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First UV Macro - A Dandelion :)

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#1 Timber

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 17:18

Just a dandelion I've picked on the other side of the road... and some (lot of) free time at work...

The setup:
Sony NEX 6 Spectrosil 2000 edition, Nikon EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 (old version) on focusing Helicoid and macro tubes, 2x Nissin Di622 flash modded.
The exposure:
ISO 800, 1/50, f16
The Postprocess:
SW - Photo Ninja
WB - picked from the top right corner's little patch
Little exposure tweaks, contrast -26, detail +14.
Little extra saturation in Yellow.

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just for fun I picked the White Balance on the yellow areas which gave me a blue image that reminded me of a negative, so I took it to Photoshop and Inverse + little tweak with levels and here you have a totally different picture :) I kinda like it! :)
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And just a shot of the rig I've used :)
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#2 nfoto

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 19:58

You have captured plenty of details, so obvious the camera/lens combination works just fine and deliver.

However, I am not entirely pleased with the colour palette, false or no, as the general impression is one of muddled and oversaturated yellows (almost going to green). It is indeed true dandelion do vary a lot in their UV signature depending on what microspecies and the development stage of the flower head. However, they usually come out with much cleaner yellows than this.

It is tempting to use the colour saturation tools in PN to "enhance" the image, however most of the time you are in danger of messing up colours big time. Think in terms of how colours print. In Photoshop for example, toggle crtl + Y (or command + Y on Mac if memory serves) to observe the image in emulated CMYK. That shows the problem areas instantly.

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 00:15

It's a well-detailed shot, Timber.
Play a bit with the shadow slider to try opening up the dark areas a little bit to show some detail there. Too far and things will look washed out. Shadow slider does not always work successfully, but sometimes can be useful in PN.

Agree that you should not boost the saturation in the yellow. Oversaturation can obscure detail.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#4 Timber

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 15:49

yeah Saturation is a bit tricky for me... I use a Lenovo laptop and it's screen is quite rubbish :D so sometimes I can only guess how the colors are :D

#5 nfoto

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 15:55

A sound advice when you process on an unknown monitor/machine is never massage the colours. You are much more likely to screw them completely up than getting them about right.

By the way, I assume you are not using one of the high-end lenovos. They have excellent screens showing 95% of the gamut (Adobe if you believe the maker) and can reliably be calibrated and profiled.

#6 Timber

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 16:03

No, I paid less for my laptop than for my filters :D But future project is to save up for a proper laptop with proper screen.