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White Blossom #1

Posted by
john4jack (Corvallis, Oregon, United States) on 28 February 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

I had my 24-70mm lens with me; so a screwed on the Canon 500D close-up lens. It's not as good as my 105mm macro, but one uses what's available.
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VIEWING PHOTOGRAPHS - It dawned on me today how much I tend to view photographs in term of the rules rather than the total impact of the photograph. For example, if it is a landscape shot, I immediately check out how sharp the foreground is. I look to see if the rule of thirds has been observed. etc., etc. Rather than being instantly analytical, my goal is to go for an immediate impression. What is the effect of the photograph upon me? After that, then it is time to start asking myself why I had the response that I did. Were my eyes drawn to a sharp foreground? Did the subject being dead center make it a boring shot? Is there too much busyness? Did the fog work in such a way as to create a sense of mystery, or did it contribute to a blah photograph? And, so on. After doing this kind of exploration, then I want to step back and take it all in again, asking myself in what ways my initial impression has changed. My hunch is that this kind of more serious viewing will make me a better photographer. What do you think? (PS - I think that it is very difficult to do this kind of viewing if we attempt to make 70-100 comments per day.)

NIKON D700 1/1000 second F/8.0 ISO 1250 70 mm (35mm equiv.)

Susan from Sausalito, United States

Well, you could cut back on the comments....why do you make so many? I don't have dozens and dozens of people looking at my photographs. There is a quid quo pro at operation here. Your responses to my work are pleasant, but they rarely comment on the work itself.
tAnd, it is interesting to me how men often work from this kind of analysis--rather than out of instinct or what looks wonderful to them. There certainly is a place for analysis and rules..but art does not always work that way.

28 Feb 2010 5:09am

@Susan: Actually I'm very much a heart and gut guy, and if the photograph is incredible, a soul guy.

Susan from Sausalito, United States

By the way this is beautiful.

28 Feb 2010 5:10am

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

These blossoms are alive in your image! I can almost feel the texture of the petals and the movement in the stamens, the yellow eyes trying to get everything around them!
The bokeh is splendid and greatly supports the image of the blossoms themselves! I'd call it <raw symbolism>....

28 Feb 2010 5:14am

Annie Viguié from Bordeaux, France

As an explosion of life ! Beautiful and delicate...

28 Feb 2010 5:15am

Gary from Cochise County, United States

My goodness, the detail is incredible. And a great perspective too. Nice work, Jack.

28 Feb 2010 5:29am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Beautiful colors and details, and fantastic bokeh

28 Feb 2010 5:51am

LauraS from Chico, United States

Just beautiful! Love your DOF.

28 Feb 2010 6:41am

Richard from Montferland, Netherlands

Beautiful sharpness and DOF. I would love if the spring is comming to Holland.

28 Feb 2010 6:52am

Marie LC from Voiron, France

What beautiful macro Jack. Love spring !

28 Feb 2010 6:58am

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

Very nice!

28 Feb 2010 7:07am

Mathilde Collot from Fontainebleau, France

Quite Exquiste the PDC this macro! A beautiful image for a Sunday in the storm! "

28 Feb 2010 7:43am

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Your flower macros are really stunning. I love the focus on the stamens and the texture of the petals.

28 Feb 2010 7:46am

Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Good morning Jack ... I tried to carefully read your reflection ... I think I understood quite well. But I need your language domain! I also think a lot about this subject and I give it some time around the bush.
Read it again and again to understand the idea ...

Along with the wonderful flowers and good coffee will be my reading ... a good discussion around the photographic subject. A great way to start your Sunday!

Kisses and thank you very much!

28 Feb 2010 8:01am

Seraphine from San Francisco, United States

beautiful, jack. i like the gentle use of filters here,
it really shows of the beauty of the blossoms.

28 Feb 2010 8:02am

✿ Anina ✿ from Auckland, New Zealand

A terrific macro, Jack. Your macro shots ar always exquisite. Great detail and selective focus here. I agree 100% with what you are saying. Personally I feel there's a difference between looking at the shots and really 'seeing' them, if you know what I mean.

