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Morning Hibiscus

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We try to grow several types of these flowers year round. They come indoors in the winter. This is one we ordered from Florida that bloomed for the first time. I thought the morning sun was nice and I caught this before it fully opened. From tip of stamen to back of flower is about 4". Full open the bloom is 6" across.

I would appreciate any C&C on this as I would like to be better at it. I used a 24-135 f/3.5-5.6 Macro,f/8,1/100,ISO100,64mm, about 20" from lens to subject. There was a slight breeze but I think I caught a calm period.

One question I have is, would a true Macro lens achieve better definition of the textures and offer more sharpness?


After reading Dan's comments I did play around with the photo in Elements 7.0. Here's the result.


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If I may offer a suggestion or two. The main issue here is the back lighting. While that can be very effective under certain situations in this one I don't believe it gives you the best possible view of the flower. What happens is the highlighted petals are actually blown out while the center of the flower is underexposed.

You have asked a lot of the cameras ability to record both extremes. You tend to lose both detail in the highlights and the shadow area. Here is a view of your image in CS4. Notice the orange spike all the way to the right? That is represented by the overexposed petals I circled. The blue to the left are shadow areas in both the flower and the leaves behind.


I think what you should try to do is wait for the light to come around to the front of the flower to bathe it in nice light. Shooting in bright sunlight can be toned down by the use of a diffuser that will block direct sunlight from hitting the flower. If you don't own a diffuser even a plain white sheet would help.

As far as the sharpness is concerned have you done any sharpening in post processing? If not that will need to be done to get the most from your flower. You mentioned it was windy, I would have used a higher ISO to get a higher shutter speed to help with stopping any motion blur caused by the wind and if you were handholding the camera the higher shutter speed will help with shake.

I hope that is the C&C you are looking for and helps you a bit for next time. smile

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Thanks Dan,

That's why I like to check this forum everyday. The guys that know are willing to teach a bit.

I'll have to move that flower pot away from the deck railing so I can get to the east side for the next morning bloom. The photo I posted was taken while it was opening. After another 15 minutes it looked completely different. Now I have to go look for a white sheet from the closet before my wife gets home from work. Thank You once again.


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