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Photography ConCrit Interested amateur photographers can post photos and receive constructive critiques from others. Please read the guidelines thread before posting any photos.

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Old Jul 12 2009, 08:53 PM   #1
Cheryl
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A few recent shots for me, that I'm pretty happy with:


Fleabane (an unfortunately named flower)


Jewel of the garden


Bumblebee I


Bumblebee II


Fireworks
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Old Jul 12 2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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Being self-critical:

Fleabane: I'm happy with the depth of field, and I like the graceful simplicity. I don't know that I framed the shot well and I'm not sure how to crop it better if indeed it could be improved with cropping.

Jewel of the Garden: I'm very happy with this one, a rare istance when I felt confident not centering the focal subject. But the blurry spots are a distraction. They were outside my control, being plants in the foregound I couldn't get beyond, but still they are a shame.

Bumblebee I: The composition of the photo does nothing for me, but I love that the full detail shows on the bee, even his hind leg covered in a gob of pollen.

Bumblebee II: The composition of this one does make me happy along with the vibrant color.

Fireworks: Not a spectacular shot of fireworks, but the best of what I managed to capture given a bad location (in a parking lot with a light right next to the fireworks), unavoidable smoke, and a complete lack of preparation. While I was smart enough to use a tripod, I forgot to read up on setting a longer exposure to get that smooth motion look instead of a frozen instant. Given that, this type of bursting firework produced the best pictures I got that night.
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Old Jul 12 2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Incredible shots Cheryl! Absolutely stunning! I wonder about the jewel, though. Who's garden is it in? Those critters make some really shocking noises sometimes.
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Old Jul 12 2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thanks, Sandi. The peacock is at the zoo, he wanders around freely, though usually in the farmyard section, which this wildflower garden borders.
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Old Jul 13 2009, 02:35 AM   #5
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In themselves great shots, Cheryl although it clearly shows you don't like cropping and non-oblong pictures indeed while some would be better when cropped that way.

The first shot I don't like much, it's got a weird depth of field and I don't like the cropping, sorry. Maybe a closeup/crop of the centered group might be something.

The peacock is nice but surrounded by far too much "clutter" which is too divers to work putting the emphasis on the animal. You are right about the spots. I understand you can't do anything about them and photoshopping them away would be a major task.

The first bee shot is a super photo! But the first thing I thought was: where is the colour. Looking at the plant this can't be your fault but with a fantastic shot like this it's a pity you had to catch a drab coloured bee!

Definitely more colour in the next great bee shot, you;re so good at these! I just can't decide over the cropping, whteher your choice is right or more square would be better. I think, after much deliberation, that would have cropped bottom and top and only leave one orange blob at the top.

Now in the last picture you are right about the blur but maybe you could have added that with Elements. You deserve extra points for thinking of the tripod! I always forget or don't bother. Another thing this picture definitely need is more luminance and colour. The smoke worked against you there but I am sure that can be adjusted with post processing. It's a very good shot and composition and does deserve more loving after care

Great photo's of which I like bumblebee II best although I came very, very close.
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Old Jul 18 2009, 08:52 AM   #6
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Speaking of awesome bee shots, check out what my sis-in-law has managed recently with a macro lens.
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Old Jul 18 2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Fantastic photographs! The fly is great, too.
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Old Jul 18 2009, 11:05 PM   #8
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Cheryl....these are wonderful...as usual. But the one with the bee on the flower is absolutely beautiful. Your sister-in-law's bee photos are incredible lord you can see the pollen on it's bottom...but...IMO, not near as lovely as the one you took...but then again I'm a real fan of your amazing photo-work.
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Old Jul 23 2009, 04:57 PM   #9
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I'm catching up on threads I missed...

I really like your fireworks picture. Who says that all firework shots have to be blurred long exposures? Sometimes it's worth breaking the rules and creating something unusual and orignal. What really impresses me is that you managed to arrange for the shutter to be open for the "frozen instant" just at the point the fireworks exploded.
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Old Jul 23 2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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When you continually take shots, you're bound to get a few that have the timing right.
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Old Jul 29 2009, 05:23 AM   #11
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I think you're right - the problem with the fleabane is the cropping. There is simply too much going on in the shot. I learned cropping as a newspaper designer; the rule was brutal - if it doesn't contribute, lose it. I tried various combinations before ending up with one I liked. Here, you have three in-focus blooms giving a strong diagonal. Your crop would probably be different - there's the creativity. BTW - that lens gives a beautifully creamy bokeh (background blur)!
Here's my effort:


As for the peacock - again, I think there's too much going on. The vegetation is chaotic and distracts from the bird, rather than providing a context. My instinct would be a tight top-to-bottom vertical crop with the bird set slightly to the right. Having the bird head-on does not help. But then, you've got to work with what you've got . . .

Bumblebee 1 is great; the detail even includes pollen dust middle-right! Here's one to benefit from subtle post-processing - I'd increase contrast, saturation and sharpness. But all to a very small degree:


Bumblebee 2 is just great. I'm jealous.

Fireworks - Nice one - as you say, a tripod is a must; ISO 100; small aperture; slow shutter speed. Otherwise, what can I say? Experiment! You usually have plenty of time to discover what does not work
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