28 Feb 2010 8:29am

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

Well, you don't disappoint, Jack ! You promised some close-ups....
A wonderful fresh macro, with beautiful background colors supporting the brilliant white blossoms.
( Whew...70-100 comments ! I don't get close to that...and I do enjoy my viewing pleasure. Visceral response comes first, and the head follows. )

28 Feb 2010 8:36am

@Dulcie: I've been making about 60-70 comments a day, way too many. In addition to commenting on the ones that I am drawn to, I comment on the photographs of everyone who commented on mine.

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

ISO 1250 ! A little bit noisy, but it is not bad. You could choose 1/500 and iso 640 etc. Why such high ISO ?

28 Feb 2010 8:45am

@Hiro: I was taking lots of shots and some of them required 1250; I didn't bother changing the ISO from shot to shot. The next two will be at 1250 as well. PS - the real problem is that it is pixelated do to the overprocessing; I've not done that in the next two shots.

*MЯG* from Tehran, Iran

lovely shot

28 Feb 2010 8:56am

PATRICK from miramas, France

wow excellent macro!!!!!!!!!!!

28 Feb 2010 9:15am

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

wow, that doesn´t sound like lots of fun if you ask me.
I have a pack of "rules" somewhere in my mind but the more important aspects are the mood, the light, the colours and the balance. It´s more a nonverbal process.
When I come home from a shooting and I review my pictures my first point is to check if I got it the way I saw what I wanted to catch also in the image. Rules are classic and it´s good to know them but they shouldn´t be plastered over the picture.
But interviewing yourself about the impact of a picture is a good and important process. I found out for me it´s best if I have some time going on between the shooting and the reviewing, so my memories aren´t too present, I tend to value a shot by the grade of challenge it was to get it. Reviewing other photogs work is much easier ;D
The above picture is a very good flower portrait - you singled out a great couple, perfect lighting and dof. I would love to see a little more space at the right end to let them breathe. Have a great sunday Jack!

28 Feb 2010 9:52am

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

Fabulous macro, very beautiful flower!

28 Feb 2010 9:55am

MrsAmber from West Wickham, United Kingdom

Exquisite photo! Not sure what to suggest; it has to be what suits you and your daiy life..but it is not meant to be a chore; so do what you are happy with? Have a great Sunday!

28 Feb 2010 9:58am

Florence from Paris, France

Lovely Jack, lovely, lovely. Yes the flower is in the centre, but better a flower in a centre of a shot (with a beautiful focus and angle) than a left or right one with a focus of less quality. No ? :-)
Don't think too much Jack. Let your heart talks and shoots. Have a great sunday.

28 Feb 2010 10:02am

@Florence: I always shoot with my heart. I need to get back to always viewing with my heart (and my gut); and with exceptional photographs, with my soul.

Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

This morning I read back your comment and I understood that you are asking yourself how to view the phothographies, technically or by how they first impact on you. You once told me that the photography was art. After that, we can ask ourselves a question: how do we interpret art? My answer is that it's a totally personal response, and I always prefer to give more importance to the feelings than to the technical part. I leave this part to the art critics. In my view, a good picture is the one that says something to me (good or bad)… So the significance of the photo will depend on the person that is looking at. Thank you for letting us know your point of view on this matter! Many kisses my friend!!

28 Feb 2010 10:12am

@Fonts: The emotional impact always takes precedence over everything!!

Mehdi from Tehran, Iran

Using high ISO creates nice noise round yellow pars.

