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Old Jul 18, 2012, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default orchids - e-pl2, 70-300mm Olympus Ziuko

Tried again to do some orchid shots, tripod mounted with the 70-300mm, I set the ISO to 200 and I used aperture priority to allow me to control aperture, resulting in longer shutter times. I shot these indoors under mostly natural light with some overhead incandescent lights on too.







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Old Jul 18, 2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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and a dragon fly taken with the same lens and similar settings (f8 ISO 200) using a monopod for stability

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Old Jul 20, 2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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okay I will be the first to say that the orchid shots are off yet again.. it is my fault I didn't spot meter and as a result the exposure just isn't right to show the intricate subtle detail.... will need to try it again
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Old Jul 20, 2012, 10:45 PM   #4
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The one thing I will say about the 70-300 Zuiko is, it sure can focus in-close on its' own.

There's definitely nothing wrong with your compositions. I can tell you've got some particularly nice colored orchids to work with, and dragon flies don't usually sit still for me to get very close so I can appreciate a nice-looking dragon fly image any time. It's not usually me taking them.
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Old Jul 21, 2012, 6:41 AM   #5
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Hi Andrew,

The dragon fly is particularly sharp. At f8, the 70-300mm is about at it's sweet spot in terms of clarity. Your image certainly confirms that.

The orchids images, I'm not quite sure what exactly is the issue, but I do agree that there is just something that's not quite right.

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Old Jul 21, 2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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As said, that lens is a wonder at close quarters. Jealous. But the Phalaenopsis shots are just not clicking. I like number two the best.

Your lighting -- was the natural light varying, clouds/no clouds.

Looking at the exif data, you appear to have white balance set to auto. I have found leaving it on auto can lead to some interesting colour swings.

So first recommendation is to either go to custom white balance, or pick the predominate light source and then set the camera to that light white balance. Try holding a white card in the subject position, set the card at a 45 degree angle and read white balance off that. Then for exposures, I'd flip the white card over to the gray side and again with the card at about a 45 degree angle take your exposure from that. No gray card, hold your hand in the shot and read off that. These two steps should help to get the base exposure and colour balance into a pleasing range.

Lighting, have you tried using a reflector to bounce some directional light onto the blossoms, give them a little more definition?
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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thanks to all for the comments and views.

KulaCube - the lighting was overhead incandescent and natural through window.

I have much to learn I am afraid. A white/grey card sounds like a good tool.

I am tend to prefer an automated approach so I tried today exposure bracketing shots figuring I'd find something I liked among the shots. I also shot outside, in the shade, but with bright diffuse sunlight.

I also tried a few shots with the exposure selection set to a small area but I haven't processed any yet.

In the end of the one I did process I decided to use HDR to bring together a set of exposures, this is my first one that I like the result on. Note I don't like the overblown HDR effects so hopefully this isn't too much overblown, my desire was to bring out as much detail using a fusion method of 5 exposures, +/-.3, +/-.7 and 0.

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Old Jul 22, 2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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Hi,

The last image is a significant improvement over the previous ones posted.
And, the HDR is not overcooked IMHO. The colors are vibrant without being
over saturated.
This would be a great candidate for the use of a focus stacking software .i.e.
Helicon Focus.

All in all good work.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Very well done.
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Old Jul 22, 2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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A big improvement for sure. I like it!
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