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Old Apr 1, 2007, 3:00 AM   #1
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Hi there,

at first let me say that this challenge is very nice and equally frustrating at the same time - there are soooo many red things if you start to look around! What to choose? :roll:

As for today - this is an idea my wife had when we sat in our kitchen eating breakfast. A single red ballpen that hides behind something and only shows a tiny bit of itself. It was me to choose that glass vase of flowers and to arrange the ballpen. Here you go - it's really only one ballpen - how many red's from it do you see?

(ISO800, f/5.6, 1/60s)



Have fun!

Th.
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Old Apr 1, 2007, 3:15 AM   #2
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Interesting approach. Aloha
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Old Apr 1, 2007, 10:56 AM   #3
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Indeed, an interesting approach with a couple problems. In the photo, as you shot it, the red pen is lost in the background and the flower stems appear to be the subject. The problem here is depth of field. If you want the pen to be the subject of the photo, it needs to be sharp and in the case of this composition, the foreground vase and flower stems should be a bit soft.

If you go for maximum depth of field, the pen will still be lost in the background because everything will be in focus. You need to go for a shallow DOF and focus on the pen. To do this, you need to use aperture priority mode and set a large aperture (small f-stop number). I would suggest f4 or f2.8 if your camera will do it. Then focus (manually, if possible) on the pen and shoot. Play around with this concept and see what you come up with. Incidentally, this technique is called selective focus.

To answer your question regarding how many "pens" do you see, I see four. I see both ends of the pen and two refracted images of it in the base of the vase. (Poet and didn't know it!).

Cal

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Old Apr 1, 2007, 2:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments and hints!

@Calr

Hm - maybe I am missing something here, but the challenge doesn't say the red has to be "sharp", or?

I tried with different f-stops and different pen positions as well as angles and camera height - it was really hard to get everything. Since I didn't liked the outcome I did the opposite - if I can't have a "complete sharp" ballpen I went for shots that showed only one part of the pen or one reflection "sharp". That's what you are referring to, right? They all looked not very natural - the only one I could agree with is where the vase and flower stems are sharp plus the reflection of the pen in the bottom of the vase is in focus. It looks "natural" that way to me.

I think what you mean with that "selective focus" is what I used in that picture here - I was looking around for more "red" and saw this - but it was boring. The only interesting thing was to make the bears face the main subject by using a very shallow DOF:



I just couldn't get that tactics right with the ballpen and all of its reflections /shrug. Maybe I get a good idea to present the ballpen and the reflections "sharp" - I like working on such "challenges"

As for camera settings - these were done with a Pentax-A 50/1.7 lens (no AF possible) and I tried for f-stops between f/2 and f/8 usually if it were close subjects.

Am really sorry when this puzzled you - hence the long explanation - but I liked the idea, regardless of the "non-sharp" red

Yours,

Th.
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Old Apr 1, 2007, 2:36 PM   #5
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thkn, i like the second shot but not so much in the context of the challenge. i think what calr was getting at was that red should be the subject, no matter how little red there is. In the first image, the vase is the subject as it commands the viewer's attention; in the second, the bear's face is the subject because that is the where the eye is drawn and where the focus of the photo is located (literally).

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Old Apr 2, 2007, 3:00 PM   #6
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Ok - I think I got it now. Sorry for me being slow or stubborn on this... it's not enough when it is red, it has to draw the visitors attention to itself. Aha. Regardless of being in-focus or not, although focus certainly helps a lot.

Well - that's not possible here, I tried that evening with different setups, they all result in pictures where the vase is much more prominent, even if completely out of focus.

Wide DOF pictures on the other hand look "flat" and uninteresting.

Thanks Mr. Vandertramps, and sorry Calr - I think I understand now what you were trying to say... hm. What a pity...

I'll try with other pics in that challenge!

Th.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 12:08 AM   #7
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calr wrote:
Quote:
To answer your question regarding how many "pens" do you see, I see four. I see both ends of the pen and two refracted images of it in the base of the vase. (Poet and didn't know it!).

Cal
All has been said about qualifying, just thought I would add that their are 5 "pens", the 4 that Cal mentioned and an additional 1 running along the length of the bottom of the base.
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