28 Feb 2010 11:06am

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Canada

Superb shot with just the right amount of softness. As for rules, I don't have any, I go totally by instinct, for my own photos and for the ones I observe. I took up photography only 3 years ago, and after working for 35 years in a highly structured environment I feel I that in retirement deserve as much freedom from rules and conventions as I want..... ;-)

28 Feb 2010 12:04pm

@vu@granby - Wolfgang: Learn the rules, internalize the rules, break the rules!! Shoot with the heart; view with the heart.

kate from lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Hey there you with the stars in your eyes!!** o that song just came to me right now!!
and I am sharing it.:)as I realise that is my way of saying intuitative feel is very important ,definately for me!!
being instinctive,even first responce to what I am seeing/taking,painting even is very crucial for me!
In an instant I know if it feels right.'for me' I do not enjoy getting bogged down in head stuff- as I enjoy being dyslexic :) mostly!! and I tend to learn very pratically!! this pic..I like the bacground has a papyrus feel to it,for me and the centre flowers very tender and clear! good job!!:)

28 Feb 2010 12:19pm

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Firstly such a beautiful shot of the blossoms, has a fresh calming feel to it.

As for commenting, I got into a rut on Flickr and here for a while where I got sucked into the Scout thing on flickr, which is like Spotlight on here but based on an algorithms, so number of comments etc help, fortunatly on my leave I realised that was getting away from what I really enjoyed about photography and seeing others work, so I came back with a new way of spending my time online.

Now I take more time looking at photos I see and trying to learn and improve my work, I now open a shot and first see what my initial feeling is when seeing it, and take time to think about why i feel thta way, thats easy when i see a shot I dont like so much but harder when I really am wowed by a shot trying to work out what make sit special, and I find I am now so much enjoying my time for photography now both with the camera and online.

It has meant I do less comments these days but I hope my comments are now more about quality than quantity

28 Feb 2010 1:17pm

@JJ: " I now open a shot and first see what my initial feeling is when seeing it, and take time to think about why i feel thta way, thats easy when i see a shot I dont like so much but harder when I really am wowed by a shot trying to work out what make sit special, and I find I am now so much enjoying my time for photography now both with the camera and online." -- exactly!!

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

My first observation is, you used your Canon 500D close-up lens on your Nikon D700? I didn't know such a thing was possible, but it certainly worked here ... this is lovely.
As for the 'rules' ... when viewing others work I go by instinct and overall feel first, then sometimes note how I might have change it had it been mine.

28 Feb 2010 1:24pm

sil from Italy

Wonderful capture and detail. Well done!

28 Feb 2010 1:57pm

Bonvilston from Cardiff, United Kingdom

I think it breaks the rules wonderfully

28 Feb 2010 2:24pm

Don from spokane, United States

A beautiful macro shot with all the color and detail I like. Nice composition to my eye. Very interesting discussion.

28 Feb 2010 2:32pm

K.B.R from Switzerland

Beautifull flowers, love DoF, woderfull yellow colors on this great shot!

28 Feb 2010 3:00pm

@K.B.R: I really liked the photograph on your site today. Beautiful monochrome; very nice composition.

Susan from United States

Lovely macro image Jack, the flower really pops out of that gorgeous background......no time today to weigh in on your query.......Doesn't that say it all????

28 Feb 2010 3:19pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Interesting discussion! Comments are nothing else but pure people's psychology !

Flower ? I agree with Hiro. Too noisy for my taste, although very pretty composition and colors !

28 Feb 2010 3:41pm

@MARIANA: Personally, I like a little noise in a shot like this. But I went back and took some of it out. The major crop and the post-processing filters, more than the high ISO, was responsible.

B.Held from Santa Fe, United States

a beautiful creation

28 Feb 2010 4:03pm

marc battault from clermont ferrand, France

sweet and delicate shot ,jack !
friendships !

28 Feb 2010 4:12pm

Lori from Michigan, United States

I like that only the flower is in focus.

28 Feb 2010 4:12pm

Betty from Phillipsburg, United States

I like the composition and the colors. Very beautiful to my eyes.

28 Feb 2010 4:48pm

Olivier from Hainaut, Belgium

simply good.

28 Feb 2010 5:03pm

Irene from L C, France

Lovely ... and very good DOF

28 Feb 2010 5:30pm

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Yes, i also agree with Hiro and Marianna, but i think it's not noise but pixels who are too much visible...
But colors are pleasant and i like the bokeh very much.

28 Feb 2010 6:07pm

@Evelyne Dubos: The price of not having a true macro lens. But the main contributor was the processing. The place where it disturbs me is in some of the petals. I think that I avoided that in the next two shots. I owe you.

alex centrella from California, United States

crisp !

