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Thread: Critique Wanted!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zach's Avatar
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    Critique Wanted!

    well Wildflower season is soon upon me and i still can't find my macro lens (getting upset about it too), so i'm trying to improvise what i can with the 40mm i have. it's a great detail lens, i just can't get in close enough to get what i want for some shots, so i remembered an old trick i had seen somewhere, take the lens out and hold it up reversed, i went the local Lowe's Garden center and tested it out, to windy but not bad, i'd like to hear what y'all think of them, Critique away!

    mind you this is all freehand with a loose lens...

    Almost Ready by Deer Creek Photography, on Flickr

    Single Bloom by Deer Creek Photography, on Flickr

    The Colors by Deer Creek Photography, on Flickr
    Last edited by Zach; 03-18-2021 at 03:39 AM.
    John 3:16
    My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/191336345@N02/
    Canon T5(1200D) Canon EF40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon EF100mm f/2.8 MACRO. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Zach. This is not going to be an in depth critique, but in general. First, I think it would b easier to critique 1-2 images especially if we had the story behind them and most important, what you would trying to accomplish/what is the story you wanted to tell.

    Overall, there are a number of very good images up there. Really, all are good on one level or another. You have a definitive style, good colors, and several have a well defined subject that clearly stands out.

    Things that perhaps you were trying to accomplish, but I can't tell just by looking at the image, several have very shallow Dof to the point that I am not sure what is most in focus is the intended subject or not. Using the first image as an example, the very front of the flower (looking it up, the sepal) is most in focus where as the petals are actually very blurry. In some ways, this is a nice effect as the eye goes to the brightness and color of the petal and then has to readjust to find the more in focus sepal. I have seen people use oof subjects to great effect...but I am not sure if that is what you were trying to accomplish or not. I still think #1 is attractive. In short, you may want to increase your depth of field on a few of them so the viewer can more easily identify the subject.

    Just elaborating on the concept of "what's in focus does not always have to be the main subject" topic, I saw a photo a few weeks back where what was sharp in the image was a guys shoes that were resting on a coffee table. But the subject was really the silhouetted women that was blurred. Nothing dirty.... more suggestive of putting your feet up at the end of the day and having an attractive woman enter the room. But she was more of the subject as she had the most contrast in the image, was centered, and took up the majority of frame. But your eye goes to different things that tell it "this is important": in focus, center, brightest, most contrast, majority of frame, etc. And I have seen images that match different subjects in an image to each of those focal points to convey an entire story. Granted, I do not do this myself. I am much more of an "ooh, it is pretty let me post" photographer, but I do appreciate that there is so much more to the construction of images that we see all the time.

  3. #3
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    Are we critiquing the crazy way you shot all these

    I think the fact you were using the equipment you were using The Colors and Pop of Colors are the best. Pictures a bit more artistic would seem to be the aim for what you were doing.

    As general macro goes and critiquing along those lines I say find your Macro lens, get a rail and do a little focus stacking. DOF is usually the enemy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    I have some of the same thoughts as Brant on this. While I enjoy the isolation of the subject and I realize this would be pretty hard with a reversed lens, you may want to try focus stacking on the subject of the photo a little bit. It would provide a little more depth and I think it would be beneficial to all but the last two. That would be my suggestion just at first glance.

  5. #5
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    Focus stacking is what i would do. Get small tripod and focusing rail, unless your camera has the option to do this on camera itself with autofocus lens.

  6. #6
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    I am always amazed what you accomplish with minimal gear, so I suspect that a focus rail and specialized software for stacking are not likely what you have in mind. An image like "Single Bloom" or "Tulip Light" seems to cry out for focus stacking so that the central subject has more detail.

    On the other hand, for "The Colors" the leading lines from the petals and the gradation of focus produces an arc of subject in focus. This makes an appealing and unusual composition, so that "The Colors" is my favorite from the set.

    In other words, my suggestion is to seek out compositions that are matched to the technique, as you did for "The Colors" and not stress about the shots that need a different technique.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zach's Avatar
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    first off thank you all for your time and help!

    To Brant, i agree there are to many, i removed all but three, like you Brant I'm more of an "ooh, it is pretty let me post" kind of guy as well, i just see something i like and try and get a shot is all, i guess if i had to say i just try and capture the story that's already being told... (still not good at it though).

    the aperture is 00 so it's hard to get the DOF focus just right, trying though... for the first image i did get just what i wanted with the petals being just out of focus, seemed right so i went with it.

    the others were just what turned out best of the lot. the image you described sounds interesting, do you happen to have a link to it?

    to HDNitehawk, haha you do what you gotta do right!, they did turn out more artsy than i thought they would honestly, but it worked out. still looking for my macro lens and kinda freaking out about it too... house is a bit messy but not to the point i thought this would be so hard. will look into a rail, never tried focus stacking so that will be new.

    to Jayson, gonna try focus stack when i can get a stable setup for it. using a reversed lens with my shaky hands and freehand at that was not an easy task, wind did not help...

    to Karsaa, gonna try it!, i got my tripod for 10 bucks at a resale shop, not positive it can even use a rail, gonna find out soon enough i guess lol.

    to Danny, thanks Danny, i try is all. the rail and software never even entered my mind, glad you like that shot Danny!, until i get more setup for these kind of shots i'll just keep testing out things and see what works and and what does not, if it gets too stressful then it's never as fun. thanks Danny.

    thanks everyone!
    John 3:16
    My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/191336345@N02/
    Canon T5(1200D) Canon EF40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon EF100mm f/2.8 MACRO. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

  8. #8
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    re: aperture. I'm not sure how good it is for the lens (this link says it should be fine) but I've heard of setting the aperture, pressing the DOF preview button, and disconnecting the lens. You now have your reversed lens at your desired aperture.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Zach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    re: aperture. I'm not sure how good it is for the lens (this link says it should be fine) but I've heard of setting the aperture, pressing the DOF preview button, and disconnecting the lens. You now have your reversed lens at your desired aperture.
    OK now that is interesting David! But for the life of me there is no depth of field button on the camera like I see on all the others iíve looked and looked and there is not dedicated button for it on the body I can find... that said I went into the custom functions and gave it a designated button that I donít use really so...

    Now I just need to test it out just down the road from a plum tree has started to blossom so I guess that means Iíve got my first test subject and these are small flowers so it should work pretty well and if this does work well then I just hit gold!

    thanks David I really appreciate it!


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    John 3:16
    My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/191336345@N02/
    Canon T5(1200D) Canon EF40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon EF100mm f/2.8 MACRO. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zach's Avatar
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    test shots Version 2

    I tried your idea with great effect David! these are the results so far. no focus stack on either btw.

    Dakota mock vervain by Deer Creek Photography, on Flickr

    BlueBonnet by Deer Creek Photography, on Flickr
    John 3:16
    My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/191336345@N02/
    Canon T5(1200D) Canon EF40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon EF100mm f/2.8 MACRO. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

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