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The Flower of Gabriel
The Flower of Gabriel

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: High Key II (Basic Editing)
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Location: Auburn, WA
Date: Jun 25, 2011
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/15 sec
Galleries: Nature, Floral
Date Uploaded: Jun 25, 2011

Calla lilies are in bloom. I couldn't resist.

This picture was taken in the shadow of my house with a clear blue sky overhead. I hope that this lousy Juneuary(sp) weather here in the Puget Sound is over for the year.

I used my Nikon D80 with my Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens in conjunction with my Canon 500D close up lens. There was no place that I could find to specify the addon lens here.

Adobe Photoshop CS5
Image source from NEF.
Lens correction for the DX lens.
Increased exposure by 1.5 stops. (I could have used the one two stops higher but got distracted.)
Fill light.
Increased brightness.
Increased contrast.

Cleaned up two spots of sensor dust.
Unsharp mask.
Saved to PSD and renamed file.
Resized to 800 pixels wide.
Saved to Web and Devices.

Place: 10 out of 81
Avg (all users): 6.4634
Avg (commenters): 7.2000
Avg (participants): 6.1379
Avg (non-participants): 6.5333
Views since voting: 1148
Views during voting: 278
Votes: 164
Comments: 9
Favorites: 0

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07/11/2011 07:51:14 PM
Originally posted by blindjustice:

Georgia O'Keefe would be proud. Nice work.

You are the third or fourth person to mention that. I had to go look up her work to see what you meant.

Thanks for the feedback.
07/11/2011 07:49:51 PM
Gosh darn browser double posted.

Message edited by author 2011-07-11 19:50:25.
07/11/2011 07:48:58 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

A review of the Canon 500D close up lens:


It attaches to my lens like a filter.

I learned of that lens from Vincent Versace while on a photo walk with him through the Seattle Pike Place market last year. He taught the group that I was in how to take pictures of flowers. See also this from his Photostream and that walk:

I did try to increase the contrast but it has a poor effect across the rest of the picture. Increasing the contrast drew in some of the detail but going much higher than I did made it look wrong to me. The white of the flower with the yellow reflecting off of it became a pit of despair and took the bright yellow tip in with it. I'm sure someone with better photo manipulation skills than I have would have resolved the problem in seconds.

Typically I like to make my photos a bit off center but the cropping just didn't work out well for me. I was literally at the edges of the flower when shooting this. To crop this would have made the yellow center dominate the picture assuming I kept the same aspect ratio.

Oh, and I have a flower/bloom set on Flickr:

These are the ones I took on the photo walk:

Heavy editing and mixing of multiple images (via Photoshop's stacking ability) on the two pictures with pink peonies. The calla lily in that set was masked to smooth out the white parts of the flowers and bring the detail out (via Topaz Detail) on the outside of them.

Again, thank you for your detailed feedback.
07/11/2011 05:22:56 PM
Hi Kevin, greetings from the Critique Club!

Congratulations on your top 10 photo, it's really a great placing :)

The lines on your photo are very clean and smooth, and the toning is just right.

The pollen and flower tip is very sharp, and I would love to get more details on the Nikon+Canon lens thing going on there.

It fits the challenge perfectly as it's a good example of high key.

I would like to see two things in this shot, I think that it could improve it a bit.

First, get a bit more contrast on the yellow part and its shadow. Make it less "grey", by adding a bit more depth to it. Most of the top places have a contrasty element in the photo, to direct your viewers' eyes to it.

Also, I would take advantage of the direction the tip is pointing and not center it that much, I would place the tip more to the left, so to guide the photo.

Other than that, it's a great result and your first top 10. Well done!

Please feel free to PM me should you need anything else.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/05/2011 08:35:47 AM
Georgia O'Keefe would be proud. Nice work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2011 02:12:03 PM
IMHO, there's too much negative space.. Otherwise, the picture is nice, clean and sharp.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2011 10:24:52 PM
No doubt- a beautiful capture. But I'm just not feeling any sort of independent spirit here. Feels like I've seen this before. It's very 'Gerogia O' Keeffe'
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2011 06:51:54 PM
Definitely a beautiful image with marvelous focus and lighting. I like how you can't see the borders of the flower so it just feels like the middle is just floating there.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2011 12:38:16 PM
Simple and beautiful. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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