Karen Botvin  

Blend Modes by Karen Botvin

January 2021 - Blend Modes

January 2021 - Karen Botvin


About the Image(s)

Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season. I call this Playing with Blending Modes. I shot these daisies from overhead with my Nikon Z7 using a 70-200mm lens at f/8 and 185mm. I was taking a still life course and experimenting with shooting on a 50% gray background with a lightbox then applying textures using different blend modes to arrive at something that resonated with me. This has 2 separate textures on it. One an off-white and the top one is black crinkled paper. I actually like this look which is quite different from my normal. What do you all think?

10 comments posted

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Beautiful image of the flowers, especially with the composition of the different angles of each flower. I feel the image is sharp and the contrasting colors in each petal is a beauty of its own. I do think that your texture has gotten too busy and takes away from the central interest of the flowers themselves. Perhaps if you could smooth out the texture some, it would not distract from the flowers as much.   Posted: 01/09/2021 14:37:19
Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Thanks so much, Shirley, for your comments on this image. I'm still tossed on whether or not I like the texture. I intentionally shot these flowers on a gray background because I was going to add a texture. In my wildest dreams, I wouldn't have picked this black crinkled up paper but when I added it, it seemed to pop. Maybe I need to work on it some more.   Posted: 01/18/2021 06:34:38

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Both the original and selected image have a strong impact and I like both. The rocky background gives a strong message but the smooth gray background is more serene giving the flower a different look. Fascinating differences between the images.   Posted: 01/09/2021 15:32:18
Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Thank you for your observations of both backgrounds, Piers. I agree with you that each evokes a different feeling. The gray background is too plain for my tastes. Perhaps it's because when I took this image, I had already planned on applying a texture. Perhaps I need to revisit my textures.   Posted: 01/18/2021 06:38:51

Jaqueline Whalen   Jaqueline Whalen
I actually think I like the smooth background better! the textured background is absolutely fascinating but I found that I was looking at that more than the flowers in the image. With the smooth background I was able to notice the detail of the petals. They look almost like a watercolor painting to me. What would happen if you changed the textured background color to something lighter and not the deep gray tones? Not sure that would make any improvements. Did you try that and see that the darker color was much better? Love the experimentation here!   Posted: 01/10/2021 09:37:18
Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Good point, Jaqueline, in identifying the fascination with the background and it distracting from the flowers. I do need to play around with the texture and see if I can make it less pronounced. Thank you for your comments.   Posted: 01/18/2021 06:41:43

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
I, too, like playing around with differnt effects, but I feel that the original image has a feel of calmness and serenity that is not there with the textured background.
The Orange petals against the gray background is wonderful.
  Posted: 01/17/2021 06:12:17
Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Thanks so much, Jim, for your comments. It seems the consensus of this particular texture is that it distracts from the subject more than it embellishes it. I need to go back and rework it.   Posted: 01/18/2021 06:45:27
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Welcome Jim to the group, and we look forward to seeing your images beginning in February.   Posted: 01/18/2021 10:07:56

Beverly Caine   Beverly Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
Visiting from 48 & 80
I, too, just began playing with textures. One of the best photographers I know when it comes to this kind of work is Marie Altenburg. She has an article in the January PSA journal that is very worth reading. I believe she will also give courses. She did a webinar for our camera club and has me addicted.
This flower is lovely, but I agree with the comments re the texture, it's a bit strong for my taste.
Good Luck ...this is a very fun adventure but can be quite frustrating at times.   Posted: 01/22/2021 06:35:15


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