Back Modifications (4)
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By franfoto
Hi all,

As the title suggests, I am trying to develop new processing techniques and would really appreciate your critique and comments in my quest to improve.
Today's post is intentionally on the dark side and if it falls flat on it's face that's OK, I am more interested in your opinions and feedback rather than votes and you can be brutally honest with me.

I'm delighted that my last shot Impressions 2 was well received and thanks for the comments and critique which I found most useful.

Thanks for dropping in and I look forward to your verdict on this one.


Tags: Specialist and abstract Flowers and plants Close-up and macro Digitally manipulated Digital art Wildlife and nature


iancrowson Plus
10 215 168 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 3:27PM
This image is interesting and attractive .Rich deep colours with detail well into the shadows on the flower. Background is deep and mysterious too.
To the right is something which I had to guess too much that it was a butterfly. I would suggest either making the butterfly more prominent by lightening just a little and moving more into the main viewing area OR leave the butterfly out and move the flower to one side slightly.
I feel the flower and the background are pretty strong elements alone.
I'm sure your well down the right road,

Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
7 Jun 2011 3:37PM
A lovely artistic image. Beautiful colour in it........Sandy
franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 3:39PM
Thank you Ian, things for me to consider,

pluckyfilly 14 351 33 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:02PM
agree with Ian on the butterfly but otherwise Fran this is great processing
andylea 12 37 1 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:07PM
fantastic colour and detail fran i agree about the butterfly but the flower and colours are stunning nice one Wink
BlueRoom 14 73 20 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:08PM
I like the look and feel of the picture, particularly the glowing heat in the centre of the flower. I do agree though that the butterfly needs to contribute a bit more to the image.
It is certainly a powerful technique but you may find it more suitable for less delicate images. Only trial and error and your good judgement will figure that out.

Niknut Plus
10 2.7k 82 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:20PM
What a lovely image !.....nice detail & strong only concern is that the two 'subjects' tend to blend into the b/g somewhat ?

I've done a mod to try & 'lift' them a little, but maybe needs a bit more ?

Still a fine shot though !!!!!
franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 4:25PM
Thanks Keith (Niknut) for the mod, nice adjustment and I appreciate your time and comments.

barbarahirst 12 27 12 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:30PM
STUNNING !!!! What a wonderful image
For me the words THE AWAKENING sprung to mind..
Your image seems to fulfill this to me ... It seems so full of promise
and to think its only a flower Smile
RonnieAG Plus
11 154 119 Scotland
7 Jun 2011 4:34PM
A very interesting image, Fran, and I have enjoyed reading the comments of others. Your processing skills are obviously excellent, and compositionally I do like the inclusion of the butterfly.
You say the image is intentionally only thoughts in relation to that is that the wild rose
was likely to have been a much paler colour, and the same process applied with a more pastel and lighter tone range might be equally acceptable. I would be interested to see such if it were possible. Just my thoughts which I hope do not upset you.
(PS. I may add that I could not have achieved what you have processing skills are absolutely minimal......R)
snag 9 18 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 4:41PM
I think the dark picture is a very powerful image. I like the butterfly as it is, although I tend to agree Ronnie's comments above. Like Ronnie, my abilities with Photoshop etc do not add up to much, so I do not pretend that these comments are an expert critique. I know what I like, and I like this a lot.
franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 4:46PM
Thanks Ronnie, good observation that the flower is a wild rose and is a pale pink and I probably will do more versions with it. I didn't know what was going to evolve when I started on this one and on changing the layer mode to 'colour burn' on the textured background layer, I rather liked the boldness and rich tones so went with this throughout the processing. Many thanks for your comments.

Maiwand 14 3 73 England
7 Jun 2011 4:51PM
I have to say that I am pretty much in awe of people who can use PS to such an extent. I am beginning to regard myself as pretty much of a LUDDITE when I see images like this and I dont in any way feel qualified to comment. I do however find myself very much in accord with with contributors like Iancrowson/Blue Room and were I clever enough I would attempt their path.Grin The butterfly seems to contribute very little in its current shape or form.

I think now is a good time for me to shut up !!!
Its a lovely shot Fran.
fentiger 19 920 24 England
7 Jun 2011 5:01PM
An experiment which has worked extremely well Fran. Before I read the other comments I felt that it didn't need the butterfly. Definitely an experiment worth pursuing.

franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 5:03PM
Hahaha Ron, would never want you to shut up! your comments are just as valid as anyone else's and as welcome too. Many thanks

franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 5:06PM
Hmmmm, Think that butterfly will have to go Lol.
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 50 England
7 Jun 2011 5:29PM
I think the colour burn layer made this a very difficult image to do much with Fran - too overpowering with shadows and red - looks flat.
Tried a quick mod.
I have adj highlights/shadows/midtone contrast.
Added a mid blue layer - overlay at 12 % opacity to give the reds a more natural colour.
Adj levels to balance the overall look of the image.
Really think it could work with a more subdued approach.Wink
franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 5:46PM
Thanks Brian for comments and mod.. Taking all into consideration.
taggart Plus
16 47 14 United States
7 Jun 2011 6:38PM
Different tack--- I think the subject warrants a much lighter treatment--- This reminds me of a thunderous sky over a dark and gloomy castle!
Eviscera 14 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 7:10PM
Hiya Fran.

Some good pointers above on this lovely dark image and good use of complimentary colours, the red and yellow work really well. The mods are good.

fwiw , a couple of pointers going forward.

Have a look at colour wheel theory. Its subjective to include/exclude the butterfly , but it would have contributed more as Eric alludes , if you had used an equilateral triangle and found a blue butterfly to complete the primary triad. Its not scary balancing colours and can make a big difference to your art. Heres a link on that part.

