My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #5 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Comments on: For Your Critique: Image #5

sunflower-culivated-large-_w3c7475-starr-county-tx_0

This image was created in Starr County, TX with the the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 160 sec. at f/11 in Av Mode.

Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: +10. For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

My Comments on: For Your Critique: Image #5

On August 8, 2011 I posted For Your Critique: Image #5. This image was entered in the WPOTY category: In Praise of Plants. Though this is not my all time favorite image, I do like it a lot. And I needed to fill a few more categories. (You can enter no more than 3 images in any one category for your single entry fee.) Many folks commented that the image was simply not sharp and even more folks commented on the need for more depth of field. All of those comments left me baffled as the image looks very sharp to me and at f/11–with a large flower pretty darned far from me, the d-o-f seems more than sufficient. Some folks loved the color, others saw it as too bland. I processed it so that the colors looked as they did that morning. I like the colors. Some criticized the image design while others praised it. I love the composition. It is my firm belief that in critiquing situations that there is what I call “the bandwagon effect.” When an early poster makes a comment many of those who follow tend to agree….

Martine Guay posted my favorite comment: Van Gogh. 🙂 Thanks to all who commented.

artie is out 🙂

artie is traveling in the Southern Ocean (Falklands, South Georgia, & Antarctica) and will unable to respond to your questions and comments until after his return on 26 January 2012.

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Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image above. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III TC. This new TC is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.

16 comments to My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #5

  • avatar Jay

    I liked it originally, and still do. In fact, when I came across a sunflower in the field I decided to try and recreate the shot (think along the lines of an art student sitting in a museum sketching a masterpiece). Not being very creative with flowers, it was a helpful shot in terms of thinking about ways to photograph them.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      As you know, I am often inspired by viewing the work of other photographers; it is one of the best ways to learn. And actually, I am flattered. Lastly, no two images will be the same or even close to being the same.

  • avatar Charlie Young

    Just love the photo. The shallow depth of field and its unsharpness makes you look at the most important part of the photo.

  • avatar David Policansky

    You’re just posting the image to make the rest of us feel bad, aren’t you? 🙂 I think it’s terrific. Great color, great framing, great sharpness where sharpness is required. It took a while to figure out that it’s a sunflower, but that while was well spent.

  • avatar Bob McColley

    Art, I’m puzzled by why you would use a long lens with a subject like this rather than a medium range or even a macro lens. Wouldn’t these give you a better depth of field with a more third dimensional feeling? The 800mm used here seems to look more like a flat printed 2 dimensional image. Your comments please.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Ah, that is a common misconception. If image size is a constant, d-o-f at a given aperture is identical no matter the lens…. The only thing that changes as you change lenses is the angle of view. First off I love the narrow angle of view of telephoto lenses as it always simplifies and image and helps me isolate that subject. Additionally in this case, I did not want to go walking through the farmer’s field without permission.

  • avatar Arla

    The petals and corners appear soft. I find the petals distracting from the sharpness and pattern of the flower center.

  • avatar cheapo

    @Bill , It has a very shallow depth of field. So the far right top and bottom corners are OOF, is the green area of ‘sepals’ behind the petals, and even the base of the petals.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are correct sir. As we have discussed here often d-o-f with long effective focal lengths at or near minimum focusing distance borders on miniscule even at f/11 as here.

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    People said it isn’t sharp!??! Looks plenty sharp to me.

  • avatar cheapo

    I still love it. And now that I take a second look, I love the way the very center of the flower has a ‘fractal’ effect and almost swirls before our vision. Another trick of nature is how at this magnification, as it were, the petals almost look as if the plant stuck them on as an afterthought. Just my way of looking at things though. ;¬)