18-55mm IS lens, Canon 80D, Flowers, One Word Sunday, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Yellow Snowdrops

ISO 250 f/11 50mm 1/25sec

Added to One Word Sunday, Symmetry.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Single Bloom

What first attracted me to this scene was color. I loved the contrast of the deep pink and green, so I took the photo:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/50sec

I was using my 50mm lens and centered the flower in the frame. I saw the various other elements, the fence and the rest of the flower and figured that when I was editing, I would probably decide on a crop that would take the flower out of the center. When I was reviewing my files, I made the choice that I found the fence more interesting than the rest of the flower, so I went with this crop:

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/50sec

A few other edits have been applied here, but not many and none of them too heavy. This gentle, rather delicate looking bloom called for a light touch when it came to editing.

What do you think, do you like this crop? A natural and a man-made object in the same frame can lead to a bit of tension, do you like it here? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Tuesday Photo Challenge, Gentle.

Picfair version here.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: From Monet’s Garden

ISO 800 50mm f/10 1/60sec

Added to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Colorful and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Wandering Wednesday

Flower Power

I love taking nature photos. This one was a bit of an unexpected find:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

Unexpected for two reasons. The first is that it was taken in a cemetery, though you’d never know it from this photo. The second is that it was taken with my 50mm lens. I was able to get that close without the butterfly flying away.

The original file is this one:

ISO 800 50mm f/16 1/250sec

I chose this file to work with because I thought the exposure was pretty much perfect. I liked the amount of detail in both the butterfly and the flower it is sitting on. I also loved the summery colors in this image, what can I say, this winter just seemed to drag its feet on the way out this year. I cropped the photo and then the biggest edit was to remove the blade of grass that was just to the left of the flower, I found it pretty distracting. I used the healing tool in Lightroom for the removal.  I have also boosted the luminance and clarity and added a vignette.

What do you think of the edit? Have you ever come across a nature image in an unexpected place? Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Wandering Wednesday and Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Picfair version is here.

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

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

When I first saw that focus was the subject of this week’s photo challenge at WordPress, I thought about taking a photo creating focus based on depth of field.  But I have also started a new term at school and I am taking a Photoshop class.  I am going to be very focused on learning new ways to edit my images so I used some of the techniques we covered in class this week to create this image:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/25

Here’s how I edited the image in Photoshop:

  1. Created a duplicate layer
  2. Did a hue and saturation adjustment and moved the saturation slider all the way to the left.
  3. The hue and saturation adjustment came with it’s own mask, so I used a black paint brush to brush back in the color of the bee and the flower.
  4. Then I wondered what the density and feather sliders on the mask would do so I dropped the density to 80% and added a feather of 1.7 pixels.
  5. Then I decided that I wasn’t crazy about the completely unsaturated background so I moved that slider to -78 which brings back a bit of color to the background.

The bottom line here is that I was messing with the color to create focus.  Here is the original:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/250

I took this photo using my Canon 50D and a 50mm lens.  I was using a tripod and a fast shutter speed with the hope of stopping the movement of the bee as much as possible.  I was only somewhat satisfied with the way these original images turned out.  I think I am going to take my point and shoot camera along next time to see if I can get a closer view that I might be happier with.

So, what do you think of the images? In response to a recent post, a reader commented that they liked photography to look as natural as possible.  I have to say that in general I do agree with that statement particularly when it comes to nature photography; how do you feel about that? Does the fact that I used Photoshop on this bee put you off? Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Nothing goes together like a bug and flower:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/160

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/160

I was walking in the woods when I came across this wildflower and it’s bug companion.  I thought it would make a good composition for this week’s photo challenge at WordPress.

I did not have my tripod with me, but I knew that I could use a fast shutter speed instead and come up with the image I wanted.  I loved the yellow and green colors, but thought it would be best if the yellow was really in sharp focus and the green less so.  An f-stop of 6.3 gave me the look I was going for.  I put my ISO to 400 because of the shade. When I got this photo in Aperture, I cropped it a bit and also sharpened it a bit.

Cheers!

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