As it is , the butterfly is indistinct in its definition and tonality (its the same as the flower) , but try a splash of blue.

Keep in mind scaling and composition as with any photo.Im finding this a little "bottom heavy" . Try setting your crop tool to display the thirds grid and , well you know that bit Smile

franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 9:09PM
Thanks Dave (Eviscera). I've never looked at a colour wheel theory before so your link certainly opened my eyes to balance in this area. I did think of adding a different coloured butterfly when I was working on this but was a bit scared to introduce a third colour. After watching the video, I realise that I should have gone with my instincts.
I'm very much feeling my way around something that I am really interested in and it's never as easy creating art from photography with no formal training and limited knowledge with software, I know what's in my head but creating a vision that others can see is reliant on many physical aspects some of which are nothing to do with creativity but as important to the whole process.

It's the help and advice that is offered by you and others on this site that inspires me to try that bit harder to get things right and I thank everybody for sharing this with me.

PS I'm trying to work out what fwiw and atb mean, excuse my ignorance but I'd love to know. Smile
Rock 18 10 2 England
7 Jun 2011 9:24PM
Photography is a visual art and a shot such as this is certainly in eye of the beholder and advice can be ignored as personal views all differ.

I certainly enjoyed viewing the manip.

Mynett 12 142 6 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 9:48PM
I like your processing of the flower and surroundings, but the butterfly makes it just too busy for my taste, the strength of the image is so much to do with the flower itself I feel - if this makes any sense.....

Eviscera 14 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 9:59PM
fwiw - for what its worth and atb - all the best x

As Rock points out , to choose to develop or stay in ones comfort zone is a choice to ignore or embrace.

banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
7 Jun 2011 10:03PM
I love Daves suggestion, and loaded a mod based on it.

Hope you like, - I do.

franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 10:18PM
Yes, love the mod, thank you Will.

Mynett 12 142 6 United Kingdom
7 Jun 2011 10:20PM
Big thanks to Dave for the link - so interesting and I learned a lot from it
franfoto 13 2 32 England
7 Jun 2011 10:31PM
Thanks. your comment makes perfect sense Linda and I'm glad you enjoyed Dave's link, hope others will learn something from it too.

Jestertheclown 12 8.3k 253 England
7 Jun 2011 10:39PM
I think Dave's hit the nail on the head here as Willlie's mod. shows us.
An interesting and unusual piece of work.
I shall look out for more.

Best wishes,


FWIW = For what it's worth.
ATB = All the best.
FeatherFriend 13 38 217 England
8 Jun 2011 12:00AM
Rubbish!!!! (I'm allowed to say that 'cos I'm your Husband and you have stopped me having any more chocolate ready for your impending diet)
...............suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms at the moment Grin Grin Grin Sad Tongue

Seriously though, it's all beyond me, my PS skills are minimal so I couldn't suggest any improvement, good and helpful comments have been offered here which sound good to me,
Geoff xx
Eviscera 14 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
8 Jun 2011 12:35AM
Jeez Will , I suggested a "splash" of blue to complete the triangle , not a bloody great big blue butterfly lol !

lol mod done , pillow waiting Tongue
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
8 Jun 2011 7:33AM
Here we go again - dozens of comments on a first class image, and virtually nothing on those that need comments to learn.

This is effective and extremely strong. I'm not sure the butterfly was even needed, but, if so, it could do to be a little lighter as it almost fails to register. THe image is all to the top of the frame - I would crop the bottom off to just below the flower, including the logo which pulls the eye.

iancrowson Plus
10 215 168 United Kingdom
8 Jun 2011 8:25AM
Lots of interesting comments. Lots varied advice and opinions. I learn from reading these, so thank you.
I still stand my initial comment. I would expect that you could take a good picture of a wild rose showing the details and colour perfectly. That's not what you trying to do.
My wife had a look and said it is a very lovely image, wonderful colours and subject. She worked in art and design for 35 years, takes a mean photo but does not know the difference between mid tone contrast and aperture. If it pleases the eye, it's good.
Lets see more
Jestertheclown 12 8.3k 253 England
8 Jun 2011 8:27AM

Quote:Here we go again - dozens of comments on a first class image, and virtually nothing on those that need comments to learn.

I agree entirely with your sentiments Paul but unless someone posts their image in the critique gallery or actually asks for advice, I find it's good advice to say nothing.
There are far too many people posting on here who's work tells us that they could obviously benefit from some help but who are convinced that they've produced a masterpiece and will become quite rude, offensive even, at the slightest whiff of criticism, however polite it may be.

Glyn1 11 4 1 England
8 Jun 2011 12:41PM
Hi Fran, the deep tones are very rich with an excellent contrast from the centre outwards, i agree with others re the butterfly. On a personal note I prefer lighter images but i still think this image has a lot to be said for it.

TONKSPHOTO 10 2 United Kingdom
9 Jun 2011 1:48AM
Fran,Im not very good at keyboard or reading off screen even though I was a printer...Love the image,would love to see it even bigger....Regards....John
PhillipMinnis 10 94 4 Australia
9 Jun 2011 5:23AM
Fran, because I'm mainly a microstock photographer, I don't really get to 'play around' with images! Microstock sites require images to be pretty much straight out of the camera, with only very minor adjustments to saturation and contrast. Consequently, I lack knowledge and skills in processing images like this. To me, it looks just great! I love the rich colours and I like the composition! Smile


accipiter 11 61 England
13 Jun 2011 11:43AM
A very arresting image with a strong element of 'mystery' - Your textures and manipulation are excellent. For me there is a slight sense of depression - I think because the rose and butterfly are dark with blood red tones. think I may have lightened them a little and moved the color from red toward yellow and orange to bring them out of the dungeon and into the sun. A wonderful experiment. A

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