Archive for July 7th, 2009



And White Campion for my Banner!

And White Campion for my Banner!

This is another shot that is easy to visualize and difficult to do. I tried several times, with the Campion which was standing tallest and with the Vetch which was equally dramatic. This is what I was after.

Take a good long look at the image, because what I am about to tell you will change your perception of it, and I want your original impression well fixed.

with tell-tale shadow

Tell-tale shadow

Only when I got it all processed and uploaded to Wide Eyed In Wonder (my smugmug site) did I notice that there was a dark shadow across the lower petals. I had hopefully attributed it to the petals being folder under in processing, but now that I looked closely I saw it for what it was…the shadow of my lens.

Unacceptable. I can stand natural obstructions, and often leave them in when others might edit them out, but I do not want something that I put there to spoil the image.

I tried some Local Adjustment brush work in Lightroom, but the petals have a texture that was destroyed by adjustments in brightness or exposure. The only option to save the image (imho) was to take it into Photoshop Elements for some work with the clone tool. It is rare that I have to resort to anything beyond the tools available in Lightroom, but this was the exception. The clone tool allows you to pick up a piece of the image…color, texture…the whole thing…and paint it over another section of the image. It is the way you magically remove those protruding branches, bits of grass in front of faces, etc. In this case all I wanted to do was remove the shadow. To do that I selected the petal right above the shadow, and carefully painted its texture and exposure over the darkened areas. This works so well that on the left petal, I was able to paint in a water droplet at the tip of the petal.

Is this cheating? I don’t have a good answer for that. Certainly I would have preferred not to have gotten the shadow in there in the first place, but given the tools at our disposal today, I saw no reason to leave it there and let it spoil a shot that I really liked.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide and macro. F5.6 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

Besides the processing outlined above, in Lightroom I cropped slightly from the right to eliminate a distraction and improve composition. Recovery for the sky. Added Clarity and Vibrance and Landscape sharpen. I was able to retain all those edits when exporting the file to Photoshop Elements, so the find version includes those changes and the editing I did in PE.

From Around Home, Kennebunk ME.