Picture of an Apple

I figure I’d open this one up for critique. I would have liked to get some more dramatic shadows in the parts of the apple that had been chewed on. Maybe if I had moved the speedlight a little farther from the apple (speedlight was just barely out of the frame for this picture), then I would have gotten heavier shadows.

I do like how the shadow comes from the left, leads to the apple, then the reflection underneath leads the eye out of the bottom of the frame.

For this I did some messing with exposures, shadows in RT, and tweaked the HH (hue) of the apples skin a tiny bit.

Then into gimp where I cloned out some dust spots, resized and unsharpmasked it. I was inspired by Edward Westons pepper photo, and the whiskey I was drinking.


First impressions

Having a chewed up apple is an interesting idea, chewed near the top makes it more so. It doesn’t have the same feel as the Weston pepper, and there is no fire burning. :fire_extinguisher: :stuck_out_tongue:  I am not a fan of the tight crop and there are too many glints for my taste. Are they clipped?

The glints are the actual texture in the skin of the apple. I did have a small amount of clipping in the photo, but it was confined to a small area in the upper right, chewed up portion of the apple. If I didn’t look at it with RawTherapee’s highlight clipping indicator, I would not even know it was there.

TBH, the only similarity between this and Weston’s pepper is that it’s a closeup of a fist-sized piece of edible vegetation. But I did think about his pepper when I was setting up the shot.

I am not sure whether glint was the correct term; indeed, I was referring to the fleshy parts.

Ah, I see. I will call those “specular highlights.”

It doesn’t have the same feel as the Weston pepper, and there is no fire burning.

Hmmm…just so I understand…are you requesting that I do a flaming apple next? Could be fun!

If he’s not, then I am!

As for this one, I can’t get past the crop.

Hmmm. Both you and @afre are hating on my crop. I went with it that way because it keeps the shadow on the left, and the reflection below. Unfortunately, both the shadow and reflection are really hard to see. I wish I could bring them out more. But any tone curve that I try would affect the whole black background, and I’d lose global contrast.

Really, if I were to re-shoot the picture, I may have adjusted the light to cast a more prominent shadow to the left, and maybe wiped down the chair to get a stronger reflection. In other words, not something I can fix in post production. Click on the picture to see it full size if you haven’t already. It’s harder to see in the rescaled version on my screen.

If I did not crop so close, it would be a lot of black space with no detail and nothing interesting. I’m not trying to defend my crop, but curious what you guys would have done differently, given that the apple is just sitting there on a black vinyl chair. Did you want it on a golden ratio line or something?

There is also this, which is unpleasant.


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As someone who’s entertained himself stuck in a hotel room over a weekend, messing with my camera trying to find interesting compositions with the bathroom glasses, I get it.

I like the lighting. Yep, probably a little farther away would have put some relief in the right-hand side of the apple. A bit more depth of field might have also given interest to the stem. I’d crop the lower part out, get rid of the out-of-focus smudge.


I didn’t really think about it before, but I do think you’re absolutely right that more depth of field would have really helped this. I shot it at f-4.5. f8 or f11 would have been the ticket. Moving the light farther back also would have probably helped. As for the crop…I’ll add your name to the list of people that don’t like the reflection. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your comments!

I left that out in my first impressions because while I found the blurred stem unnatural it was challenging my expectations. However, I do agree that the depth of field could be worked on a bit more.

I didn’t think about it much until more recently, going back over older images I noticed lacking depth-of-field I just happily ignored before. Sometimes it works, like in @guyru’s cat portrait play_raw - that near eye just arrests your attention, keeping you from noticing the out-of-focus far eye until later. The dappled texture of the apple skin kinda does that, but not like that eye…

Edit: Oops, I gave incorrect credit to @kakashy for @guyru’s image - my apologies.

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I think the crop.is just way too tight on the top and right. It doesn’t look intentional to me.

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first, I am a complete ignorant regarding flash and product photography, so take what I say with a grain of salt…

that said, I agree about the crop being too tight for my taste. I can see why you wanted to keep the shadow, but it’s too faint imho and doesn’t give the right contrast with the rest. I would also have tried to keep all the shadow in the frame (if you decide to keep it) and generally add more space around the top right. the reflection at the bottom can safely go without losing anything imho.

I do like the colour and the textures of the apple! I also agree about increasing the dof.

and finally, thanks a lot for sharing! I’m quite happy I’m not the only one doing this :slight_smile: I really think these threads could be a great resource for the community

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A late comment: sorry, my first impression was that a rat had done the chomping … just doesn’t look like a human nibble … a little off-putting! OK, it’s not a fair comment on the image.
Nice work for what it is but I award points for some degree of creativity and I do not see anything special regarding what you have presented. Well crafted!

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Very perceptive! In fact, my dog had raided the grocery bag and was chowing on the apple before I caught him and took it away. That’s how it got chewed up.