Lisa Salisbury Hackley  

Agriculture - Lavender Festival by Lisa Salisbury Hackley

July 2024 - Agriculture - Lavender Festival

About the Image(s)

Lavender farming has become an increasingly popular and lucrative agribusiness in the central New York area. I took this image at Farmstead 1868's annual Lavender Festival. In the same family for over four generations, this was originally a horse and hops farm before transitioning to a dairy farm. The current generation wanted to add a touch of their own and, three years ago, added lavender farming to the mix. In addition to operating as a dairy farm, the farm also produces a full range of lavender products including body care, specialty foods, and fragrance based goods.

The image was taken with a Nikon D810 and Nikkor 28-300 lens. Settings were manual mode - f/8, 1/1600 sec., ISO 320. I used a vertical perspective to give the image some depth, with the lavender leading toward the silos and buildings in the rear. I wanted the focus to be on one of the lavender pickers and chose the redhead closest to the front of the image. Looking at the image I wish I had been able to separate her entirely from the person bending down well behind her. I am not sure that I could have achieved total separation even by shifting my position.

Lightroom is my primary photo editing software. I also use Topaz products. Edits for this image included minor lens correction and cropping as well as minor exposure adjustments and a bit of saturation and luminance adjustments to make the purples pop.

8 comments posted

Carole Kropscot   Carole Kropscot
I was pleased to see agriculture used for something besides food! Such an interesting story about this farm and the reason for the lavender plants. When I saw the extraneous people, I immediately thought of easily removing them. I also removed a few tiny distractions, like the fence and posts and spots on the path. You can do it in Lightroom, too, but I used Photoshop's Remove tool. Just clicked on the items to remove them.

I noticed the girl's eyes looked closed, so I used Generative AI in Photoshop. I used the Lasso tool to select her eye area. I wrote, eyes young lady. It worked! Now she is looking at me instead of the plants. So fun although now she isn't a worker but rather a visitor enjoyed the "agriculture."

I think your choice of vertical format adds to the photo's impact. That path leads me to the girl and then to the silos and then back to the girl. This photo is easy to look at and understand.   Posted: 07/07/2024 12:30:42
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Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Great idea to use Generative AI for the closed eyes.   Posted: 07/08/2024 15:31:08

Carole Kropscot   Carole Kropscot
Welcome to Group 12, Lisa! We look forward to seeing your photos and reading what you think of "our" photos!   Posted: 07/07/2024 12:41:56

Melissa Cramer Sonnen   Melissa Cramer Sonnen
Lisa - for me, this is a winner. What I like most is the leading line of the path back to the other people and the farm buildings because it says 'this is a farm' not a park. Of course the colors are well-handled and the off-center path and silos add interest. I like the other folks in the background. For me, I am distracted by the sky. It is so VERY bright blue with contrasty clouds. I might suggest calming the blue down a bit.   Posted: 07/08/2024 10:13:22

Srijan Roy Choudhury   Srijan Roy Choudhury
Welcome Lisa. Thank you for sharing your work. The lavender field looks beautiful. The vertical format also works perfectly. However, I would go with Carole regarding the elements of your original photos. There are too many things happening and I do not know where to concentrate as a viewer. The changes introduced by Carole changed it a lot in a positive sense. I may have composed the image differently trying a more centre-of-the-frame composition for the path. The house to the right of the frame looks truncated abruptly. Can you crop the front around 20% and see how it changes? I am enclosing my version of your beautiful image with this comment. I straightened the verticals and darkened the sky a little bit. As I couldn't work on the RAW file, there is a slight halo around the sharp edges, and I couldn't nail the tint of the sky to my liking either Still, I hope, you would get the idea.   Posted: 07/08/2024 12:03:36
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Lisa Salisbury Hackley   Lisa Salisbury Hackley
Thank you for the welcome, and thank you Carole, Melissa, and Srijan for your feedback and edited images.

Carole - I really like the image as you edited it as a final image in its own right. For the assigned subject I do favor the young woman looking at what she is doing and having additional people in the image. For me, that seems to be more in line with the agriculture theme. That said, I think removing the people in her row would improve it for the purpose of this assigned subject. Not being a Photoshop user, I do pull images into Elements which has a very good removal tool.

Melissa - I actually agree with toning down the saturation in the sky as it does compete with the lavender.

Srijan - As noted in my comment to Carole - I really like the image with the other people removed. I agree that the image becomes very busy with the other people and especially those in the same row as the young woman. Unfortunately, the area to the right of my crop would have detracted from the image. I do like your crop, eliminating the silos peeking out from the left edge above the building. While I like my colors to pop, I think I agree with Melissa that (for my taste) the sky detracts from the lavender field if it is too saturated.   Posted: 07/08/2024 13:11:06

Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Welcome to our group Lisa! Your choice of going vertical was a good one, and I could go either way with including the people in the background or cloning them out. To me they are just different photos with different vibes. With all the people included it seems like more of a documentary agricultural photo with an especially picturesque crop as it is being harvested. Your focus is still drawn immediately to that one girl in the foreground. With all the others cloned out it feels like more of a deliberate portrait, and a lovely one. It feels much more peaceful.   Posted: 07/08/2024 15:37:31
Lisa Salisbury Hackley   Lisa Salisbury Hackley
Thank you Nancy. I am looking forward to this! I agree with you 100% about creating different photos by including or excluding the people in the background. For purposes of this assigned topic, I think I prefer including them for the more documentary effect. However, i really like the image as edited by Carole.   Posted: 07/11/2024 18:00:31


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