28 Feb 2010 6:08pm

mseguid from Es Castell-Menorca-I Balears, Spain

I like it. It´s beautiful

28 Feb 2010 6:14pm

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Great, great! So beautiful! Love the focus, the suspension.

28 Feb 2010 6:59pm

Laur from Clermont-Ferrand, France

Very beautiful ! I like it !

28 Feb 2010 7:14pm

Jaap from Friesland, Netherlands

Jack, don't worry about the rules. Just use them when they are of help, but shoot what you like or what moves you. This is an excellent shot. Normally I don't like much grain in a color picture, but in this case it's not a big problem.

28 Feb 2010 7:17pm

SOUL AFLAME from The bosom of Mother Nature, United Kingdom

No matter the lens, Jack, your eye and skills pulled off a wonderful shot. Utterly beautiful.

You know, I have never worried about rules in photography, and when it comes to viewing, I judge by how the image affects me, impacts upon me. Wether shot on a box brownie or a D3x, 3mp or 24.5, sharp or out of focus, technically perfect or snatched and rushed..... if the subject matter grabs my attention, evokes a feeling or emotion, delights or reviles, if it has a soul no matter the imperfections, then it commands me to dwell. I believe I look at people in a similar manner. If there is a spark to ignite my fire, I will stay a while and warm myself.....

28 Feb 2010 7:38pm

@SOUL AFLAME: Thank you for your very thoughtful response, Paul.

Yvon from Orleans, France

terrefic capture, Jack

28 Feb 2010 8:00pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

This is a beautiful photo. The light and DOF are great.

When I shoot, I just try to see what I find pleasing and capture that. I don't worry about rules although, I sometimes get this nagging feeling that I should.

28 Feb 2010 8:08pm

Evening Song Imagery from Springfield, WV, United States

Beautiful shot Jack. And great discussion topic. I've been here too long today, but maybe another day.

28 Feb 2010 8:09pm

Hilde Morin from Portland, Oregon, United States

I tend to go with my first impression of a photo but I certainly appreciate and learn from your detail analysis. If you have the time, please do it, I learn from your comments on your own photos, on others and on mine. Thank you!
Your flower is so nice and sharp!

28 Feb 2010 8:13pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

I misunderstood the question. But, the answer is the same. I look at the photo with a view to its impact on me without the slightest concern for any rules. I either like it or I don't.

Since being on this blog, I do try to find some aspect that I like of every image I look at.

28 Feb 2010 9:43pm

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

Better to not process too much. Colours are good and it's a pleasant photo, however.

28 Feb 2010 9:56pm

hgmartins photography from Ontario, GTA, Canada

First of all I would like to say I'm not a flower guy when it comes to photography, but I always enjoy looking at the photos...just not my subject of preference. So for this shot Jack in my opinion you captured it very well, the colors, the lighting and the DOF are great. As for your "questions" on viewing photographs, I agree with Susan and would have to add that maybe all of us at aminus3 should change our way of commenting. I mean its great to have some one say that our photo is nice or even great, but realy how many of us give a creative critique of ones photo? I use this site to get inspired by looking at photos and comments, and would love to have more time to comment but then i would be taking away the little time i have to apreceate some of the beautiful photos on this site.

1 Mar 2010 12:14am

@hgmartins photography: Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I agree.

chuck from valdosta,ga., United States

Im prettymuch with steve here. First impact ! BUT, what causes the impact ? Think about other photographers images that had a strong impact on you. Take another look, see some rules ? If you want IMPACT!!! you have to consider ALL of these elements. Think about it. Put all of these elements into one shot along with your artistic flare and guess what you get, IMPACT !

1 Mar 2010 1:23am

amy from Nanaimo, BC, Canada

LOVE the dof, Jack!! Excellent macro!!!

I always just go with first impression... then start the analyzing as to why/what impressed me.

1 Mar 2010 3:38am

@amy: Thanks, Amy, for all of your recent comments. I agree with your process.

