Trillium in moss

Shot with an older iPhone 6. I liked the mossy tree as a background. The flower is a bit whited-out, not sure how to post-correct that. Using a dslr now and hopefully this won’t happen next wpring. All comments welcomed. Thanks

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Mike, first of all, welcome to NPN. It is a great place to share our images, view others, and learn in the process. I think with this shot the iPhone did a pretty good shot. Glad to hear that you have a DSLR, as I do believe it will up your odds of getting the shot you looking for, but that is just my opinion. I am not familiar with this moss, nor the lily in front of the trees. I think a crop (if the quality of the pixels hold well), to remove the lily leaf to the left, and some off of the top, as well as darken some of the brightness in the background to hold the eye to the subject more. The white in the lily seems a bit over exposed, so maybe darken it a bit if you can. I’m not sure if that will improve the shot any or not. There are a few more photographers on here that might have better/different advice for you. Anyway, I am glad you are checking this wonderful site out, and I hope that you find it, as I did, a great place to learn and meet other photographers.

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Hi Mike. Welcome to NPN. Finding a trillium with its head up is a challenge and this looks like it has a huge flower. The easiest way to make the flower more prominent would be to crop off the top of the image. This would result in a more square format but maintain the surrounding environment. I don’t know what post processing software you use but am sure the whites could be improved. Whether or not the detail in those whites could be retrieved is questionable. Look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

Hi Mike, and welcome to NPN, glad to see you here !!!

I like the concept of showing the trillium as a part of the overall forest environment, it’s a better nature story than just a portrait of a flower. As you have recognized, the highlights in both the flower and the background are blowing out and losing detail. This is where using a DSLR as opposed to a phone will give advantages in the future, if you shoot in raw format it’s much easier to correct dynamic range issues and recover highlights.

As presented, I think the square crop idea from @Patricia_Brundage is a good one, it will crop away a lot of the blown highlights above, yet you will still essentially retain the “flower within the forest” concept. I think the highlights will be more recoverable in the bottom half as well. I was thinking of adjusting it along these lines…

Thanks for the input. It all helps. Now, what is this post processing you talk of? Also, should I shoot in only Raw or Raw + JPG? Thanks

I use an older Photoshop Program, NIK and Topaz. In my humble opinion if you shoot in RAW it is not necessary to use JPEG too.

Mike post processing means adjusting the exposure, contrast and color of an image using software to optimize and enhance the image. By shooting in raw only (no need for Jpeg), you take control over how the photograph looks, instead of your phone controlling how it looks. A Jpeg file is a finished product, but due to the nature of Jpegs there is very little latitude to adjust or correct issues after the fact (such as your blown highlights here). Shooting raw files allow you a lot more leeway to do things later like recovering highlights or changing colors without degrading image quality (which does happen with Jpegs). Many people use raw converter software such as Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, Capture One, etc to process their images.

Do an internet search for “why shoot raw instead of Jpeg”, and you will get a ton of reasons why raw is better. Processing takes time, but real photographers want control over the photographic process that phones and Jpegs just don’t provide.

I really like the square format! Very nice. I knew there were other photographers on here that could provide some good advice. That’s what I love about NPN!

Mike: Welcome to NPN and hope you will find this a great place to learn and grow. I smiled when I read your question about post processing because I posed that same query many years ago when I first joined. Processing is a whole nuther aspect of photographic presentation. There are numerous programs out there from basic to complex. Your camera may have come with some simple tools. Most folks here eventually get to where they shoot in RAW only. The RAW file gives you much more flexibility than the JPEG and you get the small benefit of not loading up your hard drive with JPEG files you won’t ever use.
As for your image, I do like the square crop that Ed demonstrated but I actually prefer your original version. I like seeing the stuff up top and think it adds to the overall result. Great to have you aboard and looking forward to more. >=))>