Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nasturtium: Turning a Flower into a Photograph

Sometimes, an opportunity just presents itself.

I opened the shades after sleeping in a bit this morning to find a sliver of sun shining right onto some Nasturtium that seem to be resisting the Boston cold and were still in bloom.  The phone camera was near by so I dashed out and snapped a few OK photos.  Worthy of facebook perhaps.

Image from the phone. 

After snapping those I went and got the DSLR, and fitted the macro lens on it.  Back in time to still catch the sun (but no time to set up the tripod - which was fine, as the breeze kicked in as soon as I got back out there.   Captured a few shots, and Lightroom allowed me to be creative enough to make good photographs of them.

Seeing the sun shine directly on that open flower, I thought that would be a great shot.   Of course not.   It just looked like I had used the flash - way too harsh.  And unfixable in LR.   But Silver Efx Pro to the rescue, and I've got a great Black & White image.   The macro lens got me the texture I wanted, and there was still enough shadow on the petals to provide some B&W interest.   Fading the background and tweaking the flower center and I've got something I really like.

Nasturtium Redux
B&W image - lots of great textures.

Zooming in however, I got a nice shot of the pistil and the 'hairs' on the lower petals.    But an example of why macro outside is difficult - any kind of breeze will kill any hopes of focus stacking.  A nice image nonetheless- even though the red is not in clear focus, it provides a nice background to the pistil.

Nasturtium pistil
Macro lens catches the tendrils on the lower petals, and the pistil.  

I went around to the other side to catch the sun back lighting one of the other flowers.  A good image, but the out of focus petal coming straight at the camera was a tad distracting.   I tried to de emphasize it, and vignetted the entire image to emphasize the sunlight.

Nasturtium back lit
Back lit flower

On the next image I zoomed in, softened the image, and cropped in to highlight the back lighting.

Nasturtium stripes
Back lit, softened and cropped

By the this time the wind was picking up, and no other image came out well.   This one came out soft and had some potential   I softened it up some more and played with the color, and got something with an impressionist feel.   Did it work?

Nasturtium impressions
The softer side

Be sure to check out all my images on my Flickr page.  And feel free to leave thoughts in the comment section here, or on the images themselves on Flickr.

No comments:

Post a Comment