Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Flora
#1
It's that time of year again, when I am inspired to capture some of the beauty bursting forth everywhere. It is also Daffodil Time! This one is in our garden, but there are thousands along the road verges and in the parks and countryside.

   

I shot this with my Nikon D7100 and the ubiquitous 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 G VR lens that I keep in my bag only because it has VR as well as a handy close-focus ability. It's one of the most under rated lenses in the Nikon lineup! Used at f5.6 to f8 it can be tack sharp. This shot is hand held, but if I had used a tripod it would have been even sharper. The background is a piece of stiff black paper A3 size propped up about 12 inches behind the subject. I have cropped the sides of the image in to give a square picture.

I wanted the whites of the petals to be just inside the clipping point and the black background to be just above the block-out point. To achieve this, I set the camera to "A" (aperture priority mode) Jpeg fine, standard picture control setting, sRGB colour space, auto white balance, Iso 200 and I set an aperture of f8, which is where the little 18-55 lens is sharpest. To obtain the correct exposure settings I could have used a hand-held incident light meter but I am lazy so I decided to let the matrix metering do it's thing. It gave me a reading of 1/250th sec. Because the metering would be influenced by the large area of black background and therefore give a shutter speed that would try to brighten the background to a grey, I set an exposure compensation of -1EV. This forced the shutter speed to be one EV faster than the default meter reading, returning the background to something closer to black.

I could also have set the metering to "spot" and taken a reading from the flower, which would have resulted in an underexposed image, and a reading from the background, which would have resulted in an overexposed image, and then averaged the two readings to arrive at a starting point for a correct exposure and with a couple of test shots bracketed on either side I would eventually have arrived at the same settings.

In post, I cropped the sides in, I set the black point, the white point and I increased the vibrance slightly. I saved the result as a full-size Tiff with "master" appended to the file name and then exported the image as a Jpeg file re-sized to 1024px across, sRGB colour space, sharpened for screen.

Here is the original ex-camera image for comparison (downsized to 900px)

   

Now I hear a lot of mutterings about tone curves and histograms and centre weighted metering, sensor and lens resolution. Save it for a more advanced post - this is for beginners.

Let's see some of your shots of flowers. They are a wonderful subject and a gift from mother nature.
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply

#2
Nice image. Shows what that lovely little lens can do.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#3
Great post, Graham, and a lovely image. On the laptop screen I'm seeing some grey shapes coming through on the otherwise black background - it's a little distracting, but may well be intentional.

I'm a D7100 user, too. Love that camera - and you're right about the 18-55. A very good lens. Combine that with the 70-300 and a 35mm prime and one is all set (though I also have a cheap 1990's 90mm Tamron prime too, which is a gem).

Interesting reading about your metering methodology. It's one (of many) areas I know nothing about so it was very helpful.

Cheers
Derek
Reply
#4
What a wealth of information, with plenty for folks like me to think about. Thanks for posting.
The photo is excellent and, to me, is a superb example of how to ' make ' a photograph rather than ' take ' one.
Regards, Mike.
" Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst "
Henri Cartier - Bresson.
Reply
#5
As above and,excellent.
SmileJohn
Reply
#6
First one 3.1M Olympus Compact, flower was in Kitchen sink. 2008

Next, on Rose bush, over 100 years old. 2010

Finally, on an outside wall Wife's brothers house. 2010

Minimal editing P/S, mainly adjusting background, and a bit of sharpening. All hand held. Ed.


Attached Files Image(s)
           
To each his own!
Reply

#7
Three cracking shots, Ed.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#8
Bravo, Ed. Superb images. You prove that it's not the camera that counts, but what's behind it.
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#9
(Apr 3, 2016, 10:40)delb0y Wrote: Great post, Graham, and a lovely image. On the laptop screen I'm seeing some grey shapes coming through on the otherwise black background - it's a little distracting, but may well be intentional.
Cheers
Derek

Derek, thanks for the feedback. If you are not seeing the background of the top image as pure black, I would suggest that your screen brightness is too high or the screen gamma is too low. You need a calibrated screen to see images as others see them. We all, well most of us, calibrate our screens in order to be able to print what we see.





GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#10
On my screen, there are distinct grey blotches at the 11 o'clock position.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#11
(Apr 3, 2016, 15:22)GrahamS Wrote: Derek, thanks for the feedback. If you are not seeing the background of the top image as pure black, I would suggest that your screen brightness is too high or the screen gamma is too low. You need a calibrated screen to see images as others see them. We all, well most of us, calibrate our screens in order to be able to print what we see.

Hi Graham, it may well be my screen as I'm the only person to mention it. But it occurs on my mobile, too, with this image.

The way I was taught to check and address this situation is to open the picture in an editor that allows you to see the RGB values for any part of the image (i.e. Photoshop / Lightroom etc.), and quickly run the mouse over the background. All black areas should be shown as

R: 0
G: 0
B: 0

Any point that has a value other than this means that point is not black - and thus runs the risk of showing up on a screen that is not calibrated the same way as yours.

When I do this on your image 99% of the background comes up as pure black, but the settings clearly show areas of grey. For example

R: 32
G: 32
B: 10

In the attached version, where I'm guessing you will still see pure black, the RGB values will give you a clue as to what I'm seeing. The grey splodges correspond with the lightest bits of grey on your original out-of-camera version. It's a 30 second job to clone over these areas with pure black and then you're safe no matter how your viewers have their screens calibrated.

