Joan Field, APSA  

Blue Chrysanthemum by Joan Field, APSA

October 2020 - Blue Chrysanthemum

About the Image(s)

This was taken on a light box. The exposure ranged from very dark to very light, probably at least seven exposures. The camera was on tripod aimed directly over the flower. So I could see the flower better, I clipped off the flower and placed it face up on the stems. Going to PS, I brought in one layer at a time. As each layer was added, I made it a layer Mask, Hide All. I then used an opaque brush, maybe at about 25% to paint in from the darker layer onto the lightest original layer. It must be on the white chip. I kept adding darker and darker exposures of the layers and painting in with the brush the parts of the flower I wanted to darken. This procedure gives you a transparent look on the petals. You can enhance that by using the clone tool and cloning in a faint reproduction of the stems (low opacity) giving the impression of transparent petals. When finished and satisfied, flatten image. The technique is spelled out by Harold Davis. His webinar "Photographing Flowers for Transparency."

6 comments posted

Rick Finney   Rick Finney
Joan: Your expertise In PS in astounding. I love the transparency look of the petals, leaves and stems. I wonder if there would be some way to introduce a light color to the background. That could increase the transparent look t the petals. Anyway, I do like to final picture of the flower.   Posted: 10/10/2020 15:10:00

Bob Legg   Bob Legg
Joan, I've shot flowers on light tables at NECCC conference in MA in 2019. Their petals were transparent but the center was more interesting than the Chrysanthemum. I like the transparent petals, but can't get positive vibes from your flower center and overexposed green leaf. I'm not a PS user and appreciate what seems like a long process to get your edits done. I didn't use tripod or special edits. Basically just exposure and shadows. Did you shoot any head on vs from the side as you presented?
  Posted: 10/12/2020 14:26:45
Joan Field   Joan Field
The center of the flower is too thick to show transparency. The leaves appealed to me to leave then overexposed, so it is a preference. The flower was actually plucked off the stem and turned so that it was mostly facing up. I don't know what to suggest. There is a very light BG. You might check out my version of it in DD Study Group 21 where I entered it as creative. The BG is much more interesting. Thanks for you comments.   Posted: 10/15/2020 12:47:52

Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Joan, this is so ethereally beautiful and three-dimensional, like floating in the air. The background in the Group 21 version is wonderful, but I like the purity and simplicity of this one, too. A photo like this is worth all the effort!   Posted: 10/17/2020 14:06:23

Jeri Conklin   Jeri Conklin
There is such a ethereal quality to this photo. Beautiful as a water color for sure and would make a great cross-stitch because of the color variations. How you made it is way beyond my understanding in PS, but I love it. Just amazing!   Posted: 10/19/2020 09:55:52

Joan Field   Joan Field
Thank you for your kind words. The process, which is mostly the photography is pretty simple. The layers in PS are really an easy learn. If you check out Harold Davis's videos, you will see that It is not a difficult thing.   Posted: 10/24/2020 13:45:15


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