Back Modifications (2)
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Snakeheads in the Sun

By Squirrel  
Bit of an experiment here. The weather has been awful and most of the fritillaries are going over. I wanted to introduce some sun to the image along with a background that is sympathetic to the plant. Took it in RAW and just adjusted the white balance because I used the ambient light ( it was 9.30 at night in the lounge at home so the lights were on) . Camera mounted on tripod and camera set to 10sec delay. I didn't want to have to press the shutter and cause a bit of movement.

The leaves are very thin and grass like and the flowers were mixed purples and white. They were in a pot, so photographed them against a grey background. Cut them out using the magic wand tool. ( a bit tedious but it works for me.) and deleted the grey background. Locked the transparent pixels on the flower layer. New layer below with yellow green gradient. Back to the flower layer. Duplicated it changed blending mode to overlay, inverted it, high pass filter followed by gaussian blur. New layer above this one and using cmd +alt +shift +e (don't know what it is for pc) merged it all on to that layer. Then added lens flare to give it a bit of sun.

Tags: Flowers and plants Snakes head fritillary Fritillaria meleagris

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banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4315 Canada
4 Apr 2018 9:42PM
How do you think its worked out?

Apart from extracting the flowers from the grey background, from your description it seems a lot of work was done on the flowers themselves? Did I get that right?

Do you have the image of the flowers against the grey background, prior to processing that you could upload as a mod? It would help to see where you started out.

cmd on a mac = ctrl on a PC.

Squirrel 15 471 7 England
4 Apr 2018 11:13PM
Uploaded as requested. I did crop the psd before processing so it might not be quite the same size but it will give you an idea of where I started from. As I said it was a bit of an experiment. I think it works but I am just not sure of the lens flare- is it too big?
rontear Plus
19 23 9 England
4 Apr 2018 11:28PM
Beautiful Jacq, gorgeous botany SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
5 Apr 2018 6:07AM
That's an awful lot of work on the computer, Jacqueline... But you clearly like to do that, rather than fine-tuning the setup.

And the result is rather beautiful: light and airy, and wiht nicely chosen colours. You have doen a really excellent job.

However, for my taste, the end result comes across as having that 'airbrush' look. There's nothing wrong with that, but if I saw this on a card (and it would look good on a card) I really wouldn't be sure it was a photograph.

Maybe that doesn't matter, in any case, except for competitions which require photographic purity and no manipulation.

This made me wonder how I'd go about shooting the same subject. I concluded that I'd put my main effort into setting up the light, very possibly to give interesting shadows, and to shine through rather than on the flowers and leaves. Plus, of course, choosing the background to suit. In other words, my concern would be to set the shot up, and minimise processing - which simply shows that we do different things to get our results, and is not in any way a criticism of your approach.

And yes. I would definitely buy that card...
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4315 Canada
5 Apr 2018 12:53PM
Thanks for uploading the original Jacqueline. It gives an accurate idea of whats been done. I will come back to it later today for a closer look.

banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4315 Canada
5 Apr 2018 1:32PM
I think the overall effect works to a point.

The lens flare may be best left out; the extraction from the grey; use more and softer feathering, - the yellow flower head in particular is carrying quite an obvious dark outline.

I like the idea of the upper flowers slightly fading. I would try to use a diffuse glow to get this effect though, - it might be more realistic, - certainly worth trying.

I used the original and the posted image and layered both, posted image on top, setting opacity to about 60% to get the flowers slightly more solid, and the sun spot less harsh. Then used a diffuse glow, and a warming filter, having repaired the outline of that yellow flower and a few other small areas.

It may look a bit tidier, - either way it a different approach to getting something similar.


paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2018 6:49PM
I think the flare in the top left rather spoils what could be a decent image and pulls the eye. I find myself looking up there rather than at the blooms.


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