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Shining Bright


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I was so taken with a similar piece by Fred Goldsmith that I wanted to

try my hand at it... well, something like it, anyway. My goal was to

show the daffodil with great, but not too harsh detail, interesting

gradations of tone, standing out from a blurred but nicely textured

bg. How close do you think I got? Thanks for looking and for commenting.

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The flower looks beautiful, bold yet delicate. You have plenty of seperation and subtle graduation of tones. On my monitor it looks like the tip of the petal at 11:00 is clipped a bit in the highlight area. The frontal lighting gives a much different result to Fred's back lit flower. You have achieved good seperation between the subject and background. For some reason the background looks a bit 'digital' to me I cannot place exactly what it is about it. Perhaps it is the bokeh of that particular lens.


I am curious about your choice of aspect ratio and the decision to put the blossom centered in the frame. It is not that I do not think it works, I am merely interested in what may have motivated the decision.


This is a lovely image David, you and Fred are making me jealous since I am still looking a snow out of my window. When the snow finally melts I will have to take a stab at some daffodils, we have several varieties both in the garden and naturalized around the clearing.

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Thanks for the detailed comments. I presume you mean luminance clipping on the 11:00 petal? When I magnify it, I can see what looks like an unnatural line crossing the curve of the tip of the petal just to the left of the center. Is that what you're seeing? Tell me more. The bokeh of that lens (Nikkor 50mm f1.4) is the only explanation I could give for the look of the bg, aside from some minimal sharpening applied to the whole image. If you can further define what you're seeing I'd be interested, in case it's something I could have controlled.


You're right, of course, about the difference in lighting between my shot and Fred's, and that was on purpose as I didn't want to do an exact copy. I just wanted to see if I could incorporate some of what Fred shared with me and taught me about his, and I think you're saying I at least partially succeeded.


Oh, and about the position of the flower, I don't have a reasoned explanation, and I know I've broken the 3rds rule! Please don't tell the photo police I did this, OK? I tried it in several different places and it just didn't look right to me. I'd probably see it differently if I did it today... in fact, I think I'll play with it some more.


Thanks very much, Gord, for the thoughtful and careful critique!

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I was not suggesting that you had tried to reproduce Fred's lighting, I was rather observing how two completely different directions for the light had both succeeded in capturing the delicate texture of the petals.


My comment about the petal at 11:00 was regarding what looks like a small blown highlight area above the midrib of the petal. These things can be so hard to be certain about when viewing on two different monitors. On my screen all of the remainder of the petals still retain detail while that section looks to have gone beyond the right side of the histogram and lost its detail. I only mentioned it because I was unsure of whether it was actually blown or just got lost in the PP. In the latter case it could be retrieved. Its not a big thing and certainly is not going to make or break a strong image such as this.



I think what gives me the digital feel with the background is the way the tones seem broken down into distinct sections with little graduation. For example when I look at the highlights on the leaves, below and to the right of the bloom, the tones jumps from pure white to a solid middle grey to a dark grey with no tones in between. It is not unpleasant to look at, I actually think it adds to the photo. I am fairly sure it is the way the lens is registering the OOF foliage, the look just caught my eye. The effect is also a bit like brush strokes.



I break the rule of thirds all the time, along with a host of other rules. I think we are beyond worrying about adhering to rules. The long narrow ratio and the placement of the flower seemed a bit unconventional and very deliberate. I think your choice works well. I am often curious about what motivates others to break the rules. I often make decisions based on a feeling or just how the result looks, without much conscious analysis. I gather from your response that I'm not the only one :) I believe there is a lot to be said for going with your gut.


As always David it is a pleasure to discuss photography with you.

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Not to worry, I didn't think you were "suggesting" anything, just discussing, which I much enjoy doing with you, as you well know! As for the petal section in question, there is actually some detail in the original that PP has obliterated. I'll have to experiment, but I'm guessing I can use layers and blending to restore the details to the finished image. Yes?


I'm fascinated with how different lenses have such a different effect on the light that passes through them, and how they each have their own unique signature. Obviously, at some degree of out-of-focus the 50/1.4 goes sorta digital. Kinda surprises me, given that it's all analogue (doh!) till it hits the sensor. I lay claim to almost no knowledge of the physics of lenses, but I'm fascinated by the diversity and variability. I wonder if there's a connection between the resolving ability (my understanding is that the 50/1.4 can out resolve the sensor) and creating a digitized effect with out-of-focus images. That aside, I agree, it lends a painting-like quality that I hadn't seen or looked as closely at as you did. It's exciting in a way I'm sure you understand, to learn new ways to look and new things to look for!


Yes, you are NOT alone in going by your gut. Remember, I'm a shrink, so I pretty much feel obligated to do so! ;) Seriously, I do want to have as much knowledge, fact, and reason as possible, and I think it's important to have a good basis in fundamentals, but I've had many a life lesson that's reinforced how important gut feelings are. I do believe that in life and in photography, that if it doesn't look right, it most likely isn't... welllll, except maybe for that next person who comes along with a whole different perspective and taste! :D

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David, I think that each of us has his own way of looking, and I think that your work reminds me more of Ian's work


even they are of course different, but there is a similarity in the beautiful glowing white of Ian's flowers On B/W, and yours. it is like going to 10 doctors for advice and getting 10 different ones...;-)) as each of us look at things in his own way.


I like the treatment you gave to the BG, and I'm not against breaking rules, on the contrary, but I still don't think the center was a good choice for my taste. Under the flower( bg) there is a form of a " triangle" nearly " clean" vs, the more " busy" upper part. I think that compositionwise ( for me)it will work better if you crop on the R till the two lighted parts of vegetation. It will enhance the nice difference of the glowing flower on its BG.


We are all influenced in a way from what we see, but I think that you have the good skills to look for your own way implementing what you learn...


This is a very nice image of a flower and BG , but it is yours and not similar to Fred's. I agree with Gord's about the lack of details on this petal edge( 11), but I think that it will be more significant if you print and enlarge it.


I will upload what I think will enhance it a very small change, I hope you don't mind. if you mind please let me know , I will delete it.


I still like your result.

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I think it's all been said, so I'll simply add that I like this image very much. It's delicate and yet striking. Fine work, my friend. Warm regards...
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I can only be flattered for you to take the time and energy to work on my image! I see what you mean... it really is a small change, but does have a significant impact on the presentation. I like it.
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Nice to see you! I'm very glad you like this, and especially pleased you see impact yet delicacy... what I was trying to do! Warm regards, David.
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