Al Swanson  

Untitled by Al Swanson

August 2019 - Untitled

August 2019 - Al Swanson


About the Image(s)

The lilies in my wife’s garden in the backyard decided to really pop out this week so I decided to experiment with some floral options. I’ve always liked the appearance of flowers in the morning with fresh dew, however, since our humidity level is so low here I had to provide my own dew from the water hose. After I soaked the garden a bit I walk around and shot several images from different levels. I selected this one because I wanted to zero in on the stamen that were so prominent in one of the lilies. As I cropped this image down and enlarged it, I was impressed by the clarity of the stamen. I used Photoshop to enhance the saturation and a Nik plug-in to improve the output detail. Then I highlighted the background and applied a slight blur to make the subject Lily stand out a bit more. This is what I came up with. The focus is set on the forward petals of the Lily and the stamen, with the background slightly out of focus to frame the subject. Tech Data: EOS 5D Mark III, F6 .3, 1/250 second, ISO 100, 105 mm.

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

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
Al, you didn't say if you used a tripod. I wonder if more depth of field, say f11 or even greater would have brought the rear petals into focus. Was the stamen actually that color? It looks a little like a mustard color, rather than a brighter shade of yellow. The bokeh in the background is well done except for that bright part emerging from behind the top petal. Spraying the plant was a good idea. The reds came out nicely, which is sometimes difficult to pull off. Good effort.   Posted: 08/08/2019 15:11:39

Marti Buckely   Marti Buckely
I agree with Jerry on the depth of field. More than the background flowers, I'm a little bothered that only the pistle and stamen are sharp and the rest of the flower has varying degrees of focus. This might make a good subject to try focus stacking with - taking several shots at varying depths of field and then combining them so all is sharp. I'd like to see the background toned down and blurred even more to focus on just the flower.   Posted: 08/15/2019 13:12:53

Peggy Reeder   Peggy Reeder
I think it is difficult to isolate one bloom in a group of flowers such as this. My tendency is to include too much. I think, though, that you have achieved what you wanted to achieve with the emphasis on the stamen and the forward petals. I personally don't think it is necessary to have the whole bloom in sharp focus. You are expressing your vision, and that is what you have chosen to create and present to the viewer. The application of the Nik filter Darken/Lighten Center would be a good addition here.   Posted: 08/26/2019 21:11:53

Kaylyn Franks   Kaylyn Franks
It appears you accomplished what your vision was to capture the stamen. It is totally in focus with the petals a soft focus. The stamen color is a bit off and i suggest giving the petal at the bottom a little bit more room from the edge.   Posted: 08/30/2019 07:54:22