These are photos of a dogwood tree I mentioned having taken on Saturday, which I’ve just now gotten around to selecting & uploading.
All were taken with my 40mm prime lens and shot in AV mode.
If any of you photo enthusiasts/pros want to critique the photos, please have at it—I’m a graphic designer, so I’m familiar with the process and won’t be easily offended. I’ll go ahead and add my own narrative regarding my choices.
I took a total of 48 photos, 10 of which immediately got deleted. I was able to narrow the remaining 38 down to 10 that I felt were the best of the lot, then finally winnowed it to the four you see below. I’m not 100% happy with any of them, for various reasons that I’ll explain below. Oh, and the other 28 that I’m not showing you? They’re not horrible. but neither are they very good—I’m keeping them primarily to try to figure out how/where I went wrong in shooting them.
- IMO, there are two problems with this one. The first is that the blossom on the left is almost cut off, which makes it look like sloppy composition (which it was). The second is the distracting white in the upper left. It's also a bit soft.
My best bet probably would have been to move slightly to my left to give the blossom on the left some breathing room and get rid of the white in the background. Alternatively I could've moved a bit to my left and moved in a step closer. The only change made in Lightroom was to apply the lens correction profile to get rid of vignetting.
- This is the same group of blossoms as above, from a bit closer and at a slightly different angle. IOW, I basically made the corrections mentioned above, though not consciously. Overall I'm pretty happy with the composition, however also it's a bit soft--even more so than the one above, especially at the center of the blossom, which is the focal point of the photo. By pixel peeping I was able to see that I had focused on the tip of the left petal instead of the center. Again, sloppiness. *SIGH*
Changes made in Lightroom consisted of applying the lens correction profile to get rid of vignetting and increasing the exposure by 1/3 stop.
- Same set of flowers again, zero changes made in Lightroom. The composition on this one was almost (but not quite) acceptable. I had moved back a step or two, but yet again I wasn't paying enough attention to what was in my frame so it looks sort of... unbalanced.
The other thing that bothered me was the red of the brick wall being more visible in this shot. I felt like it was fighting with the pink of the flowers--clashing with them, distracting from them. Yuck. So I decided to try for B&W to see if that would help...
- Converting this to B&W definitely solved the problem of the red brick wall. I made several adjustments in Lightroom--in addition to applying the lens correction profile I adjusted the white balance, exposure and contrast. I rarely do conversions to B&W, so I'm unsure of how it looks to a better trained eye. Should I have made the flowers brighter still? Anyone?
- I'm only including this one because it came out sharp enough to please me, or at least the center of the flower did. The composition is just okay--nothing to write home about--but apart form that I'm not sure how I could have made it technically better. Higher f-stop for increased depth of field? But then I'd lose my bokeh... Maybe use a tripod and focus on different parts then merge them (I know there's a name for that, but I can't think of it at the moment). Ugh, I hate dragging the tripod around, even though I have a good one now and would have only have had to carry it across the street. Any suggestions?
As with #2, changes made in Lightroom consisted of applying the lens correction profile to get rid of vignetting & increasing the exposure by 1/3 stop.
- Same photo as above at 100% magnification. Cropped in Photoshop, used the spot healing brush to get rid of some distracting bits that looked ginormous at this size, and adjusted the levels to improve the color (it looked kind of grayish when viewed up close like this).
So that’s it. Hope I didn’t bore you to death. ;-)