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Canon DSLR Challenge | all galleries >> Canon SLR Challenges - FAQ >> CSLR - Best of... >> Best of 2005 > 1st Place
Wilted Flower
by Cindy Diaz
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13-FEB-2005 CindyD

1st Place
Wilted Flower
by Cindy Diaz

This is such a simple shoot - but I really struggled with it
for some reason, and am still not completely satisfied. I had
trouble with the highlights on the petals blowing out.
They are not even really white since the flower is wilted.
I started out with natural window light and added light, and ended
up with almost no light on the subject and -2 EC, and still I could
not completely recover the highlights in the conversion. There
was no indication of a problem in the historgram and no blinking
black dots - but yet no detail was captured on the highlights.
What could I have done differently?

**Replaced image with reduced sharpening
(downsampled bicubic smoother rather
than bicubic sharper)**

other sizes: small medium original auto
alexeig20-Feb-2005 12:27
Great. Very appropriate background color, color of decay
Canon DSLR Challenge19-Feb-2005 00:04
Very, very nice!!
cindyd18-Feb-2005 16:49
Thank you so much people for the kind comments. And it finally occurred to me (while doing an unrelated shot) why I was having exposure issues with the flower . . . Something pretty obvious and I should have known better. I should have been on center weighted metering and locked AE on the flower because the desk was so dark - I was on evaluative I guess :(. Even -2 EC wasn't enough because the camera was trying to bring that dark oak up and thus over-exposing the flower. Funny thing, I know for certain I would have flipped on the spot meter on my old Sony for this shot, but for some reason I've often forgotten to change the metering mode around with the Canon - I think because usually it doesn't affect the shot so much. Unfortunately the flower is now gone forever and I cannot reshoot this. But I include this little Doh! tidbit here for anyone learning this craft - learn from my mistakes! :). Never forget the BASICS!
Canon DSLR Challenge18-Feb-2005 10:13
One of the best shots in here - period! Excellent example of negative space ADDING to the subject!!!
Guest 17-Feb-2005 04:01
This is just fantastic! It's like the flower is fleeing death! There's so much personification in it! Kudos!! ~ Lonnit
Canon DSLR Challenge14-Feb-2005 18:07
This image evokes a feeling of fleeing time. Very powerful! Shu
cindyd14-Feb-2005 01:11
Agreed Michael, I'll take care of that tonight along with a missed sensor dust spec I see :( Cindy
Guest 14-Feb-2005 00:09
Thanks for the description on how you did it. One nit I JUST noticed with this image is that the flower is a bit oversharpened. You might want to fix that.

- MS
Canon DSLR Challenge13-Feb-2005 23:02
Beautiful image Cindy, how did you get that wonderful 'speedy-looking' background? --Melanie (mlynn)
cindyd13-Feb-2005 23:02
Oh, and MS thank you very much. I did work on that background to get it lined up like that.

Tech notes: The background is an oak roll-top desk. I played with subject-to-background and focus distance and aperture to get the stripes and color variations but not the actual detail of the desk, and tilted teh camera to get the slant. The lighter band is where the desk top flattens out some and the window light was falling on it.
cindyd13-Feb-2005 22:35
hmmm . . . i already exposed -2, if i go any darker there will be no picture :(
Canon DSLR Challenge13-Feb-2005 22:28
Cindy! APPLAUSE!!! This is a phenomenal image. Fantastic job, ESPECIALLY with the background that "flowed" with the petals. The analogous color scheme works VERY well and the use of negative space is just masterful.

Now, about blown highlights. Blown highlights are usually not showing up in the histogram because your 20D's histogram averages the R-G-B value and if the flower has a lot of "RED" in it causing to overblown, it won't show up in the histogram. What you need to do is to bracket, bracket, bracket using MANUAL control.

- MS