Darcy Johnson  


Lake Como Anemone by Darcy Johnson

May 2020 - Lake Como Anemone

About the Image(s)

In late September, 2015 we were fortunate to stay at the Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna on Lake Como in Italy. The hotel has a beautiful rambling botanical garden attached to it, that non-guests pay to stroll through. Our room was part of a converted boat house and we had to wander through the gardens to get to and from our room . . . it was lovely. This anemone brings back all the fond memories of that wonderful visit.

The photograph was taken with a Canon - hand held and processed in Lightroom. Beyond the crop, I dehazed the image, sharpened detail/clarity and played with the luminance. Camera settings: ISO 250, 259mm, f5.6, 1/500 sec. I am happy with the outcome generally. I was wondering what others thought of the upper petal being cropped out and the soft focus on some of the other petals - whether those things worked for/against the effort?


This round’s discussion is now closed!
17 comments posted

Gregory Waldron   Gregory Waldron
Darcy,
What a nice soft image. The color palette works really well.
Best regards,
Greg   Posted: 05/04/2020 20:20:17
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
I appreciate your input. Thanks Gregory -   Posted: 05/04/2020 23:46:57

Arun Bagga   Arun Bagga
I think you have got a nice composition here of a bud and a flower that appears to be past its full bloom. The off focus dark background suits the image very well. Personally the petal cropped at the top does not take my attention away from the main subject.

The softness in the petals suits the flower, however I would have liked to see a bit more sharpness in the stamens. Also I think adding a thin border may help the image to stand out when viewed against a dark screen.   Posted: 05/04/2020 20:52:19
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
Thanks for the input - all good suggestions. I never think about adding a border to help enhance a photograph.   Posted: 05/04/2020 23:51:01

Larry Beller   Larry Beller
I agree with both Greg and Arun on their comments, that the composition and technique are good, but I must add the words about flower pictures from a classical club judge of many moons ago: "The flower(s) must be absolutely perfect. If they are not, go find something else to photograph."   Posted: 05/10/2020 14:18:49
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
I'll remember that quote going forward. Sometimes perfection is boring though; sometimes imperfection can add interest. This forum is great for determining what works/what doesn't from a photographer's perspective. The input is helpful. Nice to hear from you Larry - Thanks.   Posted: 05/10/2020 17:27:59
Arun Bagga   Arun Bagga
Larry, Agreed flowers are beautiful and the photographer must capture the beauty. However I have seen photos from some good photographers that show decay in such subjects. There is a PSA webinar scheduled on 14th May on this theme. Here is an excerpt from the information given on the site: "As nature photographers, we often seek out the flowers, leaves and such that are perfect, with no blemishes or defects. This program highlights subjects that are not perfect, such as flowers that have character, double-headed flowers, decaying fall leaves, the deformed coneflower that stands out as flawed and hence different and beautiful, rust as it creates abstract patterns amidst the decay, etc.
Would like to know your viewpoint   Posted: 05/11/2020 09:58:10
Larry Beller   Larry Beller
"It was lovely. This anemone brings back all the fond memories of that wonderful visit......" (from Darcy's description above) doesn't really suggest to me that "the deformed coneflower that stands out as flawed and hence different and beautiful" was what she had in mind. What I should have said instead was that the wilting, deformity, spots, and general aging of the petals defeats her intent, as she tells us unambiguously in her description, and as Greg's, yours, and Darcy's comments also obviously assume.

The description section that we supply with each image is also to supply such information if it is relevant to the photographer's intent. Since it didn't in this case, we are free to assume whatever we need to make our point, and I did that.   Posted: 05/11/2020 11:45:41
Arun Bagga   Arun Bagga
Thanks Larry for the clarification.
You are right the description does not go well with the image. Perhaps as usual one's personal feelings and attachment take the precedence. Here, without paying much attention to the description, I commented on the nice composition of a bud alongside a withering flower.   Posted: 05/11/2020 13:14:29
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
I was just making a comment about the quote that was put forth. My point was that, personally I don't believe the quote, as a blanket statement, to be true. That's really all there was to it.

I liked the photo well enough to submit. Whether others agree it's a good photo or not, there is always something I gain from the experience. There are amazing photographers taking a look on my behalf and I appreciate all the insight that is offered. I value your input to that end. Thanks -   Posted: 05/11/2020 14:15:57

Angela Bonner   Angela Bonner
(Group 81)
Darcy I have just seen your image that is in the Digital Dialog Members showcase and wonder how on earth you got the image so sharp? Is it stacked?
Sorry to be so cheeky but I keep trying with flowers and never get anything like that!!   Posted: 05/16/2020 07:44:42
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
Thanks Angela - I was fortunate to get a fairly good shot out of the camera and was using a tripod. Focus stacking wasn't used. In processing, I use Lightroom CC and always sharpen the photograph with what is probably a pretty basic formula. The radius isn't moved beyond 2; the amount, radius and detail usually total around 100 and then tweaked as needed. I use the masking by hitting alt/masking to sharpen edges. Hope that helps.   Posted: 05/16/2020 11:11:47
Angela Bonner   Angela Bonner
(Group 81)
Thanks for that.
So in LR as you use the sharpen slider you press alt at same time?   Posted: 05/16/2020 11:22:28
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
Yep - under Detail, when using the Masking slide bar, hit ALT when moving the slide bar left or right until the more important outlines are visible. The white lines show what is being sharpened (I am sure there are others that could explain this much better than I) I find it helpful anyway.   Posted: 05/16/2020 11:45:48
Angela Bonner   Angela Bonner
(Group 81)
Many thanks never done that but will give it a go!!
Stay safe!!   Posted: 05/16/2020 11:57:23

Syed Shakhawat Kamal   Syed Shakhawat Kamal
Hey Darcy, A nice tight frame of a flower with a details. Mostly I agree with our other friends here, a little more sharpness around the edges would give us a better presentation. But i am sure you gave the shooting opportunity as best as you could. The blurred background is complimenting the flowers in the frame. Little bit bigger frame could give this a different perspective. Though I like the composition you chose too.
Cheers.   Posted: 05/28/2020 21:58:59
Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
I appreciate your input and perspective - it's helpful. Thanks.   Posted: 05/29/2020 12:57:14