70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

It’s a bit of a contradiction but one of the things I hate about Photoshop I also love. As a photographer, I love to create an image in camera and not have to edit it later. However, I do also enjoy creating a new image out of the one that was taken straight from the camera. For me, editing often involves creating an image that is softer, a dreamy take on the original.

In honor of this week’s photo challenge I took a photo I had taken a few weeks ago and created two versions, both artistic takes on the original.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

One of the reasons I took this photo using the settings I did was that I knew that it would blur out the background pretty well.  To me, this was important because the garden is a very crowded place and I wanted to focus on these two flowers.

When I edited the photo, the first thing I did was crop, specifically to get rid of the yellow in the background that I found distracting.

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

I did like this version but for this challenge I took it a step further, and created a version using the paint filter in Photoshop:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

You may also notice that I took the liberty of removing the two little bugs from the flower.  No bugs in the garden? Now you know that is a dream, certainly not reality thankfully.

So how do you like my oil paint version?  Do the other versions appeal to you more?



54 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

  1. My favourite is the second of three, bugs and all! I think its an improvement on the first version. I agree with you the yellow in the background was distracting. To my eye the paint filter in the third version distracted from the beauty of the original. I wonder what other people think.


    • It’s a bit of a toss up, what others are saying. I’m in the process right now of approving and responding to comments, and I have several more to go after yours. I have to say that I think your favorite might be the over all favorite. To me, there is something nice about the reality of having the bugs in the photo.


  2. I do like the real and the altered image. However, artistically, the altered image is better. The bugs, like the yellow are distracting when one gets the chance to see the altered version right next to the original. What settings do you find works best for blurring the backgrounds. I think it is a great idea to do this with garden photos.


  3. Pingback: Daily Post Weekly Photography Challenge – Dreamy | Something to Ponder About

  4. nice take on the dreamy wpc….
    and Amy, I actually like all three equally – and usually I have a fav or two but here it is a 3 way tie.

    the first photo is what showed up in my reader – and I loved it from the second I saw it. There was almost dialogue felt – like the little flower was talking to the larger one. It was romantic in a way and I felt a warmth and unity – and I did not even notice the bugs until you said you removed them down below – and now they seem so obvious- but totally missed them in the first two! (guess I was in a dreamy state from the pother elements)

    anyhow, picture 2 – I like the crop and I went back and forth between the first and the second to see if I liked the yellow that was removed – and well, I think it added to whatever I felt in the first – along with having more stem in the first, but I did like it cropped too….
    but then came your final one – the paint version – and for some reason it brought me back to the 1980’s when all those watercolor greeting cards were all the rave – because the filter effect actually feels like heavyweight paint paper – and the pink just took on a different feel for me….


    • Thanks for your thoughtful comments. The third version, I agree, is very much like a greeting card. I really like the way the smaller flower turned out in that version.
      As for the subjects of the photo, most of the time “they” say not to have two objects, stick with an odd number because it makes the photo more interesting. This, I think, is one of those times when the rules were made to be broken. I also felt there was a dialogue between these two flowers. Certainly easy to miss in the tangle of my garden, which is part of the reason I blurred the background so aggressively.


      • well I am so glad that you said that about the rules – about sometimes they have to be broken – and so an artist can do their own thing – which is what you do! And actually I do not even know all the rules – I mainly know the composition ones that transfer over to art – like the rule of thirds – rule of odds, symmetry/depth/rato, etc. – and of course the EOA – but I know whenI see something that is fresh and original – and awesome. 🙂

        anyhow, when i said greeting card I did not mean it in the standard way – like picturesque and monumental – svn though it is all that. It was more perosnal for me – it rem,index me of these specific greeting cards that my friends and I used to drool over in the college bookstore in the 80’s – they were the heavy weight paper and had cool art and then deep text – ha! and the texture elf that third shot – and creamy color – brought me back to those specific greeting cards. but it is still a tie for liking all three ha!


      • Yes, I mean the rules are rules for a reason right? and generally speaking the ones that have stood the test of time have done so because they work.
        I was fine with your greeting card comment 🙂 I like cards like that, I also think there is a place in the world for all kinds of art and expression.


      • oh wow – I have to type slower or double check my comments for typos better because that last reply of mine was crazy with the typos (sorry) but I am glad you got my message. ha!
        and yes, I so agree
        ” there is a place in the world for all kinds of art and expression ”
        well said


  5. Magnificent work, Amy. Certainly making the flowers the centre of attention. I like second one a lot, and the more I look at the third one, the more I like it. With the second one, if you didn’t mentioned you did cropping, I thought that was an original shot 😀 Hope you’re having a good weekend, Amy.


  6. I really like the original because of the mood and the colours in the dreamy background, but no objections against number 2 and 3 as well. Altogether, very nice work! I don’t know what has happened, I don’t get a mail notification from WP about your new posts any longer.


  7. Splendid work. I loved the third photo most. Somehow the oil paint style gives it a very different look, makes it more surreal and dreamy. Once again, I like the way you explain the photograph a long with the original and the final edited versions. 🙂


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