Bud Critique requested

Started Jan 13, 2014 | Photos
Anisha Kaul Regular Member • Posts: 257
Bud Critique requested

Your honest opinions on this one please:

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Nikon D3100 Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
leno Senior Member • Posts: 1,257
Re: Bud Critique requested

DoF is a bit shallow for this subject. ISO is a bit high too. Shutter speed is way higher than you need. You have missed focus on the ant. Don't worry it's not easy, keep trying, but you might wait for better light. Go with AP.

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 21,787
Re: Bud Critique requested
1

Anisha,

Do you now have a macro lens?

The only criticism that I have at the default display size is that I would prefer the bud to be a bit closer to the centre, but that is just my personal preference.

When you start to enlarge the image the depth of field problems with almost all macro shots start to become apparent.

At f8 you simply don't have enough depth of field.  You probably need f16 or f22.  However, in the light that you had this would have meant a much slower shutter speed (or extremely high ISO) and you would have had to use a tripod to avoid camera shake and the tripod won't help with motion blur on the ants.

So you need more light, e.g. from a ring flash.

I believe that some people take these kind of shots with dead insects to avoid motion blur, or with insects that have been cooled in a refrigerator for 20 minutes to keep them still for a while!

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Chris R

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OP Anisha Kaul Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: Bud Critique requested

Chris R-UK wrote:

Anisha,

Do you now have a macro lens?

The only criticism that I have at the default display size is that I would prefer the bud to be a bit closer to the centre, but that is just my personal preference.

Yes, the 60mm G nikon.

I have now cropped the photo more, see if that satisfies you.

Also, do you too feel that the ants on the left are out of focus? I feel they are sharp.

How would you rate this photo out of 10 and on what basis?

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Nikon D3100 Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 21,787
Re: Bud Critique requested
1

Anisha,

I think that the composition is excellent as is the subject matter. The problem is the depth of field.

There are three main points of interest in the shot - the three ants. With the light constraints that you had you can't get all of them in sharp focus and I am not sure that any of them is really sharp. It might have been better if there had been a single ant which was in sharp focus. It might also have been interesting if all three ants were significantly out of focus but part of the red strip on the bud was in focus.

In my limited experience of macro photography depth of field always causes problems. You can use a ring flash to get very small apertures but then the background will be be black which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

One approach is to try to use the very small depth of field to concentrate attention on a small section of the image, e.g. one ant or even the head of one ant. Another approach is focus stacking but that doesn't work with live, active insects.

Macro photography is not easy from a technical viewpoint, but I am sure that you will come up with some very interesting images to show us!

(For more informed comments you might want to post the image and the Macro and Still Life forum)

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Chris R

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Chimere
Chimere Senior Member • Posts: 1,662
Re: Bud Critique requested
1

Anisha: here is my take on it: Really a nice picture! The location of sharpness is quite alright, in my opinion, as the limited DOF lifts the main objects (ants) off the background. Excellently done.

Playing with software you can enhance sharpness further more, and increase saturation of the color to reduce flatness of the picture.

What bothers me a bit with your composition is the location of the bud to the far left. There is no good reason to do it that way since the background does not offer any new focus of attention. I would place it at the 2/3's point (read up on the rule of the thirds).

In case you want more DOF, read up on focus stacking - a job more for professionals, but it is interesting to know about the subject.

Chimere

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NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 4,788
Re: Bud Critique requested
1

All in all, a very nice effort. I like the emerging red blossom, and the ants add interest. Macro photography can be quite demanding, requiring precise focusing and no wind.

I agree the subject should be more towards the center. Not in the center, but only slightly off center. You could also darken the background a little and use some noise reduction. If you make another attempt, I would prefer to see a little of the stem, since that's where our eye expects a bud to be. It also can help lead the eye to the bud, creating a natural visual flow. And, as mentioned, a little more dof would help get the whole bud in focus. Defintely a solid effort and something to build on.

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OP Anisha Kaul Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: Bud Critique requested

Thankful to those who wrote constructive critiques.

Chimere wrote:

Playing with software you can enhance sharpness further more, and increase saturation of the color to reduce flatness of the picture.

Actually increasing the sharpness further makes the noise apparent since it was shot at ISO 800.

What bothers me a bit with your composition is the location of the bud to the far left. There is no good reason to do it that way since the background does not offer any new focus of attention. I would place it at the 2/3's point (read up on the rule of the thirds).

I was about to talk about that, thanks for bringing it up.

Question: How and when to use "negative space"? Why isn't negative space appropriate here?

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Nikon D3100 Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro
OP Anisha Kaul Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: Bud Critique requested

Chimere wrote:

Playing with software you can enhance sharpness further more, and increase saturation of the color to reduce flatness of the picture.

Chimere

Thankful to you. I somehow read this thread again today and first tried hue changing. I am amazed by the results.

This is what I did:

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leno Senior Member • Posts: 1,257
Re: Bud Critique requested

Anisha Kaul wrote:

Thankful to those who wrote constructive critiques.

Chimere wrote:

Playing with software you can enhance sharpness further more, and increase saturation of the color to reduce flatness of the picture.

Actually increasing the sharpness further makes the noise apparent since it was shot at ISO 800.

What bothers me a bit with your composition is the location of the bud to the far left. There is no good reason to do it that way since the background does not offer any new focus of attention. I would place it at the 2/3's point (read up on the rule of the thirds).

I was about to talk about that, thanks for bringing it up.

Question: How and when to use "negative space"? Why isn't negative space appropriate here?

Negative Space is a technique to create either tention and drama in a photo or where the subject is the space itself. It is not normally used when trying to capture macro images. that said there is no reason to not but it would be hard to get right. An example is if you took a photo of one person in a situation which would normally be two people. By leaving a space for the second person the viewers mind questions why there is only one. Another is a neat row of objects but one is missing, why?

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Robert Evagelista
Robert Evagelista Veteran Member • Posts: 3,443
Re: Bud Critique requested

Honestly... its good as it is. I would hesitate to touch it.

But if you insist
Maybe a tad of Clarity and Exposure and Saturation.
Crop more towards the Subject, but maintain it on the left.

Look at some of my travel pics at

http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/
https://www.flickr.com/

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