Weekly Kell's 2021 TP52 - week 09: Reflection and Low-Key technique

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Week 0: Nearby.

Start the New Year off with a Sun...set.

Christmas day, but fits the theme as it was taken in my garden, As you can see, the famous pyramids of High Wycombe are in the foreground.

374A8797 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

On a more considered note...

I bought a new (to me) camera body just before Christmas and have spent some time outside trying to calibrate the lenses to the body as on initial shots, they were a little fuzzy. I was trying to compare them to my lenses on the 5D i body I already have.

As I was doing this, I had some visitors NEARBY.

_MG_8979 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

IMG_0070 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

I also asked for a 2x Extender for Christmas, but hadn't done enough research and hadn't realised that it won't auto-focus with a 100-400L lens. SO I tried doing it manually, but didn't necessarily succeed. I'ts certainly not like doing it with a specific manual lens.

_MG_0034 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

And then I grabbed this one with my old 5D.

IMG_0076 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr
 
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If it wasn't for the twig, your manually focused TC picture is an absolute cracker with the backlight. But I think you picked the right one for the main thread.

Looks like it was s cold day and your robin was well fluffed up!
 

minx

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great sunset, and a lovely collection of wild life pictures
 
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I think I prefer the sunset over the High Wycombe Pyramids ;) to be honest. I really like the colours in the clouds.
It was a pretty amazing sight TBH.
 
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Hiya Kell

That's some sunset .... but, there is something really quite special about that robin shot. I think you chose the right one for the main thread.
 
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If it wasn't for the twig, your manually focused TC picture is an absolute cracker with the backlight. But I think you picked the right one for the main thread.

Looks like it was s cold day and your robin was well fluffed up!
Thanks. The lighting was pretty good at that point, and it's maybe not as badly focused as I thought - it's just really noisy.

I can only shoot at a minimum of f/11 so the camera automatically ramped up to 6400 ISO.
 
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Has to be a Likkle Billy Bobbin :)
 
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Nice sunset Kel but the Robin shots are terrific. I especially like the composition of the first with the space around it.
 
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Some great shots there but your chosen one is great... and wins on cuteness. I never realised High Wycombe had such an illustrious history ;)
 
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Some great shots there but your chosen one is great... and wins on cuteness. I never realised High Wycombe had such an illustrious history ;)
A lot of people don't realise. Pyramids and chairs. ;-)
 
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Cracking shot of a very sharp robin, Kell, he must be quite tame to get that close. Love the Red against the grey garden furniture, stands out well.

Pete
 
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Week 01 - Fruit.

I think most people end up with fruit that looks a little like this. Buy it with the best intentions then end up binning a fair bit.

I've always quite liked the idea of trying to do beauty shots of something that isn't beautiful.


_MG_0202 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

_MG_0218 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr

I quite liked the shallow depth of field on the ones above, but in the end I preferred the one below.

Six shots (IIRC) stacked in Photoshop to get focus all along the banana.

_MG_0234 by Kell Lunam-Cowan, on Flickr
 
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Urgh! Hate blackened bananas!

Good stacking. I think you chose the right image.
 
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I've always quite liked the idea of trying to do beauty shots of something that isn't beautiful.
Knowing that changed they way I looked at your image. I quite like the 1st one. Framing and composition work the best for me. Quite like the DoF too. Focusses the eye - even if it is on the label and it's more of that "beauty shot" idea.
 
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Good stacking there, I have to agree though, I cannot stand blackened bananas. P.S. wheres the minions singning the banana song? :ROFLMAO:
 
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Nicely stacked but overall my favourite is #2 for the feeling of depth in the image.
 
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Fruit
I do like a bit of shallow dof, but in this case, I'm going for your stacked image. It works well on the clinical white background.
 

LC2

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Nope, rarely if ever do Bananas end up like that here. They've normally disappeared into one of the children's stomachs ages before that could happen.
Stacked using Photoshop eh? that's brave. I agree it was the right choice. Not so sure on the software though (found PS to be pretty poor at stacking last year - maybe it's improved...)
It could perhaps do with a little more light on the left, to remove the fall off of light. or did you intend to have the slight graduation in shadow in the background?
 
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Nope, rarely if ever do Bananas end up like that here. They've normally disappeared into one of the children's stomachs ages before that could happen.
Stacked using Photoshop eh? that's brave. I agree it was the right choice. Not so sure on the software though (found PS to be pretty poor at stacking last year - maybe it's improved...)
It could perhaps do with a little more light on the left, to remove the fall off of light. or did you intend to have the slight graduation in shadow in the background?
Is it brave to use PS? I don’t know how else to do it. Open to suggestions.

I know what you mean about the LHS. Certainly on the small images it looks like a real shadow but full size on screen it just doesn’t show.
 

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Is it brave to use PS? I don’t know how else to do it. Open to suggestions.
I couldn't get a decent stack in PS last year. @Cobra recommended Afinity (It was going cheap last year - £25) and it nailed it with the same set of photos
Photoshop:
Affinity:
 
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Maybe photoshop has got better. Or perhaps it just suited this particular set.

Would be happy to put your other images through the same process to see if PS has improved at all.
 
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Looks just right for making a banana cake with does that. The last is a very nicely stacked image and is my choice from the set.
 
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Yep, main image #3

Liking the label and the other waste bit at the top.

There's something not quite right about the shadow(s). But lighting is not my thing.
 
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Looks perfectly edible to me :D

Nicely done, and the stacking definitely works. I like the beauty / non-beautiful subject - it a nice juxtaposition.
 
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Good idea for the theme. For some reason the shallow depth of field on the first two doesn't seem to work as well as it could. The stalk seems distracting. I think your stacked option is definitely the best one.
 
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Second pic for me. The photos are nice but the banana looks positivley disgusting.

Excuse my stupidity, but what's stacking? I have photoshop but barely use it.
 
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Second pic for me. The photos are nice but the banana looks positivley disgusting.

Excuse my stupidity, but what's stacking? I have photoshop but barely use it.

So, stacking is a fairly new one on me too.

Essentially, you take multiple photos of the same object, but all at different focal lengths. So, in the example above, I took six different shots - each focused on a different part of the banana. I shot handheld and used the focus/recompose method.

Photoshop then aligns the images and merges all these together so that you get focus across the entire image. Obviously, you can do this in camera using a much broader depth of field, but sometimes this isn't achievable for practical reasons. Namely, in this instance, I was shooting handheld, so a narrow aperture would have meant I couldn't hold the camera still for long enough with a slower shutter speed.
 
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As an example - here's one I took at the weekend.

Took four shots (again, handheld, which is not ideal) - each focusing on the different bits of text.



Load them into Photoshop as layers.

Auto align them and crop the dead space.

Then set PS away to merge them.

This is what is used from each shot ( I put the pink back ground in so you can see it a little easier).

 
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PS - I also cloned out the fire extinguisher as it was quite distracting.
 

blakester

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I'm drawn to your first fruit image more so than the others.
I particularly like the composition of that one than the others, I feel having more of the 'stalks' showing adds a little more depth to the image.
I also like you showing the differing images, giving the viewer a little insight to your thought processes. Good work.
 
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