Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ABC WEDNESDAY - Y IS FOR YELLOW NARCISSUS

I was going to do the obvious one for an island, yachts, but I've so many I was unable to view them with fresh eyes and instead plumped for a flora shot. Here's a narcissus. Not to be confused
apparently with a daffodil as there are subtle differences. A good rule oF thumb being narcissus petals lean back. Not a flower expert, but a friend of mine is and that's her main rule on the subject.

I often get emails asking to critique work or share tips. Flowers seem to feature quite often. Not at all my favourite to photograph, but I can share a secret or two about this one. Firstly it's not as it appears shot indoors. You DO NOT pick flowers to take home and photograph. I did however want the bold yellow and green to stand out, with out resorting to digital trickery. Photoshop is a cropping or desaturation tool for me. If you want to take good photos natural photos, ditch photoshop and learn how to use your camera.

So how to get the background without computer tools? Try putting a matt black card or sugar paper behind the image you want to photograph. Has to be matt so not to relflect any of the colours in the image. Do not use the flash, whatever the conditions. Play around with your ISO setting instead. A bright image against a black background will emit enough light, boost the natural colours and not blur the edges, so the projected image stays sharp. If you can use a tripod and remote. I never do anymore, but that's practise and shooting on breeze free days.

So if you don't mind looking a little eccentric wandering around with a black card up the local park(Mooragh Park in my case) and placing it behind the brightest most garish flowers and snapping away, it's worth it. This is one of my most requested flower shots to buy. Greetings cards, mainly Mother's Day obviously. Wedding cards too. Not bad for the price of A4 black card.

Like to join ABC Wednesday? Please got to this link, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE
Mrs Nesbitt is the host for ABC Wednesday, where you can find details for joining, her own ABC shot to comment on and a list of fellow bloggers who are playing today, who would also appreciate your comments.

65 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Thanks for the photo tip. I's never occurred to me to carry matt black paper with me.

I don't use PhotoShop but I have often been envious of those who do. It's such expensive software that I've never invested in it.

I think I'll take your advice and learn to use my camera better, instead.

Lake Lady said...

Wonderful shot! Great tips that I will remember next time I'm over at Buster's taking pictures of his mom's flowers. I appreciate that you are honest with your work. It's so hard to know these days whether someone is really a good photographer or just good at using software! You are obviously in the first category. Thanks for sharing!

Tash said...

I can see why the flower is a best seller. I also thank you for taking the time to help improve our photos - directly, the natural way.

Andrea said...

Beautiful YELLOW flower.

mannanan said...

I went for the obvious and chose a picture of a yacht. I'm glad you didn't. Great picture of the flower and thanks for the tip. So if you see a guy in Mooragh Park with a black piece of card it's most likely to be me...Cheers....

ellen b said...

Lovely narcissus and I'm happy to learn of the subtle difference with a daffodil..

Judy said...

Nice shot. Thanks for the matt tip. I'm going to have to try it.

leslie said...

Great tips! What a fabulous and simple idea to carry a black matte card with you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this.

Chris said...

Love daffodils and jonquils. . . .Are they still in bloom there?

The D in D & T said...

Thanks for the tip - it will help out a great deal! I have to agree with Your EG Tour Guide, I cant justify the expense of photoshop, so I really appreciate great tips like this :)

Lawstude said...

the color really stands-out against the black background. very lovely shot.

angie said...

great shot and thanks for sharing tips, the yellow really pops!

raf said...

A stellar image for today's Y shot, Baboosh! Love the yellow/black. Thanks for sharing your tips about photography along the way. Especially enjoy getting more into learning good basic camera work than computer manipulation.
The Tynwald and Triskelion post was very enlightening. Hope that you do more on the Triskelion story....it's quite an intriquing synbol.

Lynette said...

I like your ABC Wednesday post. The photograph is great! Thanks so much for the photo hint/tip--your generosity is appreciated!
Portland Oregon Daily Photo

photowannabe said...

