed the whole flower but that also revealed the surface texture in the petals better. The surfaces just seems to smooth out somehow even though the edges are sharp.
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  #17  
Old 28th May 2011
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Re: Red glow

I think there could be two problems here. Firstly, I suspect that the pigments in these plants tend to 'fluoresce', which means that they actually give off light. They do this by absorbing UV light that we cannot see, and convert it into red light that we can see. This is also why the colours tend to fade very quickly.

Also, with such an intense red colour, the wavelength of the light will be quite long, (red light has the longest wavelength of the visible spectrum), so focusing might not be quite as sharp as it looks to your eye; or to the auto focus. Manual focusing might help, but you might also need to make some adjustments to focusing distance.
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  #18  
Old 29th May 2011
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Re: Red glow

Thanks Nigel thats great to know, now it's starting to make sense why I'm finding this so difficult. I was going to try your manual focussing suggestion but just looked out of the window and last nights wind has blown all the petals of our peonies so it looks like I'll have to put the rest of the experiments on hold till next year unless I can find another suitable subject to practise on.
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  #19  
Old 29th May 2011
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Re: Red glow

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Originally Posted by Swordfish View Post
I'm just envious of everyone - here in the bone dry and wind blasted East Midlands none of my many peonies are yet out, and even if they were they'd probably be over the North Sea by now!

Mind, my garden is a bit exposed.
HOWEVER, wjen all of ours are dead and gone, your photos shall be perfecto muno! as you will have had the benefit of all the hints and tips from here
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  #20  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

I agree Chevvy this is a great way to improve. People on here are so generous with their help. This is definitely a great forum. Can't understand how it took me so long to find it.
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  #21  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

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Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
Thanks Nigel thats great to know, now it's starting to make sense why I'm finding this so difficult. I was going to try your manual focussing ... last nights wind has blown all the petals of our peonies so it looks like I'll have to put the rest of the experiments on hold till next year unless I can find another suitable subject to practise on.
Phil I wanted some great shots of Clematis - and I went to the garden Centres and National Trust gardens both of which were sheltered by location! Worth a visit to try your new techniques out ?
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Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

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Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
Phil might I suggest water spray? I often use this to "spray on dew/rain" and it adds interest and definition in a bloom
A poundland water sprayer with a few drops of glycerine from the baking section at the supermarket with a pop-out white or silver reflector on the ground - this always gives me the most natural shot
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  #23  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

We live a little further north, so our Peonies are still hanging on. There is one bud which is yet to open, so I might try photographing that this evening when the sun comes around to that part of the garden.

Anyhow, I thought I would try photographing one of the better looking flowers for this thread to see how I got on.

The first thing that I found was that colour balance is critical. The first was taken in low sunlight, so I set it to Tungsten in Photoshop. I used some flash for the second, and set that to Flash in PS accordingly.

I was using the 50 mm macro lens f5.0 on, and depth of field is very shallow at this focal lengh, so the point of focus is critical. I tried to focus just inside the petals. I think, in addition to the flourescense of the petals, the intense red colour (and its long wavelengh) plays games with our eyes, with computer monitors, and probably with the sensor in a digital camera, so it is difficult to replicate the detail that we see with the naked eye.

One thing that I did find was that lightening the image in PS somehow destroyed the effect altogther, so what you see is exactly how these images came out of my E5. I haven't yet upgraded to CS5, so I used the Adobe DNG route, which seems to strip all of the EXIF data from the images.

I hope to have another try this evening, and would like to capture a bud on MF Velvia just to see how that compares.



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  #24  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

NN I think you have "cracked it" in 2. Great definition - these Peonies are really difficult
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  #25  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

Yes; I think the natural tendency is to focus on the tips of the petals, but with such shallow depth of field, and such an intense red colour that doesn't reproduce well in a photograph. I actually focused on the yellow thingies inside the bud. A smaller apperture would help depth of field, but I wouldn't want to close down beyond f8.0 as there is a chance that diffraction would reduce sharpness.

I will try again tonight, and might try my PowerShot G11 for interest, just to see how it copes.
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  #26  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

More good tips and Nigel you did a great job on your peonies, as you say difficult is definitely worth doing. I'd be interested to see how your PP'ed ones turned out too.
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  #27  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

'Fraid tonight was dissapointing. The new bud that I was waiting for was not properly opened, and the light was failing fast by the time we had finished doing the dishes!

I had hoped to capture some shots on Velvia, and mounted my Tamron 90 mm f2.5 (one of my favourite lenses) on the OM4Ti; but exposure was down to 1/16th wide open, so no go there.

The weather looks set fair all week so I will try again tomorrow.
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  #28  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

YEAH ! tomorrow watching out here
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  #29  
Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Red glow

Hi Phill - Reds in flowers are notoriously difficult - you need your bit of luck going with you with the available light being not too bright and hitting the flower at the right spot.
Caroline is right - fill the frame with a full flower as much as you can.
I am just in awe of you growing peonies at all - even in the cool climate of the hills where I live, they are difficult to sustain.
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  #30  
Old 3rd June 2011
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Re: Red glow

They don't last long here either Lyn. Every year as soon as they come out it seems to get windy and they soon loose their petals.
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