Keith Au  

Pollen Grains on the Flower Core by Keith Au

June 2022 - Pollen Grains on the Flower Core

June 2022 - Keith Au


About the Image(s)

This image was snapped last month from a local botanical greenhouse.
I was attracted by the pollen grains at the core of the flower.
Although the color contrast of the red flower and the green background
is pretty, I still chose to crop into just the center. That also exposes
the issue of the whole area being in-focus.

I have not done much editing except cropping and added a bit
contrast and vibrance.

Gear: Nikon D850 w/Nikon Micro lens 105mm f/2.8; No filter used.
Manual exposure: f/7.1 @ 1/1250s; 0EV; single-point focus; ISO @220

Post-processing tool: Adobe Photoshop & Camera Raw (ACR)

11 comments posted

Pat Glenn   Pat Glenn
Keith I like the blue center and pollen dots. flower looks pink to me so pink/blue is nice. but I do want to take the highlights out of half the petals & that green stripe. since it does not look like all the blue things are in focus might even do something like crop out half of the flower [highlights] and keep the side with lot of pollen dust. then the circle turns into half moon shape and come in close to the pollen.   Posted: 06/12/2022 23:41:08
Keith Au   Keith Au
Ah, thanks, Pat.
That is a great idea to crop it other way.. to bring the audience to the pollen dots.. Appreciate the suggestion.   Posted: 06/20/2022 19:04:12

Pat Glenn   Pat Glenn
your photo and my photo are in the PSA Member showcase right now!!! I love the dog sled. I love that horse photo also [some other member]. what was your camera spec... dogs in nice focus and the snow is kicking up a bit. I was wondering about the horse photo also... his horse is in focus and lots dust swirling... wondering how he got both.
  Posted: 06/18/2022 22:15:55
Keith Au   Keith Au
Hi Pat,
I like your colourful image in the showcase as well; esp the progressive focusing.. from in focus and blurring feeling approaching the top.
The setting of my dog sled image was:
Nikon D750 1/1250s; f/9 ISO @280 (auto); zoom lens @86mm.
Needed higher speed to catch the kicked-up snow. Hard part is to have all dogs showing their faces with expression.
As to the horse photo, usually (like those rodeo pictures), authors would add the kick-up dust to the horse (or bull).
When we go to shoot rodeo pictures, we also shoot some dust from the bull or horse when they kick up violently and save for future use.
  Posted: 06/20/2022 19:24:37
Pat Glenn   Pat Glenn
that never crossed my mind... photoshopping in the dust. I was in awe of getting all of that in a single shot. Nieve me!   Posted: 06/20/2022 19:34:51

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
I like this, Keith. The flower is all context to the pollen as a result of your title, and that's fine for me. The cropping has improved it a lot - just a little green remnant in the bottom right to remove still! A bit of cloning or healing brush would fix that in seconds.

There's enough that's a bit soft to suggest that a smaller aperture would probably have improved it. You had plenty of shutter speed and ISO "space" to go to f11 or f16.   Posted: 06/20/2022 05:46:21
Keith Au   Keith Au
Thanks, Stuart.
Yes, both you and Pat have good eyes.. I should have removed that green stripe (from the leaf underneath)... my oversight.

Yeah.. my regret on this image is that I did not use a smaller aperture.. to allow more depth of field. Thanks for the suggestion.   Posted: 06/20/2022 19:31:17

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
First off, let me say how fantastic the dog sled picture was! Competition worthy for sure!

I like this floral image and feel it would work best with some better lighting. I feel some areas are nearly void of detail, yet there isn't a high level of shadows. There is some, though, in the center, which really feels good to me. The other issue for me personally is focus. The out of focus is dead center, so it feels uncomfortable. It is too important a part of the overall beauty of the flower here and, being on the same plane as an area that is sharply focused, it detracts for me. F2.8 is just way too narrow a DOF for most flowers. F5.6 to f8 is my suggestion.   Posted: 06/20/2022 09:54:20
Keith Au   Keith Au
Thanks, Carol.
I did submit that dog sled image to a couple smaller salon contests.. Got 1 bronze medal and 1 acceptance.. Love it.

Totally agreed.. My Pollen grains picture does not have sufficient DOF to keep it all in focused. f/7.1 is not enough.. As Stuart suggested, f/11 may help. As to the flat lighting, I had no control.. But I may have tried using the Viveza 2 tool to improve the picture structure hence yellow and red portions do not look so flat. Good observations. I'll have the lighting in mind when in similar situations. Thanks.
  Posted: 06/20/2022 19:43:57

Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
It's a pretty flower as is in the original shot. Because the focus is soft on much of the center of the flower, though, it disappoints as a macro shot. A smaller aperture would have gone a long way to bringing more into focus. I'm assuming you captured this handheld.

Another thing to keep in mind when photographing for macro is the plane of your subject. Had the flower's center been parallel to the camera's sensor, you likely would have had most in focus, even with a larger aperture like you were using.   Posted: 06/20/2022 14:37:09

Keith Au   Keith Au
Hi Tom, great point and suggestion!
Really appreciate your point of making sure the camera is in parallel with the plane of the subject.. Learned something today. Thank you.
Yes, it was shot handheld.. while touring a botanical greenhouse, without the luxury of more time staying in one spot for displayed flowers or plant.   Posted: 06/20/2022 19:52:22


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