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  #243 Macros 2021
Entry 1 of 23
Polka dot plant       ©2021 johncomyn
NIKON D7200       1st place, 157 points
20s, f16, ISO 100, 90mm, Aperture Priority, Pattern, no flash
Post-Processing: Concert from Raw
Color Efex - Sunlight
      Extra Info: Taken with natural light indoors, late afternoon. Post processing was minimal, the colours are pretty much straight out of camera.

24 comments on this entry
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29 days ago
    Congrats John! I've never seen the variety of this plant with hairy leaf edges. Looking forward to what theme ideas you have for us for #245!

Jade O.
35 days ago
    Not sure if that was a rhetorical question but my view is it does not follow that just because a shot is taken from straight above it is not artistic. My Main entry in Challenge #230 is taken from the top and dead center and while it is documentary to a degree, it is an unusual perspective for the subject and artistic. A flat on view of a leaf is far from unusual and in fact you will see that sort of presentation of a whole leaf in another entry in this Challenge. As to what place originality has in assessing the merits of artistic expression is a question which has changed throughout the history of art. Impressionism was originally rejected as not being artistic and more recently postmodernism has suggested there is no original art. Google art and originality and you will find a multitude of articles and essays on the subject. I try to be original simply because it is so easy in photography to copy someone else's ideas. Apart from gaining technical practice and proficiency I see little point in replicating an idea taken from someone else or from taking an image that could be found in any garden magazine or catalogue. I'm not saying that is exactly what you have created here but subjectively I don't find it far off which is to explain my critique based on my views and not to denigrate your abilities (far better a photog than most here) or what you have been able to achieve (a first place finish which says something about what the collective of voters thought.).
Edited on Mar 31, 2021

35 days ago
    Not quite seeing the similarity! Sure looking from above. So all top down shot's are un-original or documentary?

With the proliferation of camera's and phones things get tougher to be original.

I think macro photography is a tough genre, to be artistic.

Many of the top artists in the world stick to a genre, and style so challenge competitions don't suit well for the true artist.

Jade O.
35 days ago
    Well you asked....
How about this one?
Top shot, looking straight down, top and bottom leaf full, left and right leaf, tip cropped....used to illustrate the plant on an online plant guide...
At that is only going to the fourth row of google images....there's more, of course.

35 days ago
    Not seeing how you are comparing this to plant field guide, personally find it the opposite. Not sure what orange vs pink green has anything to do with snapshots. This is a natural plant native to South Africa and Madagascar, not that this was shot in it's natural surroundings.

I'll post a link from google images below, sure you can agree my image does not resemble any there. This is a extreme closeup. Maybe you could post some other picture of a plant that emphasizes your point?

Edited on Mar 30, 2021

35 days ago
    Congrats John. Love the detailed white hairs!

Jade O.
36 days ago
    Hers is orange, yours is pink and green....hers is not what I would see in a Field Guide to Flowers, yours is what I might see in a Field Guide to Plants. One is interpretive, one is documentary, to my eye. The 20s exposure goes to the technical process, not the end result which is governed mostly by subject, framing, and composition. Any vignette for me tends more to the milky water shot, and sunset categories, if I notice the vignette as among the first things I see when I look at an image. Just explaining my thinking, for whatever it is worth.

36 days ago
    Congratulations! Beautiful colors and lighting!

36 days ago
    Jade - Not quite seeing the difference looking at jomari's image. I guess everything is open to interpretation, as all the votes suggest. 20s exposure would be pretty tough with Istamatic, also as a snapshot with any camera. Saying that I respect your opinion, that this is documentary. I always look forward to your comments.
Edited on Mar 30, 2021

Jade O.
36 days ago
    Congrats on the top finish. Now to answer your question, I will use Neil's definition: "Straightforward representation where the photographer plays a very minimal role". For me that applies irrespective of PP when the subject is taken in a way which documents an object rather than interprets it which is what this does in my view, unlike your brush entry which is anything but documentary. I used to call documentary images "snapshots" because it would be what I consider to be the kind of image the average tourist with an Instamatic camera would take to document their experience, whether it be a visit to a botanical garden or a horticultural show. Look at jomari's Nasturtium image for the difference between documentary and interpretive.
Edited on Mar 30, 2021

36 days ago
    Congratulations John - Well deserved. this little plant is just vibrating with life and colour.

36 days ago
    Thank Maike13! My first comments on both entries were from you, and they were great. Not sure which I like better, but probably leaning towards the brushes.

Thanks to everyone for the votes and comments! Some commented about the brighter bottom leaf, in hindsight I should maybe have toned that down with some burning.

Jade - Not sure if you were referring to mine when you said documentary style. I googled many pictures of this plant, and would say it is quite unique compared to what I could find. Through my few years of photography I`ve learned to not follow too many rules, I go by what works for me through the viewfinder. I tried many different compositions with this, and found the centered most compelling. I guess artistic is in the eye of the beholder.

36 days ago
    Congrats on #1. I thought both your entries were an easy choice for #1. Glad I was at least half right.

    Comments After End of Challenge    
    Comments During Voting    

37 days ago
    The lighting in this photograph is superb, especially in the way that it highlights the tiny hairs on the edges of the leaves. Beautiful colours and a lovely blurred background add up to a lovely photo.

37 days ago
    The colours are gorgeous! I love the fine hairy fringe around the edges of the leaves.

37 days ago
    I like the back lighting.It shows the colours as well as all those amazing hairs.

Old Finn
38 days ago
    Nice picture, good sharpness and well composed. In my favorites.

38 days ago
    A striking plant, well-shot. Consider a square crop that concentrates on the central area; I'm not sure we need to see so much of the sameness from the larger leaves.

Jade O.
39 days ago
    I like everything about this shot except the dead center presentation. Seems people like shooting plants in documentary style which is great if you are putting together a book identifying plants but doesn't excite me as an artistic photograph. I'm glad you framed it tight though and resisted the urge which some have shown here to document the whole object tip to tip.

39 days ago
    Well shot. I've never seen one this colour, it's very eye catching.

40 days ago
    Some how you managed top and back lighting to bring out the leaf colors and the delicate hairs. Except for the one leaf which is slightly over exposed, this is a beautiful image with very interesting details.

40 days ago
    Nicely done. The fine hairs on the leaves really make this image pop. My only quarrel is the highlighted lower leaf.

40 days ago
    nice framing and subject maybe an adjust on the brightness of the bottom leaf ?excellent details

40 days ago
    Love the lighting and great bokeh. Tons of flower shots in the challenge but this one really stands out.
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By johncomyn


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