50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Calla Lily in Black and White

It’s been a fairly busy week for me in my Photoshop class.  I was preparing for the ACA exam for Photoshop.  I passed it today. I was happy to pass on the first try, but to be honest I have some issues with “standardized” testing, and have some questions as to how much they really prove.

In terms of photography, I am thinking about a new project in Photoshop.  At this point the assignment is in a pretty vague spot.  So, instead of worrying too much about the details I am taking some photos and just thinking generally about some of the effects and filters from Photoshop that might apply.  With that in mind, I made this image this afternoon:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

For the project I am not sure if I will be working in black and white or color.  So, for this exercise I decided to convert the image to black and white and work from there.

One of the things I was thinking about when I was creating this image was the background.  I wanted it to be wavy and somewhat textured.  So what I did was create a duplicate layer and then applied the Oil Paint filter to it.  From there I put a mask on the Oil Paint filter layer and painted back in some of the realistic detail in the lily itself.

It’s an interesting effect, what do you think?  I’ll be trying some other things in the coming week, but I am thinking my final project will incorporate the oil filter in some way.  Here is the original image:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

I was inspired to try this in black and white in part because Open Topic is the theme for Cee’s Black & White Challenge. Since my project is just beginning and not even fully defined yet, I thought that certainly is open-ended.





31 thoughts on “Calla Lily in Black and White

  1. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I like the wavy effect but it looks like you might have bled into the upper edge of the lily. I can’t wait to see more of your photoshop pieces. So far I don’t dare use it. A bit scared I think.


    • Yes, it did. Here’s the think about that, I liked the effect of this filter on the outer edge of the flower, but not so much in the middle. I was also wondering if that blending works, or if it just looks like a mistake when just part of the flower has it. What do you think?
      I like Photoshop, but I can see why some people would be hesitant to use it. Your photos strike me as very “realist” I generally try to go for that in my photos as well which is sometimes why I don’t use a lot of the features of Photoshop when creating an image. It is an interesting back and forth.


    • True story about the pattern in the background. I was thinking about how I was going to set up the background for this shot a few days ago. Then I was out walking. I saw this white fabric on the side of the road. I walked further then realized that it might work, so on my way back, I picked it up and found that it was a shirt with its price tag still on it. It was dirty, but I washed it, and now it is the background.


  2. I like the OP filter effect – and I love how the vertical lines in the flower stand out in contrast to the wavy/textured backdrop – esp. in your edited image!

    also, loved this:
    “have some issues with “standardized” testing, and have some questions as to how much they really prove”
    I feel that way too….


    • Thanks, I think the filter pretty much works here, I’m just playing with it here because the original background had more of a square texture, and I did want it to complement the wavy look of the flower more.
      As much as I do understand the reasons for standardized testing, they still just make me uncomfortable.


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