Steve Estill, EPSA  

A Jocund Company by Steve Estill, EPSA

April 2021 - A Jocund Company

April 2021 - Steve Estill, EPSA


April 2021 - Steve Estill, EPSA

Original 2

About the Image(s)

The daffodils are in full swing now - and we have quite a selection. This vase of flowers was picked the day before while still in bud and by the next morning they were blooming. They were photographed into the sun with the front garden as the backdrop.
I must admit to cloning one of the pink centred ones and fitting it into the vase (just to balance it).
I wanted to brighten them some more, so I duplicated the layer and used Redfield Unobtainium > Portrait 2 preset, then to add some contrast I used Topaz Adjust AI > Ansel HDR preset in soft light mode at reduced opacity.
The treatment so far wasn't what I was looking for, so I used Topaz Studio 2 > Overhead Sunburst for the light source, duplicated the layer and used Redfield Quad Pencil > Watercolour at reduced opacity, then stamped up to give original 2.
I softened the image using ON1 for some glow then used Nik Viveza on the original layer to increase structure, brightness, and saturation, and dragged this layer to the top of the stack. A black layer mask was used to bring in the Viveza enhanced centres of some of the flowers.
Selective colour was used to tone back the greens and enhance the reds, then a vignette to finish.

9 comments posted

Fran McFadzen   Fran McFadzen
Steve, Your daffodils are glowing with good health and are very joyful. I find the effect of the outlines on the petals really helps their clarity and definition.
My only suggestion would be to tone the background down a little, as my eye keeps tracking away from the foreground to see what is happening out there.
  Posted: 04/04/2021 23:41:49
Steve Estill   Steve Estill
Thanks Fran
I've toned back the background as you suggested.   Posted: 04/09/2021 17:13:11
Comment Image
Fran McFadzen   Fran McFadzen
I think that draws more attention to the flowers, Steve.   Posted: 04/09/2021 17:37:10

Jan Handman   Jan Handman
A wonderful Spring composition Steve! I love the way daffodils can be mere buds one day and full blown flowers the next. And the fact that they're all from your own garden makes it more special. The blue vase was the perfect selection to complement the yellows and oranges of the flowers. I do like the toned down brightness on the background based on Fran's suggestion. Your image makes me feel uplifted and hopeful. Thank you! :-)   Posted: 04/10/2021 14:56:49
Steve Estill   Steve Estill
Thanks Jan - tulips will be the next arrival. Buds are starting to fill.   Posted: 04/10/2021 15:59:09

Gwen Neff   Gwen Neff
These are lovely. I particularly like the contrast of the orange and yellow flowers in the blue vase. Wonderful!   Posted: 04/10/2021 20:10:31
Steve Estill   Steve Estill
Thanks Gwen. The yellows of the daffodils are so vivid - they're a colour that is so hard to reproduce, so it's best to enjoy them as nature provides.   Posted: 04/11/2021 05:11:35

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Your original image is a great photograph. I liked Original 2 also. The final image is full of color and I really like what you did with Fran's suggestion!

To me, the final image had the following mixture, which I found distracting: There was a bit more noise in some of the flowers, and not in others; some flowers were tack sharp, but others were blurry, though these areas seemed to be on the same plane. The blurriness did not appear in Original 1.Blurriness is appropriate for a watercolor treatment, but the dark outlines on some of the flowers is inconsistent with watercolor.

You are my favorite master of creative manipulation, but this month, I greatly preferred Original 1. However, I do really appreciate your pick of a subject!   Posted: 04/13/2021 17:35:18

Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
I apologize for being so late to respond. There's little to add to the feedback above except that my first impulse was what Fran suggested. Camera club judges love to see beautiful flowers in front of a busy background. It validates their existence.   Posted: 04/16/2021 13:05:07


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