David Terao  

Elegant Imperfection by David Terao

July 2021 - Elegant Imperfection

July 2021 - David Terao


About the Image(s)

This past month, I've been shooting flowers in various styles while specifically trying to capture a natural, intimate image with lots of mood. My emphasis has been on composition, color and, most importantly, a complementary background. For this image, I used selective focus to accentuate a particular feature of an Eastern purple coneflower (echinacea purpurea). I found a coneflower with one petal that was twisted, and I wanted to call attention to it. A very shallow depth-of-field was created using a 50mm lens set at its widest aperture, f/1.2, and I wanted only the twisted petal to be in sharp focus. For post-processing, I'm experimenting with DxO's PhotoLab 4 rather than using my usual Lightroom and Photoshop. I find the images come out more natural with PL4. I also like the effects of DxO's ClearView, microcontrast and U-point technology (also used in DxO's Nik Collection) that can't easily be replicated in LR/PS. Shot with a Canon EOS R5 camera with a 12mm extension tube at 1/1250 sec and ISO 100 (handheld).

12 comments posted

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
I do like the flower quite a bit, but I personally think you would have a better result if the image were sharp. Strictly personal taste. I will look forward to what the other members of the group think.   Posted: 07/07/2021 09:07:33
David Terao   David Terao
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. As far as getting a "better result," you're absolutely correct that it is "strictly personal taste." I definitely was not going for the entire flower being sharp.   Posted: 07/07/2021 14:29:21

Cindy Lynch   Cindy Lynch
I really like this flower and I can see why you chose it because of it's personality. It looks like you used a lensbaby for this shot, although I can see by your explanation that you did not. I like the soft effect on your flower and the sharp area brings my eye to your focal point. I like the subtle bokken background. I think I prefer the lighter background colors of your original shot.   Posted: 07/08/2021 21:17:30
David Terao   David Terao
Thank you, Cindy. Now that I look at the original, I think I might have darkened and desaturated the image a little too much. I agree with you that the shot looks like it was made with a Lensbaby. It has that spherical-aberration look to it.   Posted: 07/09/2021 05:32:11

Don MacKenzie   Don MacKenzie
Nicely thought out and executed. Looks like you got what you wanted. Would like to see a photo with the orange center the only part in focus. My bias would also be to remove the red spot in the lower right. Always good to experiment!   Posted: 07/09/2021 17:07:44
David Terao   David Terao
I thought about removing the red spot as well. But, it didn't seem to call much attention to itself. Seeing that you mentioned it, I'll probably do it. Thanks, Don.   Posted: 07/09/2021 17:14:31

Ray Henrikson   Ray Henrikson
Cone flower photography is a favorite topic of mine. I like your very selective focus. I could live easily with a 16x20 of this on my wall.   Posted: 07/11/2021 14:59:04
David Terao   David Terao
Thanks, Ray. I'm starting to appreciate the beauty of cone flowers, too. I have another shot of a different cone flower using a shoot-through technique that I was planning on posting this month. It was a toss-up of which one to post.   Posted: 07/11/2021 19:03:12

Charlie Yang   Charlie Yang
very nice thought and execution of such, and lovely presented. Also like the post proc, don't have PL4, this prompt my interest to take a look. Thank you!   Posted: 07/24/2021 11:32:52
David Terao   David Terao
Thank you, Charlie. With respect to PhotoLab 4, I actually bought DxO's Nik Collection and PhotoLab came free with it. I use the Nik Collection a lot. One of the best plug-ins for Photoshop. However, I'm not sure whether PL4 comes free with the Nik Collection these days though.   Posted: 07/24/2021 13:24:48

Bai Chuang Shyu   Bai Chuang Shyu
Very nice and beautiful flower image. I could understand that it is a personal taste to place attention on the curved petal. I personally favor a sharp image blurred background and focused on the flower main part.

  Posted: 07/30/2021 07:36:28
David Terao   David Terao
I guess it all depends what you're trying to achieve. Sometimes I like the entire flower in focus; sometimes I like the entire flower out of focus; and sometimes I like only a selected part of the flower in focus.   Posted: 07/30/2021 08:17:22


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