When image editing runs amuck

I took some photos last week of a beautiful backlit wildflower.  That was the quick and easy part.  I am currently taking a photoshop class, so I have been busy editing everything.  When I took the photo, I had split toning in mind. Sonel hosts a weekly split toning challenge and the theme this week was flowers.  Here is my final image:

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

The “problem” with Photoshop is that you could muck around with a photo pretty much forever.  I put problem in quotes because I am quite aware that is a user induced problem; the Photoshop program is also happy to sit idle on your machine.

But back to this image.  I liked the photos I had taken of this flower, but I was wondering if I could get a more detailed result by creating an HDR image.  So, I tried it and here is the result:

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

ISO 160 50mm 0ev f/5 1/125

It is pretty, but I was really looking to bring out some detail in the center of the flower, so I considered this a partial success.  I then shifted my focus back to split toning.  I opened this HDR image in Bridge and converted it to greyscale.  Then I looked at my split toning options.  I decided to make the highlights red and the shadows yellow.  I still was not completely happy with the center of the flower. So, I opened my photo as a smart object in Photoshop.  Once I had done that, in the layers panel I clicked the make copy via smart object option.  I did this because I knew that I could then take my copy back into Camera Raw, adjust the exposure for the center of the flower, and then go back into Photoshop.  Then I made a mask and keep the center only of that version for my final version.  Once I had the flower looking the way I wanted, I cropped and sharpened the image.

That’s a lot of editing for a flower.  More than I really was thinking when I took the photo.  How about you, have you ever gone overboard with your editing?  What do you think of my final images? do you prefer one over the other? questions about my editing? Your comments are welcome below.

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24 thoughts on “When image editing runs amuck

  1. PJB I’ve found the realms of Photoshop are …. infinite …
    Sometimes I get totally side tracked .. absorbed .. faff about … then in the end prefer the original !
    But I do love to have the option 😉

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  2. Wow PJB! I really love both of them. The one is just more beautiful than the other. Really! 😀
    Great shot as well hon and I love how you explained everything. Great job! Thanks for taking part and for sharing. 😀 *big hugs*

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  3. Pingback: Split-Toning Weekly Photo Challenge : Boats | Sonel's Corner Split-Toning Photo Challenge

    • Thank you. It is an image that I will probably work with some more. I guess the color version is just not quite what I had in mind, so I’ll probably try again. F-stop settings can change an image in pretty powerful ways, and sometimes it can be a bit tough to really get what you are after. It’s all part of the challenge of photography 🙂

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  4. I have the same kind of problems with photo imaging. It’s hard to know when to stop. I like both your images – the top one is the strongest I think.

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