Regards
Derek

   

Reply

#12
(Apr 3, 2016, 13:13)EdMak Wrote: Minimal editing P/S, mainly adjusting background, and a bit of sharpening. All hand held. Ed.

Superb shots, Ed - you must have a very steady hand!

Reply
#13
(Apr 4, 2016, 00:59)delb0y Wrote: Hi Graham, it may well be my screen as I'm the only person to mention it. But it occurs on my mobile, too, with this image.

The way I was taught to check and address this situation is to open the picture in an editor that allows you to see the RGB values for any part of the image (i.e. Photoshop / Lightroom etc.), and quickly run the mouse over the background. All black areas should be shown as

R: 0
G: 0
B: 0

Any point that has a value other than this means that point is not black - and thus runs the risk of showing up on a screen that is not calibrated the same way as yours.

When I do this on your image 99% of the background comes up as pure black, but the settings clearly show areas of grey. For example

R: 32
G: 32
B: 10

In the attached version, where I'm guessing you will still see pure black, the RGB values will give you a clue as to what I'm seeing. The grey splodges correspond with the lightest bits of grey on your original out-of-camera version. It's a 30 second job to clone over these areas with pure black and then you're safe no matter how your viewers have their screens calibrated.

Regards
Derek

Derek

That is definitely not the way to calibrate a monitor screen for viewing. An image file is not a calibration tool and may not contain a pure black, although there may be areas, such as in my image of the daffodil, that are "apparently" black to the eye on a calibrated screen. What the eye perceives as black or white is not the same as 0 0 0 or 225 225 225.

I suggest you start a new thread if you wish to pursue this subject.

GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#14
BTW, the background to my image of the daffodil was created with a black card,in direct sunlight, and is therefore mottled. Nowhere did I say that it was solid black.........:-)
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#15
Lovely images from Graham and Ed.

Thank you for all the interesting information in post #1 Graham. The only point I would question is why resize to 1024 when the forum displays at 916? This results in hardly any increase in image size when one clicks on the photo. I now resize to 1400, which gives a good size image on a typical laptop screen or desktop monitor, and I notice that Ed makes his 2000. The only important parameter is that the resulting file is less than 1 MB, otherwise this web site won't accept it.

Cheers.
Philip
Reply
#16
(Apr 4, 2016, 03:29)GrahamS Wrote: Derek

That is definitely not the way to calibrate a monitor screen for viewing. An image file is not a calibration tool and may not contain a pure black, although there may be areas, such as in my image of the daffodil, that are "apparently" black to the eye on a calibrated screen. What the eye perceives as black or white is not the same as 0 0 0 or 225 225 225.

I suggest you start a new thread if you wish to pursue this subject.

No worries. I wasn't talking about calibrating a monitor using this methodology - just demonstrating the way to identify situations where other people (myself in this situation) might see something on an image that (a) you don't, and (b) you don't want them to.

Regards
Derek
Reply

#17
(Apr 4, 2016, 04:14)MrB Wrote: The only point I would question is why resize to 1024 when the forum displays at 916? This results in hardly any increase in image size when one clicks on the photo. I now resize to 1400, which gives a good size image on a typical laptop screen or desktop monitor, and I notice that Ed makes his 2000. The only important parameter is that the resulting file is less than 1 MB, otherwise this web site won't accept it.
I have VERY slow Mobile Broadband, and if a post is heavy with larger images it takes an age to load the page, Like you Philip, I have started resizing to 1400 landscape and 900 portrait.

Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
Reply
#18
Thanks for comments, appreciated.
Almost certain pixel size, maximum about 2000, comes into equation, tried for ages once to post a 878 Kb image, that was 4000 Pix. on largest side, only when I got down to 2000 Px, was accepted.
Derek, hands not so steady as they were! When I started work in 1950, the person I was under for 3 years, on weddings, dreich Nov. day, close up at 6 feet, depth was measures in inches. He shot at 1/4 sec, to get stopped down more, pin sharp results. Never got that length though. Ed.
To each his own!
Reply
#19
Quote:Derek, hands not so steady as they were! When I started work in 1950, the person I was under for 3 years, on weddings, dreich Nov. day, close up at 6 feet, depth was measures in inches. He shot at 1/4 sec, to get stopped down more, pin sharp results. Ed.

Ed, I bet he used a large format or medium format camera equipped with a leaf shutter? Provided the subject doesn't move, and you have a very steady hand, it is possible to get sharp results at 1/4 sec with one. Very easy with a Rolleiflex. Not easy with a SLR that has all the inside bits flapping around as soon as the shutter is released.

GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply
#20
A VN press camera, Focal Plane vertical shutter, with recoil! Used a Rollie T for Weddings, guests only, would not shoot a Wedd on such a small neg size. Ed.


Attached Files Image(s)
   
To each his own!
Reply
#21
It just shows to go you!
GrahamS
Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink

Reply

#22
Mmm...I like the softness of these flower shots, the subtle colours in Edmak's and the pretty much perfect treatment of white in Graham's...mmm,,,must go out and try a garden shot or two myself...I think there is a forum thread for gardens if I'm not wrong...Regards, Jeff
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)