Bloody Dahlia

4 11 2009

I used to post more photos in one post in mini series connected by theme or object but sometimes the result of taking photos is only one good image and so far I haven’t presented these “singles”. So here is the first one (see larger, please):


1/100 sec. @ 100 mm, f/3.2, ISO 200

Technical information: photo was taken with Canon EOS450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens, hand held, in natural conditions. Post-processing contained levels and contrast adjustments in PS CS3 and intensity of red colour was decreased by value -10 on 255 scale.

We have few mini Dahlias (I don’t know proper name) in a garden, each around 30cm high with blossoms around 5cm in diameter. They are in bright colours of red and yellow and as the blossoms are so small they are not very good for abstract images I like to take. I was attracted by inner curved petals in this one and also by the contrast between bright yellow and bright red. The magnification here was something around 1.5:1.

Hope you like it. Any suggestions for improvements are warmly welcome! Is the red too powerful, too bright?

Enjoy the first snow as I do today!




13 responses

6 11 2009

I just did a lengthy post on the merits of a tripod but I want you to know that I think you do an excellent job handheld… much better than I can. (That’s why I do all those motion blurs! ;^) ) You’ve managed the reds very nicely in this image. And the detail looks fine for f/3.2. Very nice work. One thing, your copyright gets lost on the small image and I was about to comment on the flower-shaped blob at the bottom when I enlarged it and realized it was copyright!

7 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Ed! I think that my still hands are just a result of years of practice without a tripod.

Regarding copyright: I usually store the image with a size of longer edge around 1000px and for the post it is automatically resized. This resizing is the reasing why my copyright was almost lost. I recommend to open the image at full size rather than watching it as it is posted because due to resizing it loose also some sharpness. But thanks for pointing this out. I try to have copyright visible but not disturbing much and in this case it was probably too transparent. I should have made it more prominent.

7 11 2009
Jules K

The red feels perfect, Thomas! You always have to watch those reds and yellows with a Canon (and with most digital cameras to be honest.) If you are processing your images in Adobe Camera Raw, there is a slider to adjust “luminance” and that is a great way of also bringing those colors into line. I usually decrease saturation about 4-8 points and increase luminance by the same amount and it leaves the colors feeling bright but not overdone.

7 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thank you Jules for stopping by and sharing this interesting tip about ruling reds. I didn’t know this procedure. Regarding watching reds and yellows: yes, yes, I already took couple of images about which I was sure that they will be great and then I was surprised by overexposed edges of petals 😦 I read that a polarizer may help in these cases but I haven’t tried it, yet.

8 11 2009

Gorgeous 🙂

8 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Mariana!

9 11 2009
Bernie Kasper

Beautiful shot Tomas, love the color and the curves in the petals,nicely done !!

10 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thank you Bernie!

10 11 2009

Lovely. I like the composition, the stunning yellow on red, and the little petals. Good job hand-held.

10 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Anita! It’s honour to hear it from you.

20 11 2009
Barbara K

You’ve been a bit prolific of late! One thing I found while shooting fall color recently, is that I needed to view the entire RGB histogram after a shot, instead of just the luminance ‘white’ histogram. Our cameras have a way to select/dial just the ‘red’ channel, and if you’ve blown it out, only the selected red channel will be adjusted with your subsequent exposure adjustment. Hope that makes sense! (reset your RGB histogram view after you adjust a single channel and see your camera manual) Anyway, your reds here are perfect and the composition right on!

20 11 2009
Tomas Turecek

Hi Barbara, I was beginning to be afraid that you decided to not follow my blog anymore. I’m happy that you didn’t 🙂 I doubt that my camera has the feature you described but I’ll check the manual to be 100% sure. Nevertheless, you reminded me to check also the separate Red Green and Blue histograms and not rely only on luminance histogram. I used it just today when I was shooting dark red Dianthus flowers. The red histogram was blown out and green underexposed 😦 Not very good situation. Anyway, thank you for reminding me to check it!

21 11 2009
Barbara K

I was reminded on a recent trip myself, and was grateful that one of the leaders showed me how to correct for the reds. Always stuff to learn.

Hey, I’m not going anywhere – even though it might take me a few days to catch up!

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