Ajay from Pune, India

Probably, that is the reason why I tend to keep my viewing to only 20 to 25 posts. Less quantity and more quality. But then I am a far lower quality observer than you are, Jack. My idea is to see how those photographs impact me as a person and photographer.

1 Mar 2010 4:06am

Adam Karnes from Salem, United States

You started a great discussion, Jack. I agree that it's hard not to think about the rules when viewing pictures. The better an image is, however, the less I think about the rules. When a shot is really excellent, the theme seems to transcend conventions. I'd say that many images are more likely to spark thoughts about rules because they lack something unique.
I absolutely agree with what you said about comments. I love receiving comments, but I would far rather receive occasional comments that dealt with my pictures in a thoughtful and personal way than frequent comments that merely noted the obvious. Limiting comments sounds like a good idea, since it's hard for any of us to say something thoughtful and personal about dozens of pictures every day.

1 Mar 2010 4:12am

@Adam Karnes: Thanks, Adam. It's not so much that I think about the rules as the way in which the rules cause me to ask certain questions about photographs. For example, when I look at a landscape shot, I tend to immediately look for whether or not the foreground is sharp. I want to follow more what I outlined above.

Toni from Eastern Washington, United States

This is a wonderful photo, Jack, whether you feel it is over processed, or not. I completely understand your comment about commenting. It's one of the reasons I've cut back on my blog visiting, I was just going through the motions to make sure I got to everybody every night (and not getting to bed until 1:00 a.m. and up five hours later). I'd rather visit fewer blogs and leave a sincere comment. BTW, don't ever feel like you have to reciprocate comments or visits with me - not that big a deal! =)

1 Mar 2010 4:48am

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Great image Jack! I really like the clarity on the subject in this image and the softer surrounding colors and tones! I like your commentary also. I often comment on quite a few photos, but even when i am rushed, there is always a photo that will grab me and I try to spend time on it and figure out why?

1 Mar 2010 4:56am

Susan from Sausalito, United States

You know more about photography than I do, and it shows in your work. I mostly fumble about and hope something works. So the message I shot off was too hasty and full of hubris. We do have our biases and this discussion has brought all that up...a good thing. Onward to more shooting, and not just from the hip!

1 Mar 2010 3:40pm

Skyriani from Nelson, New Zealand

the energy of the stamens is palpable. Beautiful macro

1 Mar 2010 6:27pm

Diane Schuller from Hythe, Canada

ooh I reallly love the detail caught here and the great use of shallow dof to emphasize the petals and stamens.
About how I view photographs, I am a firm believer in knowing the rules but it's important to also break them -- I don't worry about 'who' is viewing my photos but more on what their first impression may be.
This was really caught my attention.

2 Mar 2010 2:56pm

Stéphane Thémèze from PlateFormeRonde, United States

I'm gladly surprised that Susan came back for repositionning herself with an honnest look back.
Funny you're digressing on composition çause that's what I'm digressing about these last few days but in french only.(too much work to do both, unfortunately).
If Men are not into beauty and instinct, I'm wondering how some male photographers ended up doing many captivating images that speak to the heart of the viewers be they men or women!?
Man being from Mars and Woman from Venus doesn't work too good about photography.
As for the modus operandi of the eye. It is clear that even though some of us are more about technique than emotion, the decisive instant or moment is when you see the photograph you are drawn to take and it is coming from an emotion, and then rules are applied for some or instinct that somehow is close or identical to rules of composition. What is important, and this also because photographers fought to elevate and have got photography to be accepted as an art, is to express you're emotion in a way that restitute what you felt and how you want it perceived and seen. And to me you want it to be perceived beautifully as you felt and saw it was for you. So rules or not you have to know how to restitute and present your vision. And fumbling about is not the way.

Cheers Jack.

2 Mar 2010 4:08pm

@Stéphane Thémèze: Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

Marie from FRESNES, France

jolie macro.

5 Mar 2010 11:57am

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

A very nice capture..details are splendid..an interesting conversation going on here in the comments...i too shall say my word as i go along...have a nice day...

10 Mar 2010 4:52pm