Thursday, June 01, 2006

I Lost My Poppy

Last week Brent mentioned that red is very difficult to capture well. This is indeed true. I took several pictures of this massive red poppy and was very disappointed that there was almost no definition on the red pedals. I liked the composition of this shot, but as it was, it was unusable.

A little Photoshopping brought this poppy back though. Believe it or not, the textures you see here are actually very accurate, though they may look manufactured. The pedals of this flower are very thick and feel almost waxy.

If anyone out there has any tips on how to photograph the colour red and maintain well defined detail, please share. I tried several different exposures and never got the desired result. Photoshop worked, but what did they do before Adobe was around to bail us out?

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 42mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 50


Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

Nice one Timmybomb.

Red can be tricky...fortunately for me, I can shoot RAW so I can correct the vibrancy of red tone in the post processing for point and shoot, you are at the mercy of the camera's built in settings and Phototshop.

10:19 AM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

what did they do before Adobe was around to bail us out?

...darkrooms. ;-)

I think you did very well using photoshop in this instance. I like to use adjustment layers to work with variations.

You recently visited my blog and asked who the subject was reading the book. That's my daughter. We spent the day at the beach recently.

11:43 AM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

This is really very lovely. Nice job.

I don't really know how hard red is to get, perhaps I haven't done that much with it yet. But now you have me wondering. I must find some red to shoot.

I remember reading somewhere on someone's photoblog a long time ago, long before I started one, the phrase "If it's red, shoot it." That phrase has stuck with me, unfortunately I just haven't seen that much red to shoot.

11:48 AM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Pya said...

Red is lovely...but hard to capture. True. Orange shades work best for me...(yeah...PP option is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse too, for one'll think all shots can be made better than what they are. It is an excercise for me to not open my PS for anything more than embedding my signature.)

But this is an awesome capture...the compositionis excellent and what a beautiful pattern....

11:51 AM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Nate said...

Hey red is really tough to shoot. I could be wrong but I want to say I had good luck when shading the flower if it is under bright light. I did a rose a long time ago and I remember backing the lights off a ways for the best results. If you are out side on a bright day you might try shading the flower. Again, it's been a while but you could give that a try. You did really good with the processing on this one, that's for sure.

12:19 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger micki said...

Lovely work, looks true to life to me. Poppies are just lovely flowers. Nice capture!

12:21 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

I've never heard of this red difficulty capture thingy I don't think I've tried capturing red lol : anyways Otto K (lenscape Ottok photography) got some fabulous shots or a rose yhwe would have some advice.
liking the shot, not loving, not because of you or how you tto it the flower just doesn't appeal to me :D
Btw thanksa for honest opinion on me blog : thou shalt not be dissapointed with tomorrows shot methink :)

12:59 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Nicola said...

I think you did a great job bringing out the red and the texture of the petals. Nice details!

1:16 PM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous deji77 said...

WOW I most say Timmybomb, you did well in capturing the detail and texture on this one!
I too have had the same problem capturing red. If you check the red histogram channel for the image, you'll find that its been clipped, even though the blue, green and luminance histograms are still OK! So I usually use a combination of appropriate shading and underexposing the shot. Then use PS to bring back the vibrancy.

1:27 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Natalie said...

You did a great job bringing out the texture. I'll like the center of the flower too. I don't believe I've ever seen the inside of a poppy before.

2:40 PM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Joann said...

What a nice shot! I love all the detail at the center.

4:16 PM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous pixibition said...

i like color and a great detail:-)

4:53 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Adam Lee Dalziel said...

great commpsition - colour is fantastic too -you decided if your gonna get an slr yet??

5:22 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Ash said...

Gorgeous color composition and detail!

5:55 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Fraser said...

Only 1/4 of your pixels are devoted to red, but you did well with this. Different monitors show differently. Send Ali a line -- he takes his Economics exam June 2, which has already arrived in UAE.


6:21 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Palak Chokshi said...

excellent macro shot... and I like the angle too... by keeping the center of the flower at the bottom right corner you made this a much more interesting shot than if it was kept in the center. About the red thing I haven't shot anything red yet... next time I do I'll see if its really as difficult to capture as you say

8:33 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Yanik said...

Lovely shot, love the composition...As palak said, having the centre of the flower at the bottom right makes it much much more interesting..The detail at the centre of the flower is lovely too..Want to photograph something red myself now!!

11:23 PM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Shuva said...

I ahve found too much difficulty in shooting red. Was your white balance correct? Probably you should set it to custome white balance after taking a few red shots. I have a red set at flickr. Check them out at:

11:41 PM, June 01, 2006  
Anonymous Shuva said...

Correction: I meant "I haven't found too much difficulty"...

11:42 PM, June 01, 2006  
Blogger Sidney said...

I could live without camera but not without Photoshop ! ;-)

12:53 AM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous Marco said...

Good crop and good light. Probably there's a little bit of noise in red zones. Anyway very nice shot, all my compliments ;)

1:26 AM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous Still said...

A beautiful macro. Very effective... Really the red is difficult, but this one is a masterpiece...

2:21 AM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous david said...

awesome close-up! love the red..cheers :)

2:39 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Fraser said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:53 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Faustina said...

I have never really shot much red either. I do find it hard to even get red tones to look how I want them too. if you find a solution let me know :)

5:13 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Don said...

Glad you persevered to make this shot. Very nice. You solved the "red" problem.

5:57 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger PhotoSam said...

Very nice shot...i like the way you've cornered the central part of the flower.

6:20 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Red is my favourite colour, hands down. I thought I'd always had good luck with it, but then when Azhar was kind enough to post my red railing shot for me, he used the colour saturation in Picasa to make it even better.

As for this picture, I love it. The richness of the red really comes out, and the textures of the petals are fantastic. I'd like to try some shots like this one of these days when I actually get good. Anyway, great shot as always!

6:54 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:54 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:55 AM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous Rich said...

It sees to be quite easy to overdo reds with Canon digital. I suggest underexposing slightly, or work in RAW mode to get a better dynamic range. Check your red histogram in PS to see where you stand. Some newer cameras show R G and B histograms (30D), but most show a combined which will not show if you have one color blown out. It seem like Canon's metering is off on reds. I have taken many shots with overdone reds when shooting flowers.

7:25 AM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger jj said...

i enjoy the beauty of your image. nice

8:49 AM, June 04, 2006  
Blogger Jasp said...

There is something special about Poppies. I fail every time to capture adequately, whereas this I would be proud of, think I will find some and try again. Thanks.

12:21 PM, June 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I indeed have one red flower picture I took at the beginning of spring, and I didn't post because red looked so overexposed under bright sun. I'll find some red and try again..
This is a good close up, the inside looks quite crisp.

1:35 PM, June 05, 2006  

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