Had a lot of fun with this one--convinced my always-willing girlfriend to cover her face and shoulders with white makeup (and bright red lipstick), then I covered a fake rose in black shoe-polish. Stood her against a white wall, and used my patented Ghetto-Flash technique (unsure of what I mean, check the forums :P) to light her.
Post: Boost Reds, crop, couple of curves layers, cloned out a badly-painted portion of the rose, sharpened lips, gaussian blurred skin, healing brush on blemishes and a few inconsistently-made-up parts on her neck. Cloned out slight bump on fake flower that made it look, well, fake. Oh, and Noise Ninja. Sweet, delicious Noise Ninja.
Note to say that this is a re-envisioning of another pic I took of my friend (which had a lot more color) a while back. The thought of the lips and the rose both stuck out to me as battling points of color. Also, I like being a rebel, so I lashed out against the "no selective desat" rule by trying to achieve desat minus the desat. Worked out pretty well, I think, with enough color left in her face to point out to skeptics that it DOES indeed follow the rules. At least I hope.
Hope you like it!
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The concept you have experimented here is interesting and different, however I feel that the photograph is weaker on the technical side in that the rose seems out of focus and the textures on the skin seem a bit unnatural. You have also divided the picture almost in half and the balance of the photo seems off.
That being said, the technical issues create an uncomfortable dynamic which I feel is supposed to be there, seeing as she has a dead rose. So even though the processing style does not appeal to me you have created a very unique, strange, different photograph here. I appreciate that you went beyond the exhausted pretty picture of lips or pretty picture of flowers.
The rose looks dead. Is it supposed to? Since I'm reading this image without any context, any intent for a 'dead' rose needs to be clearly conveyed in the image. Otherwise, I'm stuck thinking 'oh, I wish that was a beautiful and vibrant red rose'.
It certainly would help, especially given the western symbolism of roses and women.