Thanks for telling the difference between narcissis and daffodils. I was never sure before. Nice choice for Y.

evlahos said...

very interesting post coming up with a wonderful shot

I wish you a great summer

Gary said...

Thanks for the black card tip - will try it.

Lovely daff... er Narcissus!

I chose yellow too.

Gary
Bodge's Bulletin

Chuck Pefley said...

Eccentricity is part of the package :) Then the locals or tourists stop to find out what you're doing, and naturally don't understand that you are "working" and really don't want to talk or explain. I'm not normally rude ... but on occasion I make an exception. Especially when the light or scene is quickly changing.

By the way, thank for your birthday congratulations ... but it is premature, I'm afraid. Kim, of Seattle Daily Photo is the Seattle blogger celebrating her passing from 2 to 3 :)

Reader Wil said...

Great idea Babooshka to use a black card to enhance the colour of the flower. Beautiful shot!

Olivier said...

la fleur est superbe sur ce fond noir, une très bonne idée de composition.

the flower is beautiful on the black background, a very good idea of composition.

Blue said...

As I've featured all flowers,[well bare one - LOL], thanks for the tip.
I'll be off the the artists shop as soon as it stops raining.

Kevin Heads said...

Nice Photo, black background certainly makes it stand out. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog much appreciated. Checked out your photo site too love it, great pics of the bikes. Best wishes Kev

Aileni said...

Simple and stunning. Yellow on black really works.

CrazyCath said...

Not bad at all Babooshka! I also never use flash unless I absolutely have to (like for the new kittens - black against balck was not picking up and I could not disturb them. Flash was the only way to have the shapes defined) and I never use photoshop. Except for messing about with the kids, but not for my photos. Oh no.

Great Y. As you know, I love flowers.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Very nice photograph.
Patty and I will be celebrating 53 years of marriage on July 12th. Think of it as a long-term relationship.

I have invited bloggers to offer suggestions on a gift for me to give Patty and the list would not be complete without your ideas.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

magiceye said...

thank you for the tips for good pics.. simple and effective!

ArneA said...

Beautiful flower and photo.

sam said...

Beutiful flower. Thanks for the tip.

Keropok Man said...

What a beautiful flower and what a great tip too!

I shall pack some matt papers in my backpack next time :-)

me ann my camera said...

Nice yellow flower and good photo tips as well. Interesting and informative. Thank you.

Dina said...

Yofi that you share your secrets, especially to me, a point-and-shoot "photographer." Toda (thanks)!

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" likes the Yellow narciscus and thinks it's a perfect choice for "Y-Wednesday!

"Louis" thanks you for your visit!

Jim said...

Great picture and neat way to get the shot. I am going to have to try it. If you get a call from the State Mental Hospital, they have picked me up, I will blame U.

Gordon said...

A great shot; thanks for the photo tip. I will give it try soon.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

thanks for the good ideas on how to take better photos - amazing you did this with a piece of black card

Marie Reed said...

Yeah for yellow!

Neva said...

The tips are wonderful! I am working hard at figuring out my camera....it is a lot of camera for me....and I have been disappointed in how long it takes me to remember what I did to get a great photo when I want to do it again. I was at Niagara Falls, I did not get the kind of photos I wanted due to the white of the shots I think.....thanks for sharing and I do not photo shop or use any tools....what you see is what I got!!! I never knew the difference between daffodils and narcissus...thanks for sharing!

angela said...

Thank you for taking the time to pass on the tips. Im embarrassed to admit that I tried a friend's photoshop and I was totally useless at it but think of the money that saved me!
I have just bought a new camera so am interested advice.

Ackworth Born said...

The simplest of tricks is always the best - great tip - I probably won't actually try it but you never know.

TSannie said...

Didn't know there was a difference between narcissus and daffodils! Thanks for the info. Lovely yellow post!

Knoxville Girl said...

Great information, and your photo backs it up. I like what you said about learning how to use the camera - I am still experimenting with the automatic metering and learning how my camera works. But I have learned how to crop photos too. Ah, baby steps.

