Sylvia Bacon  

“Ginger Lily” by Sylvia Bacon

May 2022 - “Ginger Lily”

May 2022 - Sylvia Bacon


About the Image(s)

A neighbor has beautiful Ginger Lilly plants growing in their front yard. My initial edit only showed all the flowers (no leaves) against this black background. Later the more I looked at the picture, the single flower on the right side stood out and I ended up with the picture above. Am wondering if there is too much detail in the flower (should it be softer looking?). And, also whether or not it would look better if cropped differently showing more of the black background.
Nikon D7000; Nikon lens 18-105 mm; Focal length: 62.00 mm; Exposure: 1/40 sec F/5.6; ISO 200 A priority; Pattern metering; No flash. Edited with Camera Raw Filter (basic adjustments), Photoshop (dodging, burning, saturation, etc) and Nik Software (Color Efex Pro 4/Detail Extractor). Removed the background in PS and cropped.

8 comments posted

Gabriele Dellanave   Gabriele Dellanave
Sylvia Lillys are beautiful flowers, brightly colorful and good looking. With your post processing work I believe that you created a few more problems than you solved. To start I think you should find another cropping way, normally speaking flowers are hard to crop, for the simple reason that you take away part of the flower beauty. Then, in my opinion, you went a bit overboard with the Nik Detail Extractor application. It is a wonderful tool, but it must be used carefully otherwise you get the opposite results. The post processing you did is good if you have a file you generated with a macro lens and not with a lens that is not really adequate to blowup a detail of a flower.   Posted: 05/05/2022 15:59:39
Sylvia Bacon   Sylvia Bacon
Gabriele, you are right, flowers are soft and beautiful. Looking back over other pictures, I realize now that at times I have tended to be too detail orientated. I quickly re-edited the original image to give it a softer look and also did not crop much. (Please see the image associated with my reply to Kutis.) As for this particular crop though, it was inspired after visiting a few museums and also participating in professional workshops on photographing/editing flowers. Thank you for sharing your constructive thoughts.   Posted: 05/08/2022 11:05:02

Kurtis Sutley   Kurtis Sutley
Sylvia, I think you did a good job going where you wanted to go with the Lilly. For me, trying to crop a flower has to proceed with a purpose other than to just make the image less cluttered: although that is one of several valid motives. In my opinion, by cropping off the top, it leaves the flower less than incomplete. I am not a fan of the detail extractor in Effects 4 unless I'm try for a WABI-SABI look. I think you would be better served using reduced highlights in L/R CC and then selectively dodging the flower petals. In my image I left the small insect for interest value. I have never been chastised by a judge for making an elegant image such as this more interesting with a little "still life" unless it overwhelms the image or is just butt-ugly. It also gives your audience a point of discovery to delight the more adventurously inclined. (I would advise to stay away from spiders and snakes.) I stayed loyal to your black background. If "the look" is what you wanted, then congrats. But based on your narrative, I think you may have slightly over processed (or over thought) this one. After posting I decided I didn't like my white balance and warmed everything up just a tad.   Posted: 05/05/2022 19:52:48
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Sylvia Bacon   Sylvia Bacon
Kurtis, I have been exposed to occasional tight cropping flowers to achieve a dramatic or strong look. For workshops my photography club has brought in professionals who liked this look plus I have also seen it in museums and I do like this look at times. I did re-edit the original to include the entire plant and did not use Detail Extractor. White balance was adjusted and left the little fly in place! Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions!   Posted: 05/08/2022 11:06:59
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Art Jacoby   Art Jacoby
I like the detail, color and lighting. I think that it could be cropped and toned down a bit, rotated and a curves adjustment.
  Posted: 05/14/2022 06:14:24
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Sylvia Bacon   Sylvia Bacon
Thank you for your edit, Art. Petals are softer along with the overall color and the outline of the lilies adds enough detail to be interesting. Plus, rotating it a little to the right seems to anchor the picture. (Even glad you let the little fly stay.) I would never envision editing these lilies as an abstract? as you did. The more I keep looking at this, the more I like what I am seeing. Thank you again.   Posted: 05/14/2022 13:14:50
Art Jacoby   Art Jacoby
Thanks, it is the feedback we receive from each other that helps us grow and makes this study group so good,   Posted: 05/23/2022 21:53:51

Regine Guillemin
Sylvia , It is always rewarding to explore new things and to learn from our mistakes , right?
The 1st picture you have submitted is over processed to my taste . This beautiful flower needs more softness. so i like your 2nd attempt much better. I haven't tried to edit but I will give it a try.   Posted: 05/16/2022 18:39:11


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