One of the worst moments in photography is when you get things back on the computer from a shoot to see that dreaded blur! If only you had been able to stabilize the camera more. I can’t tell you how…
I’m coming out of silence for Wordless Wednesdays…primarily because so many people are asking me questions via email, Twitter, and FB to share details about the composition, post production, and other details. Instead of just spitting out metadata and other information, I’ve got questions and answers from now on:
#1 – What rule of composition did I use and why?
I chose the Rule of Thirds for this shot, and specifically chose the lower left third to be the grabber. I didn’t want this to be an overpowering shot, for the eye to just enjoy the plethora of tulips…but the little tiny yellow and red amongst the larger red ones struck me for some reason, so I framed it to the lower left – thus giving more space for the eye to expand out from there to the rest of the scene.
#2 – Are any rules of composition broken?
Here, I don’t think so – in general, the Rule of Thirds applies, and the Golden K also applies if you look at it for more than a second or two…see the K lines appear in the red tulips? Kinda neat, eh?
#3 – What camera/lens combo did I use?
For this shot, I was on my trusty Canon 40D, and the lens mount was none other than the Canon kit 18-55mm (nonIS)! I went with the 18-55 mm lens because this is a very good lens for approximating the equivalent of what the human eye sees, and for this photo shoot, I wanted that effect.
#4 – What lighting did I use?
Here, there were no lights…it was au naturale: S=1/60th, f7.1, focal length = 50mm, and an ISO of 1250! (Yep, ISO 1250 – I was hand holding and wanted to keep it bright! The scene was actually much darker, because the sun was going down, and I really wanted the colors to pop! Depth of field was also important to me, because all the flowers needed to stay relatively sharp. Since I was shooting light and on the fly (no tripod or monopod), my only option for getting the brightness in the scene that I wanted was to push the ISO settings up to maintain correct exposure.
#5 – How did I process it?
I processed this in Lightroom 4, using just a few tweaks on the right panel: I had under-exposed a little (especially given the fading lighting conditions), so upped that by .76. I also set Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation to 50, +10, and +10 accordingly. These settings helped bring out more of the color and vibrance that I was seeing but was not in the default raw file. My sharpening and noise levels were also set to +73 and +50…the sharpening was up that high because,w ell, we always have to sharpen at least a little, and a went a little higher to help define that depth of field. Lastly, the noise levels were pushed up to help counter the impact of the ISO when I was shooting.
Hopefully this will help those of you who are interested in learning what I see with my eye and why I capture certain images. If you have more questions, or thoughts on improvement, feel free to share those in the comments!
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