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Old Jul 17, 2012, 3:43 PM   #1
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Default Botanical Gardens

We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis. Even though it was a scorcher I still got quite a few nice photos and thought I'd upload some them.

These were all taken with Pentax K-X and a Tamron SP 28-75mm Di lens. All were shot in RAW and processed through DxO Optics.

Any advice or comments are welcomed. I'm very much still learning the camera and now the lens too. I probably use too small of an F-stop (2.8) too often since this is the first lens that I have had that can do that
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Old Jul 18, 2012, 4:25 AM   #2
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There are some nice shots here that come close to being better than that, but as you said, the DoF is not enough on the close ups. Using f8 or f11 you will not only get most of the flowers in focus but also it hits the sweet spot for that lens and so they will be sharper than wide open. If you want to highlight a particular part of the flower then f4 or f5.6 will still do it for you.

The dragonfly is under-exposed (it looks like your camera has exposed for the rope) - I don't know what metering system you were using but for dragonflies/butterflies using spot metering is best. You used a Kx and so should be able to bring the pull the shadows somewhat, this may lead to over-exposure of the background - but you need to get your subject properly exposed (cropping closer may exclude some of the over-exposed areas).

Try not to centre your shots too much, Google 'Rule of Thirds'.

Keep fighting the good fight !
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Jul 18, 2012, 7:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the great advice Frogfish.

I'm heading out to a nature center today so I will try again. I'll force myself to stick to f8 a bit more today
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Old Jul 18, 2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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I agree with Kevin's comments, I like the covered walkway best. I like the lighting on the last shot but the background is too busy.


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Old Jul 22, 2012, 7:45 PM   #5
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Indeed some very nice shots that well-illustrate a lovely location, and your good eye for what is attractive! Very nice how you used the curve of the walkway to lead our eyes into the photo. Waterfalls in sunlight are very difficult - too much dynamic range. Might want to try to take that one again on an overcast day. The flowers both look a little soft - perhaps a smaller f-stop would give you more of them in focus. It is fun to play with wide open to get that OOF background, but these blooms have so much structure that they need some depth of field.

I also agree with Kevin's suggestions about exposure, and composing with rule of thirds in mind.

Looking forward to seeing more of your fine work!
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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A lovely location, indeed. The walk-way is very cool, I really like that shot. And agree with the others - stop your lens down more for the close-ups. Remember that the closer you get the smaller the dof, so using a small aperture (like f11) is worth-while when you get closer. Yes, f2.8 is seductive and it will give you smooth backgrounds, but it can be difficult to get right. I rarely shoot a lens wide-open, even my real fast lenses. I think I'd fit in well with Ansel Adam's f64 club - wish some of my lenses had that as an option!
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