Todd Grivetti  

Bowing to the Sun by Todd Grivetti

November 2019 - Bowing to the Sun

November 2019 - Todd Grivetti


About the Image(s)

Camera Settings:
Canon T6, ISO-320, f/6.3, exp. time 1/250, 0 exp. bias
Lens: Tamron SP 150-600mm at 236 mm with a 35mm focal lenght of 377mm

About the image:
I have a large recreation area in town with 1.75 mile loop trail around the reservoir and in the summer it is filled with tons of sunflowers. This was taken in July 2017 around sunset (6:50 pm). I was shoot closeups of the sunflowers and working on capturing the light and shadows of the flowers. This specific one really stood out due to the petals. The light on the face of the flower created a nice shadow effect from the center and really lit the petals a beautiful yellow.

I was about 10 feet away due to the my long lens since there is also wildlife out there and I will usually capture them as well. I got low on this shot so that I could also capture the sky in the background and the contrast between the yellow and blue I feel really made this shot. In post process, I was using Windows Photo Editor 10.0 at this time before I had purchased lightroom. Very minimal changes other than cropping out the left side of the photo to remove some of the stems from the other flowers, and also brought the right side in a bit to reduce the dead space. I have used this image as one of my screen savers.

10 comments posted

Madhusudhan Srinivasan   Madhusudhan Srinivasan
Definitely a worthy image for a desktop wallpaper Todd. I noticed only you have a different image this month than rest of us showing landscape images hence, you caught my attention to write a comment for your image first :-)
I see it is good thinking of isolating this flower and the trial to include the sky. However, I am confused is it the sky or a green bg in that nice soft bokeh. Whatever it is, it is adding right to the pic and enabling the subject to stand out. I think there is scope to reduce the highlights of the BG leaf a bit more. Else, it's a wonderful image giving great feel of the environment   Posted: 11/09/2019 21:09:22
Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Hi Madu,

I had gotten down low, even with the flower, the BG is sky. With this lens, f/6.3 is wide open and I was in Aperture priority mode. I really like the Bokah of the sky and the closeness of the flower without truly being a macro shot. I don't know what it would have turn out like if I have used my wide-angle lens, but definitely worth trying in the future.

I thought I would go with something other than landscape this month :). That's why I like combining Landscape, Nature and Wildlife together. I will always have something to shoot.   Posted: 11/10/2019 08:25:33

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
I like you composition Todd. You place the flower perfectly in the image. The bokeh is very nice as well. If I would have done anything I would have possibly removed the leave in the foreground before I took the shot to make the bloom standout a bit more. Great image.
  Posted: 11/10/2019 05:45:50

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Thanks Rich. I see what you are saying. It is definitely about the "art of seeing" especially when getting this close to the flower.   Posted: 11/10/2019 08:32:19

Donna Paul   Donna Paul
(Groups 24 & 61)
Wow! Great photo!   Posted: 11/10/2019 21:38:29

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Beautiful image of a sunflower. I like the way you have captured the texture of the petals. The flower is not in sharp focus, at least on my monitor. In Lightroom you could apply a sharpening mask (Details section) to sharpen the flower, but not the background. Here's a download to illustrate mask at 72, sharpening at 122 and luminance at 38. It's a jpeg file so not fully effective, but I hope you get the idea. Thanks.   Posted: 11/11/2019 09:21:29
Comment Image
Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Michael, great suggestions and modifications. I really like the changes. I agree, this is a bit harder to capture when it's in jpeg vs raw. I also wonder if using a radial mask to do this would as effective. Thanks much for your rendering.   Posted: 11/11/2019 21:45:02
Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Yes, I think the radial tool would work also, mainly because your ISO is low and there is probably not much noise in the original image. If there is a lot of noise (grain) the sharpness mask works better IMO because you can mask out the noise while sharpening the main elements of the image.   Posted: 11/12/2019 08:38:48

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
When ever I come across a field of flowers I always look for the loner, the one that stands somewhat separate, so that I can isolate it. Using a telephoto is a great way to do this. You made some great choices with this shot. Using the sky for your background (doesn't look like a sky) really creates the space needed to make the background smooth and seamless.

I agree with Michael about the sharpening. The flower does look soft. In Lightroom in the sharpening menu try the following: Amount set to 40-50, Radius set to .5 and detail set to 90-100. Do this after you have made all your other edits. It must be the last thing you do.

In the realm of composition the big leave at the bottom is quite distracting. A bit of careful pruning would certainly help. Otherwise positioning is great.

As a side note, I've found using long telephoto lenses in this manner since (I'm guessing) you hand held this makes seeing everything in the back ground harder.

Still, this is a real eye catcher.   Posted: 11/11/2019 09:36:46
Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Thanks much Larry. I will definitely take to heart that this method should be last. I can definitely play a little bit better with this one for sure. Definitely below and hand holding was a bit tougher. Hard to carry the tripod all the time.

I will take a look at the suggestions you offered as see what I can play with as well. Greatly appreciate the ideas.   Posted: 11/11/2019 22:03:46


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