Starflower is a common forest wildflower during spring in New England. This image was taken during our recent NPN meetup in New Hampshire. The Lowe brothers were busy shooting waterfalls at the Basin in Franconia Notch, and having had my fill of waterfalls, I went looking for these little guys. It was very dark on this rainy afternoon, and had to boost the ISO up, even for this ground flower to avoid it moving in the breeze.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any critique or comments are welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon 5DMK IV, Canon 100mm f 2.8 Macro lens, f16 for 0.8 sec at ISO 400

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
1 Like


Wonderful little intimate scene. Almost reminds me of the tundra in Alaska (almost… I’m no expert…) The raindrops are a plus of course and that single flower really demands the attention even being pretty small in the frame. Colors, processing look perfect.

My only nit/wish falls in to the personal choice category. With this intimate scene and detail, I’m wishing the greenery and root? were more in focus. On the one hand, the important subject details are sharp/in focus so the stuff around the edges is much less relevant - and one could argue if it was all sharp it may distract and take away some attention? One could make the case. Perhaps I just want to see less of the reddish/brown in that corner. A crop off the left would leave that big leaf cut off… And probably too much to try and remove the solitary leaf all together. In the end, I think I would be quite happy with this. Good eye to see and craft this.


Thanks for the comments Lon. I do shoot some macro, but am primarily into landscapes. This was a grab shot while waiting for the Lowe brothers to finish shooting a waterfall. This was taken at f16, and the star flower is pretty sharp, but the flower is high enough off the moss that i could not get it all in focus. Obviously the only way to get more DOF here would have been to focus stack. In hindsight I wish that I had done that. I think this acceptably in focus, but agree with you that the moss deserves to be more in focus.

Ed: I love the subject and comp and think you did well here. Actually, with a 100mm you ought to be able to get this entire scene sharp if you were so inclined. POF is the key. If your POF is the element closest to the lens then your BG may be a little soft. By searching for the hyperfocal point you can get full frame sharpness even though you might need to go to f22. I practically wear out my DOF preview when working a static scene like this because I don’t stack and have no burning desire to start. For me the capture is the challenge and the less time I have to spend in front of a computer the better. And of course you could go the other way and use a shallow DOF on the flower alone and let the rest of the scene go soft. All that said, I like this a lot and think its a fine presentation. >=))>

Thanks for the comments Bill. I manually focused on the white flower, which got that and the leaves sharp, perhaps f22 would have helped as you suggest. Because this was a grab shot, I did not bother to check live view for sharpness, but in hindsight I wished I had. For something like this 5 or 6 brackets going to Helicon Focus would have done the trick. I’m more willing to spend computer time than you, and wished that I had :cry: