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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

When it comes to inspiration for my photography, I just go outside.  I love taking nature images and this past week, I was away for a few days camping by a river.  Close to our campsite was a garden full of butterflies, here is one:

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

This is the edited version, I’ll show you the original in a bit.  For this photo I chose an ISO of 400 because even though it was sunny, the garden itself was full of harsh shadows. I picked an f-stop of f/10 because I wanted most of the image in focus, but I was OK with some of the background detail fading away. A shutter speed of 250 seemed to be fine to catch the movement of the butterfly.  In editing this photo, I first cropped and sharpened it.  I then made a layer with a gradient map that was yellow, but dropped that layer’s opacity to about 70%. That was the top layer; I also put a mask on it and masked back in the original flower and butterfly.  The result created some contrast between the two layers. I then decided to use the oil paint filter to give the photo a bit of a dreamy look.  Here is the original:

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

ISO 400 190mm 0ev f/10 1/250

So what do you think of my two versions? Feel free to leave a comment below.

On another note, what do you do when things go seriously awry? One of my favorite bloggers and certainly my favorite dinosaur, just got out of prison.  She’s going to use her experience to help other women who have been incarcerated.  To me, that’s brave and inspiring, read her thoughts on it here.


50 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

  1. Both versions are beautiful, but you know me.. I like the magical-ish edited one. :D. I love that you explained it all. Your talent with the camera is, to me, inspiring. 🙂

    Thank you for the shout out.


  2. Both photos are beautiful! I do like the close-up editing. The most awry things have gone for me have not been so serious to end up incarcerated. As you said – brave and inspiring. When things go awry around here, usually a bowl of chocolate ice cream fixes it 🙂


  3. halparker says:

    It’s interesting how the two photos give off totally different moods. I’m definitely not an expert with Photoshop, but it looks like you definitely softened the image well with your edits. Which kinda intrigues me because when I edit, I usually look to increase the drama/intensity versus the dream. Nice to look at other styles! Both the original and edit are beautiful! 🙂


    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I would say that I tend to edit more towards reality than the dreamy feel I went for here. Of all the edits I made I felt like it was the gradient map step, which added the yellow tone, changed the mood of the photo the most.


  4. Love what you have done to the photo. Really like the dreamy feel to it – summer time, warmth in the air and all we want to do is sit back and relax. When things go wrong, I always remind myself that there is something to learn out of what’s happening.


  5. Nature is a great source of inspiration, also for me ! I’m always drawn to flowers and tree, every time I see one I can’t help but take a few pictures 🙂 Butterflies are a lot more tricky to take pictures of 🙂


  6. Both images are beautiful. However I’d prefer the first one because of the position of the subject is perfect – and I just look through the subject – the subject stands out well. The second image in quality is brilliant but the second yellow flower at the end background is bit distracting. This is just my humble opinion..


  7. I can’t set them side by side to compare because I’m on my kindle. Scrolling up and down just makes me think the two are lovely. I’m no photographer and most of your explanation went wooosh, over my head. :/ But I know beauty when I see it and admire those who can capture the image at all. 🙂


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