Volunteer Cleome

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Our garden has come to an end as 20 degree temps provided a killing frost in mid October. I did salvage a Cleome before the freeze and brought it into my make-shift studio. I used 3 flashes set at varying strength to provide some directional lighting with strong, diffused shadows. I worked quickly due to the flower heads slowly wilting as time flew by.

Technical Details

Z9 105mm f2.8 Micro + 3 off camera flashes at +1 and 2 at -1ev (1/160 sec at f9.0, ISO 64, 22 image stack with Zerene Stacker (PMax)). Levels, Topaz DeNoise, Shadows and Highlights adjustment layer, Crop for Comp.

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I like very much the bold contrast you’ve achieved here, Jim. All the fine details of the stack are set off beautifully against the black (card?). I also like how the open flowers surround all those buds. What’s not to like here?

Excellent, Jim. I like the choice of the black background, and your lighting worked extremely well. The shadows came out beautifully.

Thank you @Dennis_Plank and @Mike_Friel. I have been very busy and just getting caught up. I enjoy flash photography and manage to gest reasonable photos with very little effort.

Oh it’s more than a reasonable photo. You positioned it really well - the way the cluster of leaves frame the flowers and create a line of varying sizes and glimpses of the way the leaf groups form is quite pleasing. Each flash power creates distinct shadows that bring up the texture really well. Other than a minor overlap area showing, the stack looks fantastic. Black was an interesting choice for the bg, but considering the density of the arrangement in terms of texture, color and size, it works. Sweet shot.

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