AphotoAday said...

Good tips on flower photography...
And I don't know much about flowers, but I never realized that the narcissus and daffodil were similar looking -- I'll have to check that out...

Helena said...

Lovely!

Kim said...

I always wondered how people got the black backgrounds, thank you for the tip. I am a fan of photoshop, however, for me it gets rid of the slight blur that my lenses create and adds contrast.

Have a good day, and thank you for the visit :)

Bibi said...

When I was, a few years back, in a really "photograph flowers in their environment" mode, I used to carry a white umbrella with me on very sunny days when I was too impatient to wait for good lighting. I'd pop it open and either prop it near the flower out of view, or else hold it (awkward!) to soften the light.

Thanks for the explanation of how to distinguish a daffodi from anarcissus; I often confuse them...

Striking shot!

Marie-Noyale said...

Thanks for the tip.
I used to think that flowers looked better in the sun but I realized that I get better picture sometimes with a grey sky!!
And now I know the difference between narcissus and daffodils!

Bear Naked said...

Lovely photo and thank you for the explanation of the difference between daffodil and narcissus.

Bear

RuneE said...

Thank you for the flower information - that is always a problem for me, and thank you for the tip on the "black-board"! I need all the tips I can get.

imac said...

Another great capture



pop and see my Y.

Denise said...

Great tip there!This has to be a wonderful flower heralding spring! Not so sure what has happened to
S U M M E R!

nonizamboni said...

Lovely photos and thanks for the info, all worthwhile.
Happy Wednesday!

marley said...

Great photo and great tips too!

Alan said...

Nice flower, good photo, and great tip about the black background board. I'll have to try that out. Thanks! :)

Alan said...

Nice flower, good photo, and great tip about the black background board. I'll have to try that out. Thanks! :)

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful bright yellow. That's an absolutely gorgeous picture. It comes with a very helpful tip, too - thanks!

starnitesky said...

Good tips, I agree the photo should come first before photoshop.

Coca Cutie said...

thanks for the tip but is too much work for me! lol
The photo turned good.

Steve H. said...

What a fantastic shot. Babooshka, you consistently have excellent pictures, and I love the background information/stories you provide on them.

John said...

Lovely shot!
I don`t use photoshop but I use Adobe Lightroom as a Raw konverter and I do some adjustments with it as sharpen, crop, straighten, exposure... I don`t let a japanese Nikon engineer deside how my photos
shall be.

Katney said...

hanks for the photo tip. I recently attended a phot workshop, and the pro has some similar tools. Well, he had some very expensive tools but told us how to to the price of a sheet of paper type for similar effect.

crittoria said...

Thanks for the advice on the flower photos! I'll remember that. I am old school and think you should take the picture that you want, and not create it in Photoshop. My husband drives me crazy whenever he uses my camera - he doesn't bother to take the photo that he wants, he just snaps something and figures he'll doctor it later. Arghhh...

Dusty Lens said...

Lovley flower shot, really vibrant yellow against the black. I bought a bolt of black felt for such things. But have not posted those indoor pics against it.

I always appriciate tips and information. Critiques too. I know it is probrbly the last thing you want ot do is mix blogging enjoyment with work. But feel free to trod down my photos when necessary. We learn by critique, not praise.

I do tend to use Photoshop Elements simply to sharpen an image, or enhance, de-hance colors for a mood I am trying to project. Of course todays' post is HDR, so of course that will be over the top saturation.

Greyscale Territory said...

Absolutely stunning shot! And thank you so much for the tip about a matt black! Great idea! My mind is buzzing at the possibilities!

J.C. said...

Great to see nice photo and added with photo tip too!!! I love shooting flowers too and didn't know that they sell well. I have never sell any photos of mine. Probably can give it a try. I also enjoy the black card tip. Will try to get the matte black card and to hunting for my flowers! Thanks a lot!

Carlo said...

Good job! :)

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