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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

There are a lot of flowers in the house right now.  I enjoy all of them and love photographing them, but there is something about the rose that seems to embody grace:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

There is also something inherently graceful about a black and white photograph. I find that limiting the color palette is a form of simplicity even if it is not simple to do.  In this case, I started with this original photo:

The original

The original

Before converting it to black and white, I edited it to this version using Lightroom:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

I have increased the saturation, vibrance, and clarity.  I like the original version better than this edited version, but it has been my experience that a crisp and vibrant color photo often transforms into a more interesting black and white version than a softer color photo does.

Having created the more dynamic color version, I then edited it using the Silver Efex Pro plug in within Lightroom.  As I usually do, I began with choosing a filter that looked closest to what I wanted to achieve and then edited from there.  It is rare that I apply a filter and then don’t edit it further.  In this case this filter was a bit too dark for my liking, I increased the light by using the sliders for both the highlights and the shadows.  Back in Lightroom, I added a vignette.

This photo was shot using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens and a magnifier.  This allows me to get more of a macro photo.  The difficulty in using this set up though is getting adequate light.  In this case I went with f/5.6 and 1/20 shutter speed.  That’s a slow shutter speed, I got a lot of blurry images.  Using the tripod would have made this easier.

The beautiful thing about flowers is that they are always changing.  Here’s another photo, this time using my iPhone, taken this morning:

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Roses in the morning light. #photography #goodmorning #flowers

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Lovely, but it is still the black and white version that says graceful to me.  What do you think? Do you have a favorite version? Is there a flower that you think is more graceful than the rose? Do you have a favorite way to convert images to black and white?  Feel free to leave a comment below.