Diana Duffey  


Tulip by Diana Duffey

May 2023 - Tulip

About the Image(s)

Took this image next to my kitchen window. I placed a green paper behind the tulip. Sony R4, Canon
180mm macro lens, on a tripod-ISO 180, F16, SS 1/25. In Photoshop, I removed the blemishes, did a levels adjustment,
and sharpen the center. In Lightroom, I select the flower and darkened the background a bit. Your comments


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




Maria Mazo   Maria Mazo
Hi diana, you have done a wonderful job revealing all the details of this tulip. It is pin sharp al the way from the front to the back. I like the contrast that the background colour introduce in the image but I might like a slight warm green   Posted: 05/12/2023 05:28:57



Maria Mazo   Maria Mazo
  Posted: 05/12/2023 05:33:39
Comment Image
Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Maria, thank you for taking the time... I like how you changed the color of the background. I have to go back and work on the background.   Posted: 05/16/2023 05:40:25



Dick States   Dick States
Hi Diana, you did a great job with the lighting you had available with natural light. Nice clarity in the image very sharp.
I feel the image of the tulip with its shape would work much better as a vertical rather than a horizontal. This would allow more of the stem showing which can be an important part of the flower. I would like to see a little room on the top and bottom and a little less room on the right side. A vertical would provide these dimensions. I would like to see a little greener color in the background. I feel the background would be better if it were several shades of green making it look more natural.
A note about backgrounds. I make all my own backgrounds using smooth mat board. Some of them are the centers from larger mats I cut that many times are waste. I then use floral spray paint florist use to paint flowers which I purchase from craft stores. It works very well, dries fast and has a flat finish. I usually use multiple colors on each side when making my backgrounds. I like hunter green and forest green on one side. I vary the concentration of each color fading from one color to the other color. I then paint the other side of the mat board with another combination. You can try some pretty wild combinations that can work well. All my images I take if I am using a background are ones I have made. Its best to keep the backgrounds some distance from the subject so not to allow the background to be in focus. I sometimes take several backgrounds with me in the field. Very little cost and if the get bad make new ones. If anyone has questions about this ask.   Posted: 05/12/2023 20:45:58
Jodi Carlino   Jodi Carlino
This is very interesting, Dick. How do you set the mat boards up (indoors and out?) to keep them from falling over behind your subject? Thank you! I thought your background in your Milkweed image looked to be a few different shades of green! Love this idea!   Posted: 05/15/2023 11:44:05
Dick States   Dick States
The background indoors is leaned up against the wall. It sits on a box to get the height I need.
Outdoors I have used a rod and a clamp outdoors. But many times, I can lean the background up against the rod. You could also use a dowl rod with one end sharpened to stick in the ground. I usually punch a hole on the one end of the background and make a string loop through the hole for many possibilities.
Most of the time outdoors I move around to find a good natural background at some distance away.

I think you are right about the background for the milkweed, two shades of darker greens. It was one I made as described and used a lot. I usually do not like to have much light on my backgrounds so to keep them from being a distraction. I feel the background can make or break the image. We can have the perfect image and destroy it with a bad background.   Posted: 05/21/2023 15:42:00
Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Some great suggestions on how to improve my image, thanks Dick. A vertical crop would work much better. I looked up the spray paint - any suggestions for a brand?   Posted: 05/16/2023 09:06:13
Dick States   Dick States
I used Design Master paint for my backgrounds.   Posted: 05/21/2023 15:58:35



Dick States   Dick States
One more comment or suggestion. If you made this a vertical, I feel the composition would be better if you would rotate and tilt the tulip to the right. This would prevent the stem from coming straight up from the middle on the bottom. The stem is then on a slight diagonal and helps bring the eye in from the lower left corner and up to the flower. We naturally tend to read a picture in that direction. I like to do this with all my flower shots. In this image if you would rotate the flower as mentioned the lower petal would fill the lower left corner and now really pick up the eye and lead the eye up to center of the flower to the yellow stamens and pistil. This gives the image more impact and that's what makes an image score higher in competition.   Posted: 05/12/2023 21:14:38
Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Thanks.   Posted: 05/16/2023 09:09:03



Melanie Hurwitz   Melanie Hurwitz
(Group 66)
Hi Diana, You have captured this flower beautifully. It is so sharp and the colors are gorgeous. I'm not sure about the background. It's so flat that the flower looks like it is pasted on it. How close it was to the flower? Maybe if it was further away it would be out of focus and give some depth. I like Dick's idea of using a diagonal for more interest. Lighting is lovely.   Posted: 05/14/2023 11:11:44
Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Melanie, the green sheet of paper was about 12 inches away from the flower. It was not the best choice for a texture... I think it would work if I added another texture on top. Thanks for your comments.   Posted: 05/16/2023 09:16:17



Jodi Carlino   Jodi Carlino
Hi Diana, Your tulip image is beautiful! I love how the delicate, ruffled edges of the petals have opened up to reveal the yellow stamens.

I agree with the others that your background would further complement the tulip, if you added a warmer green. I also agree with Melanie about making the background a bit softer. I also feel like I would like to see more of the stem and a vertical crop. I also would normally agree with Dick's idea of tilting the flower a bit to the right, although I don't know if it would work with this image. There is absolutely no bend in this tulip's stem, so tilting this tulip might make it look a bit unnatural. Is it possible that PS's warp tool could help? I have never tried using it, so I may be way off here.   Posted: 05/15/2023 12:02:49
Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Jodi, thanks for your suggestions. I am going to go back and rework that flower.   Posted: 05/16/2023 09:17:42



Dick States   Dick States
This is what I had in mind about the tilt.   Posted: 05/15/2023 13:16:05
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Diana Duffey   Diana Duffey
Nice. I have to try it!   Posted: 05/16/2023 09:18:40



Fran Yates   Fran Yates
(Groups 20 & 39)
Beautifully done. It is difficult to get the front petal as well as the back petal in focus. I like the idea of using the background sheet, but, unfortunately, it does look flat. You might find a softer green texture and use Overlay Blend Mode to give the background more interest.   Posted: 05/16/2023 12:40:42