Succulent Surprise

Single capture f22

15 shot stack @ f5.6

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


During my regular garden tour this morning I was delighted to find this little succulent flowering. I have been amazed at some of the little blooms these succulents produce. The fully open flowers are about 1cm across. These should fill out nicely over the next several days.

Specific Feedback

The first image is a 11 shot stack that I’m pretty happy with. The second is a single capture at f22. The third is a 15 shot stack @ f5.6. I’m a little partial to the 15 shot stack due to the slightly more OOF BG. Comments about the stack especially appreciated.

Technical Details

Sony FE 70-200 f2.8 GM-II @ 200mm
ISO 400, 1/250 @ f8, 11 shot stack in Helicon Focus

Critique Template

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  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
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  • Composition:
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  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
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1 Like

Bill, I actually like the first and second equally well here and don’t care as much for the blurring in the third as much. Your low POV is excellent. I really like the overall depth of the succulents along with the beautiful cluster of the flowers. the lighting is also really nice.

Hi Bill. Are you sure you loaded the right images? I can’t for the life of me detect a difference between 1 & 2. I kept toggling back and forth looking for something and just couldn’t find it. I find myself agreeing with Ed that the first two are a bit nicer than the last one in that the transition from in-focus to out of focus is smoother. I don’t mind the background being heavily blurred, but the transition just feels rather abrupt. I think the flowers stand out well enough to support some background detail without it being distracting in the least.

Dennis: :hot_face:Good eye! I did in fact load the f22 version twice, I fixed it to the f8 stack.

1 Like

The f/8 stack is super nice, Bill. The straight f/22 is also great so it’s a toss-up to me which one I prefer. That little extra depth of field going to f/8 really helped smooth the transition to the background out.

I think I’m with you on the 15 stack because the softness is such a nice counterpoint to the sharp flowers in both focus and shape. Succulents are the gift that keeps on giving. Lovely subdued light, although I could see lifting the colors just a bit, maybe with the Point Color tool in Lr. I find that playing with luminosity in colors gives such a nice modeling effect and can help draw attention to certain areas or deflect it.