Witta Priester  

Red-orange Iris by Witta Priester

May 2022 - Red-orange Iris

May 2022 - Witta Priester


May 2022 - Witta Priester

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I took this iris photo with my 100-400 mm lens last June, thinking the white background, which is a local pond, would work well for adding a texture. Indeed, a mix of textures was added to the background in Photoshop, thus creating the intermediate image.

Still, I wanted more interest, so I tried a variety of other and additional textures, but nothing grabbed me. So, the image got a time out.

This past fall I learned about LAB “inversion” techniques from a free, on-line class from Harold Davis. (YouTube: Photographing Flowers for Transparency 4*) For this case, I took the flattened, textured, RGB image and converted it to the LAB color space (via image/mode/LAB). Then (in the channels pallet) I took the "b" channel and inverted it (using the shortcut Cmd I). Then I converted this LAB color space back to RGB…

I loved the resulting blue-red color combination from the b-channel inversion. I then worked to add “depth” to the flower, by enhancing the orange in the most-forward petals of the iris. I also elongated the stem and bottom of the image using content-aware fill, and selectively added some green to the stem to make it look more realistic. This was followed by a bit of cloning, cleanup and sharpening. Finally, one of my radial textures was added at 10% opacity, masking the iris.

I'm wondering: do you think this image would do well in a PID color competition? Also...Fine art photography?


6 comments posted

Linda M Medine   Linda M Medine
Witta, I love all three of your images. I really like Original 2. The background is beautiful. I worked on you Red-Orange Iris a little. I tried to put a music sheet music as a texture. I feel like it needs something more like maybe words in the background in a texture form. I have a visual feedback. I just made the stem longer.   Posted: 05/10/2022 18:29:40
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Yes an even longer stem! And I like your suggestion, A love letter would be nice, but I only had these musical bits.   Posted: 05/13/2022 17:41:14
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Michael Moore   Michael Moore
I really like your high key capture and all of the texture you have brought out in the flower petals. Like Linda, I quite like your Original 2 - particularly the color combination. I think this is definitely in the sweet spot of fine art photography.

My only suggestion for both your final image and Original 2 would be to darken your texture. I think this might make the flower pop a bit more but also help with a more dramatic presentation.   Posted: 05/14/2022 07:24:41

Denise McKay   Denise McKay
I have to say I prefer the look of the texture on original 2. Not necessarily the color, but the "feel" of the texture. I'm not sure all of the radiating lines in the final image, enhance the flower that well. With all of the curvy petals I personally feel all of the straight lines don't really complement the flower. Plus, I don't know that you had to add to the stem. If the focus is the flower, I'm not sure adding length to the stem helped the composition.

I've attached an example of an edit with a texture that has more movement to it and that included colors that picked up on the natural colors of the stem and the purple petals. I LOVE the original color of the Iris, so left that as is. I cropped in a little from the left. Using a rule of thirds grid, I lined up the stem with the vertical line you'd see in the left third. I feel that accentuated the far right petal flourishing into the right third of the frame.

This isn't the be all, end all for editing your image, LOL. But you captured a really beautiful, curvy flower so well, I feel the background needs to have some movement to it too.   Posted: 05/15/2022 12:35:32
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Thanks Denise. I think you've added some really helpful perspectives here. Much appreciated.
  Posted: 05/15/2022 12:54:12

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
The beauty of digital photography and post-processing is that we can make so many interpretations of our photos. I like all of the versions of this iris. Your final image puts the flower iin the upper third, nice composition. Never having seen a bright red iris, the color is at first shocking. But that spurs the imagination. The music background is charming. You could always write a letter yourself, then blur it so that it is recognizable as hand writing, but unreadable. Denise's interpretation is as soft as yours is striking. Good work, all.   Posted: 05/18/2022 10:45:29


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