Palm frond

Palm frond

Palm fronds have so many interesting lines and folds and varying opacities to catch and reflect light. A forest full of them on a sunny day is fascinating.

Specific Feedback Requested

I welcome any suggestions and especially examples.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

This composition has some of the beauty of geometry and even calculus. It’s a bit similar to a chambered nautilus. There are some DOF issues as the palm leaf loses focus in parts of the image. The purple shapes are a bit confusing in that it’s hard to tell what they are. I prefer the top half of the image myself.

Lots of interesting lines and shapes here, and some closer crops could be found too.

Thank you Igor. It is interesting how many parts of nature mirror each other in there underlying dynamic and patterns. Yes, my camera skills (and camera) have definite room for improvement - thanks for pointing out the DOF and the confusing lower section of the image. The purple blue is the blurred sky - I took the photo from a low angle. Not sure how to improve the DOF/focus in post - except maybe to add a global soft blur perhaps? A crop I can do. And, sometime… possibly a different camera.


Thank you again for your comments @Igor_Doncov and @Ronald_Murphy! I enjoy learning.

Well said Ben.

I love the patterns and textures of this. I really like your original crop, although the sky is a little jarring in there and the crop minimizes that.

I do find it hard to make large adjustments to sharpness in post processing. Sharpening different areas with different levels can help some, especially at web size, but it’s hard to beat sharpness in the original(s). With that said, I don’t mind the original softness; it adds a bit of bokeh to the image.

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Ben, I just made a quick try in Topaz Sharpen AI masking the unsharp to apply the sharpening only to these partds. I post it just as a comparison.

Wow that does make a difference! Thank you for sharing this example for reference. I did not know that unfocused areas could be changed in post processing. It helps me see what more DOF in the original could have produced. I remember that you did some focus stacking a while back. Sometime I would like to try it also.
I am guessing i would need to use a tripod, and then take multiple images with different incremental focal points (do some cameras do this automatically?), and use a software program to layer and combine the images into 1 keeping only the focused parts. Is that what you did previously for the flower bud with the water drops?


Great eye to spot and compose this. The “fanning out” of the palm frond is very dynamic and wonderful. I think @Igor_Doncov 's nautilus reference is a good one; the flow, lines and highlights work beautifully as presented.

My only nitpick and suggestion would be to handle the blue/purple at the bottom. You mention it was sky, which explains a bit. I’m thinking simply significantly desaturating that color selectively as in your repost or Ola’s version will do the trick.

I think your original is the best comp and for me, the DOF is not a hindrance here.

Well seen and captured!


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Yes they do. It’s called focus bracketing. The way it works is that you set the f stop on your lens (and the rest -iso, SS) in manua mode. You focus on the very closest object in the image. The camera then takes a series of images, each one further than the other by the f stop you’ve set. It stops at infinity. Due to these changes in focal lengths the image don’t perfectly align but PS will auto align before merging. That’s how it work for the GFX cameras and I believe the Fuji XTs as well. I know the Nikon D850 also has focus bracketing.

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Ben, yes I used focus stacking. I am a hobby photographer since 2.5 years, so I am not an expert but I have tried focus stacking at some occasions.

My camera has built-in focus stacking, you could choose how many images with different focus points that should be taken, and also the amount of focus shift between each of them. The camera then automatically shoot the images and combines them to one JPEG image. This is fast, but you do not have that much control. However, the fast speed could be good to avoid that the subject will move between the images, or that the light will change.

You could also take several images yourself, shifting the focus point manually between each of them. Then the images could be merged using post-processing software. I use Zerene Stacker. Here you have more choices to control the results. For instance, if the flower or whatever you photograph has moved slightly between the shots, you could get blurry egdes (“halos”). Zerene Stacker have two methods to combine the images, one that will give you the most sharpness and one that minimize the halos (but less sharp). You could use both methods and merge the two images to get full sharpness without halos (see my posting Repost Pearls).

You have to use a tripod, to avoid movements between the images. I am a tripod fan, so I really recommend that you put some effort (and money) to find a good tripod.

Thank you for the additional helpful info @Ola_Jovall and @Igor_Doncov.
Also thank you @Lon_Overacker for the encouraging comments. I took a similar journey to the frond while looking for the right angle for the photo spiraling myself with camera in hand around and under and between the plants until I saw this perspective.

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