<<< o >>>among the daisies too 17 comments + add yours

I prepared this image at the same time as yesterday’s entry, and at the time I far preferred it, mostly I think because it includes our 15 month old playing in the grass; i.e. it isn’t just another flower shot. But now I’m not so sure.

Often, when preparing an image, I’ll spend five or ten minutes playing around with Photoshop’s Curves tool, and at some point during that relatively short space of time I’ll hit on a setting that I’m happy with. With this shot though that didn’t happen, and at various points this evening I’ve ended up with a version that looks ok one minute and unbalanced the next; either too bright, too dark, lacking in contrast, or having too much. So I really don’t know what to make of it now.

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
Canon G5
2.27pm on 3/5/04
aperture priority
4x3 + children + macro
comment by PCG at 11:39 PM (GMT) on 5 May, 2004

To me it seems that this photo has one too many subject- either it is about the blured child on the back ot the over too bright daisys on the foreground. As it is you have this two things fighting for the viewer's attention creating a tension that - to my view - doesn't favour the photo.

What if there were no flowers, just grass? Wouldn't you think that better? (At least it would stop you worrying about the foreground's "overwhiteness".

comment by djn1 at 01:25 AM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

PCG: hmmm ... I guess my aim with this shot was to capture our daughter playing in the flowers (she was picking dandelions at the time), so the inclusion of both elements was intentional. And maybe, because I was there, I don't see that as visual tension.

Also, when you say "overwhiteness" do you mean that the petals are blown-out, or that the high key detail is distracting? On my setup the petals retain detail other than in a few small areas of the daisy in the lower right.

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 03:22 AM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

I love that it can have a lot of subjects. Lots of different stories. Perfect. I like the choice on the depth of field on this one...

comment by David at 04:36 AM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

I like the angle and depth of field. I also like the flower in the shot. It adds to the photo's innocence theme. I also think the white balances out the pink of the child's outfit. To each his own.

comment by Peter Crymble at 11:41 AM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

I got to admit I prefer yesterdays shot but this is still quite nice. The colours are great - I must learn to use the curve tools better!

comment by Kjetil at 12:20 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

Bright, blurry and nice.

Very good job!

comment by PCG at 01:02 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

Djn: Humm.. hard to explain in somebody else's language :-). What I meant by "overwhiteness" was not a technical default but that the white of the flowers was too much of a contrast to the softness of the backbround.

(Much more easier to feel it than to exp+lain it :-)).

Love your site and your photos though. Regular client I am.

comment by djn1 at 01:21 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

PCG: OK, that makes sense, though again, the contrast was intentional. Do you remember those 3D postcards that you could buy? They were flat, obviously, but they gave a layered 3D impression and the foreground elements were pin-sharp (whereas the background was blurred). I didn't set out to create one, but I think this shot is quite similar to those cards.

comment by mathew at 04:25 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

i have to say i love the foreground, but the background is far too distracting. my eyes have a hard time telling which it should focus on; the natural, obvious focus would be the crisp foreground, however it is continually drawn to the blurred background, perhaps because of its place in the center of the image and the roundness of the color

comment by gwen at 04:40 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

re: two subjects. I love it, when I first looked at it, I was immediately drawn to the flowers and didn't notice the child until I started wondering about that pink blob back there. I like the layeredness, that it's not just what it appears at first glance and is worth spending more than a few moments looking at, even if it's "hard".

re: contrast. Love that, too. 3D postcards was exactly what I was thinking of yesterday's and was very impressed that you managed to make a flat webphoto look like that. The only thing I don't like on today's is the lower left daisy, which is blown out and distracting with the flat yellowness; I'd prefer that one cropped out.

comment by emarquetti at 06:35 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

Wow! This link goes to my wife! She loves Daisy!

comment by djn1 at 09:24 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

Thanks for the great comments - I really enjoy it when I post an image that elicits a critical commentary.

gwen: you're right, but the detail was blown out in the orginal, so I couldn't rescue it in Photoshop. As for cropping: whenever possible I don't, as I much prefer to compose in camera rather than after the event. And in this case, despite the bottom left flower being blown out (and flat) I think that cropping this image wouldn't have done the composition any favours.

comment by twb at 10:29 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

First let me say how much I've been enjoying your photography (like legions of others!).

I think your daughter in the background of this photo adds some emotion that the previous photo lacked. I also think the foreground flowers provide a frame (albeit only on the bottom) that's very pleasing. My only critique would be that the colors seem oversaturated but like David said earlier, to each his own. :)

comment by djn1 at 11:18 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

twb: thanks :-)

As for the saturation: I struggled a bit with this one in that the base image looked a bit 'cold'. In the end I used Fred Miranda's Digital Velvia Pro to warm things up a little. That said, I do tend to come close to over-saturating some of my stuff. I'm hoping that now the summer is on its way my craving for brightness and saturation will abate a little. The UK can be a rather drab, grey place at times and I suspect that some of my images are a direct response to rain, flat light, and grey skies ;-)

comment by Phil at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 7 May, 2004

Without getting into the composition too much, let me just say that I really like it! The perspective is unique, intriguing, and pretty cool.

comment by Tom B at 02:55 AM (GMT) on 14 May, 2004

Comments about 'overwhiteness' made me take a long look at this shot and decide what I liked about it. I agree with David and think the flowers add to the photo and make a nice subject. As a secondary subject, your little one in the background is just precious and perfect for the softness of this shot.

comment by Beth at 08:13 PM (GMT) on 3 April, 2005

I absolutely love this photo - I'm a huge fan of extreme selective focus - and it really works with this particular subject. I think the green is slightly off though, its just an odd shade for grass. Other than that, I think it's beautiful - great job! :)