Stephen Levitas  


Queen Anne's lace by Stephen Levitas

September 2023 - Queen Anne's lace

September 2023 - Stephen Levitas

Original

About the Image(s)

: Queen Ann’s Lace
We have some friends who live in the country north of Baltimore. They have 20 acres of land, and their front 10 acres—with 30 years of gardening—have been made into an Eden. We lunched with them recently beside their lotus pond, and during a short walk, I shot this image with late sun falling on the blossoms, but the background in shadow.
I used a monochrome conversion preset in PS Elements. I adjusted contrast and sharpened a bit. I then darkened a bright spot and added a stroke.


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




Wes Odell   Wes Odell
And so many of the "lines" all point to the blossoms.
Blurred background is nicely done whether in camera or in post.
Sharp flowers with light coming from the right to create some shadows on the left.
  Posted: 09/03/2023 17:31:22
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thank you, Wes. I tried to plan the late afternoon light from the right, as well as the blurred background in camera, but you make a good point that the bright lines of the stems all point to the blossoms. I did not plan the last, but now that you pointed it out, I will try to keep it in mind for the future.   Posted: 09/03/2023 17:38:11



Diana Magor   Diana Magor
We have it here in GB obviously. Did you know the origin of the name? It is said that Queen Anne pricked her finger and a drop of blood fell on the flower so now you can see a central red floret in the flower head, although I think this is less obvious as it develops. We also call it cow parsley here and it is a cousin of the carrot, although not good to eat.

I like the representation of the flower head in mono, but I would darken down the stems especially the two on the right. There is also another little flower over to the right behind and I'd remove or darken it, otherwise this is a lovely shot. We should take more of the common flowers we see along the hedgerows.   Posted: 09/04/2023 04:55:22
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
As usual, Diana takes the prize for her analysis.   Posted: 09/09/2023 19:04:29
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Thanks Wes. It is easy to make comments when it is done early on. It becomes harder as more people respond if they say exactly what one was going to say. Sometimes I look to see what has been said and sometimes I refuse to look until after I've had a good look and think about the image, and then I try to incorporate my thoughts with the others. I think we are often in agreement with each other's ideas or at least we can guess what we will say.   Posted: 09/10/2023 04:51:03
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
Well, over the years you've been the tutor, so it's not unlikely that we're in agreement. Most of what I've learned about B&W has been in DD32.   Posted: 09/10/2023 09:01:08
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Again that is very good of you to say! I like your outlook on mono photos although sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones and try new ideas. I always found Carol's pictures very good even though I'm not generally a fan of infra-red.   Posted: 09/10/2023 09:52:58
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
My recent and current "step out of comfort zone" is to work on "Portfolios" in addition to single images. I've read, and had personal judging advice, to create portfolios if I want to move up.   Posted: 09/10/2023 10:13:53
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Good ideas about darkening the stems and one flower. Thanks.   Posted: 09/11/2023 00:54:17



Somdutt Prasad   Somdutt Prasad
I might have tried adding a vignette to make the out of focus flower on the right less distracting and also darken the peripheral parts of the bright stem. Just an idea worth trying.
  Posted: 09/10/2023 10:53:15
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Oh, good idea, to try a slight vignette.   Posted: 09/11/2023 00:55:25



Candie Autrand   Candie Autrand
This is a very full Queen Anne's Lace. The ones in the mtns around here are much more sparse! Darkening the stems and the little flower on the right would have been my choice, as the others have said. Could you explain "added a stroke"? I am not familiar with that.   Posted: 09/10/2023 15:57:38
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thank you.
"Added a stroke" is jargon for putting the border around the image to separate it from the black background of these Digital Dialogue pages. I have often been reminded by members of this group to remember to do it with my images, as I like images with a great deal of black in them. In my Photoshop Elements version, I used Select All, Edit Stroke, and just fill out the selection box for the parameters of the border you want: color, thickness, and other parameters.   Posted: 09/10/2023 19:45:29
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Adding a stroke is easily done in any version of PS. Just remember that 2 pixel is the usual width , otherwise it looks too wide and can detract from the picture. Some people use a lightly coloured stroke to match a dominant colour element in the image but most people agree that white is the best. Do you use Ps Elements or the full Ps?   Posted: 09/11/2023 05:03:51



Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
You planned the image very well, the lighting adds a lot of texture to these small flowers. I have not been a fan of converting flowers to mono, but since the flowers are white, it works very well here. Having the flowers centered also work well here. As Wes said, the stems all point in, which draws the eye. Well done.   Posted: 09/10/2023 17:12:39
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thanks, Tom. I looked all over the garden for this lighting situation, and was lucky to find it. It took me five minutes of walking around this bunch of flowers to position myself for this shot.   Posted: 09/11/2023 00:57:15



Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thanks everyone. I tried to fix this up per all of your suggestions. I darkened one flower and the stems. I added a bit of vignette. Boy, vignette was hard to find in my PS Elements. It was hidden in the "lens correction" function.   Posted: 09/11/2023 19:34:41
Comment Image
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
There is a great vignette procedure in Nik Silver if you have it.   Posted: 09/14/2023 17:15:32
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thanks for the recommendation. How much does it cost, and from where does one download it?   Posted: 09/14/2023 20:29:46
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
https://nikcollection.dxo.com


The "Nik Company" got purchased by Google and then by dxo (a Swiss Co). Here's the link...... Above. Lots of info via Google Search on "Nik Collection"   Posted: 09/14/2023 20:34:30
Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Thanks for the update, I like it.   Posted: 09/24/2023 12:12:22



Jennifer Doerrie   Jennifer Doerrie
Your Queen Anne's Lace blossoms all look nice and sharp. But the bright background sticks want to compete with the blossoms for my attention. Thus, I cropped tightly (perhaps too much so?) into a square format and used the burn tool to darken the background foliage. I know some people don't like the non-traditional square image format, but this seemed to me to be an ideal image for it.   Posted: 09/26/2023 00:20:17
Comment Image
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Yes, that looks very good. You went all in to get close to the subject, and it looks great. Thanks.   Posted: 09/26/2023 00:42:01