Brent Doornbos  

Sunflower by Brent Doornbos

September 2020 - Sunflower

September 2020 - Brent Doornbos

Original 1

September 2020 - Brent Doornbos

Original 2

About the Image(s)

So . . . shooting sunflowers.

My goal is usually to have it look good printed on matte paper (I use Moab - great paper, not too expensive). If I can hold it up in front of me and I find it pleasing, then I am ok with it.

For stuff like the internet there are tons of filters out there to fool the eyes and make it easy for post production, but print will show everything (in my opinion).

I usually stick to photoshop and ACR (depends how much I am playing). . . BUT if I have to do a wedding or something, I'll use skylum as part of the process since its easy to just run through a ton of photos quickly.

I started by de-saturating greens significantly in ACR (and some yellows). I was fighting the afternoon sun. I knew I could bring yellows and green back as needed later. I made the white balance slightly warmer. The rest of the settings were pretty much to taste. I toyed with "less and more sharpening", but ended up not changing it from camera defaults.

Once in photoshop, I brought some of the greens and yellows back saturation-wise (yellow+9, green +10). While I understand getting color right in ACR is easy (LOL) I tend to over saturate when editing (moral failing of mine . . . ha ha ha). So I find it good self-discipline to bring it down BEFORE photoshop and just use adjustment layers as needed later.

I nudged the contrast up slightly (+9) to taste. I then refined that with a slight curves level adjustment. I cropped and printed.

I liked what I saw for the most part. But AFTER printing . . . I brought yellow saturation up just a couple numbers, rotated about a 1/2 degree clockwise, and gave it some more space on the top from the original crop.

At this point i consider it a "work in progress". I'll let it sit and return to it later maybe if inspired to see if I want to bring it forward a bit (and maybe this is as far as it will ever get and get thrown on the pile!!). Things I am thinking about:

Getting rid of the leaf hopper on the right side (its not defined enough).
Enhancing detail in the petals.
Bringing more attention to the flower dust on the "leaf platform".
Warming the yellows and cooling the greens a little.
I like the bee, I guess, but not sure how I feel about it. Bring more attention to it? I dunno . . .
I am satisfied with the crop . . . BUT . . . may play with that too.
I included a shot of my photoshop workspace and basic ACR adjustments.

Below is a link to all of the files for this shot (raw/psd/screenshots):

(The raw file is over 30MB and my e-mail server rejected it he he he).

Taken with Canon 5D4 and Tamron SP 45mm 1.8

f4, 1/250. ISO 200

3 comments posted

Angela Bonner   Angela Bonner
Well done for sending all the info on how you processed this image. Helps when members are looking at it and enables them to give a good assessment.
I think you have done well with the colours and the flower is lovely and sharp. I agree I would remove the insect as on first glance it looks like a blemish in the flowers centre!!!
The background is lovely and diffused so that the flower stands out well.
For me I think there is a little too much foliage in the bottom of the image making it seem a bit heavy there. Perhaps crop in a bit more?
Well done for printing your images. I am very remiss in not printing enough and really must start!!!
  Posted: 09/04/2020 12:31:55

Janet McLaughlin   Janet McLaughlin
One of my favorite subjects! Lovely composition, Brent! I think the bee is distracting since it is out of focus. In one of Kathleen Clemons' classes, she says...Either the Insect is the focus of the shot or get rid of the insect! I think that is pretty good advice. I like the sprinkles of pollen on the leaves!   Posted: 09/12/2020 09:54:57

Cheryl Dubois   Cheryl Dubois
The petals look so lovely and soft. I agree that I would try to remove the bee. I like that you didn't center the flower, but left room for the eye to travel in to the subject.
  Posted: 09/16/2020 19:46:31


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