December 5, 2012 at 5:16 am #2276
I’d be interested to have your thoughts about this image, and about the BW processing in particular…
It looks a lot better on a black background, as hereDecember 5, 2012 at 11:51 am #2277
This image centres on two curves which I have superimposed on it (apologies for the shaky drawing). It is quite a complex image so you need to draw attention to those lines. Both are strenthened by highlights and detail (detail especially in the seed part of the fruits).
I would try darkening the features outside this lines more especially in the area where I have put to two red spots.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.December 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm #2279
My Goodness Ian … that is very striking! It reminds me of a plate from an antique botanical book. The only thing that would drive me crazy is the dead black leaf / flower head, bottom right quarter, which looks like a character from the Little Shop of Horrors as it appears to have a mouth. It is quite dominant and not very attractive. I would have moved that to one side before taking the picture…. then possibly a slightly tighter crop to compensate. Otherwise I think it is stunning and I like the processing. What a judge (or several) would think is of course another matter …. but very interesting to find out.December 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm #2280
Thanks for your suggestions, John. I’d understood the form of the image the same way as you, and developed it along the same lines – but clearly not enough!
I’ll have a look at increasing the differentiation as you suggest.December 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm #2282
Thanks very much, D! Yes, the dark leaf is unfortunate. (This is me working on an old image from three years ago, so not much chance of framing it differently at this stage!)
I suspect that burning the corners as John indicates may lose some of the shape of the dark leaf. And I may try ‘fuzzing’ any edges that survive that process.
(Like you, I’m not sure this is club competition material!)December 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm #2284
I would love to see it in a competition but the leaf is the problem. Burning it will still make a large dark eye pulling area. I don’t suppose you would consider cloning it out? I know it’s not your thing. The only other option is a very different crop. There must be lots of possibilities as it is so striking.December 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm #2287
A new version, as per suggestions…
It looks a lot better on a black background, as hereDecember 6, 2012 at 10:42 am #2288
Thats so much better Ian as it looks less cluttered that the first image. But I have to admit it is a striking image. I feel sad that an image like this is not considered a competition entrant, because it is so unusal and fresh and as Dolores says it has the feel of a botanical plate about it.
Keep them coming ian as its something for me to aim for myself.December 6, 2012 at 11:23 am #2289
Thanks very much for your kind comment, Meg. I know what you mean about the ‘botanical plate’ – I was hoping it would come across with that quality. I worked on the contrasty BW conversion + sepia tone in the hope of getting that slightly sinister, disembodied ‘other-worldly’ look that Victorian botanical prints – and Victorian still-life photos generally – often seem to have.
I agree with you that this version looks much better. I’m very grateful for all the advice folks have given here – a real help!December 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm #2293
Having seen the image of these seeds in print form by Simons better half and forget her name—nothing else comes near and worth asking the Chairman if he can post it if still in his possesion. A real class photo.December 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm #2294
A friend of mine studied printing with a darkroom expert. My friend would spend hours split grading and dodging and burning, and eventually produce a print he thought good enough to show the trainer, who would glance at it and growl, “Bin it!”
I take it that’s your advice to me? 😉December 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm #2295
No- meant what I said- its one Chairman gave a special award to–worth posting.December 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm #2296
I am not sure about the changes in the top left and opposite corners Ian. The detail has been lost too much for me. The offending leaf looks better but otherwise I prefer the original. I think you have maybe gone a little too far on the burning for me.December 7, 2012 at 8:18 am #2312
Thanks for your thoughts, D. I fear this may now be a case of not being able to please all of the people all of the time! (You’ll recall that John advised darkening the top-left and bottom-right corners, above.)
I do understand what you’re getting at, and had something of the same feeling myself. But did you have a look at the image large on black? It looks bit better under those conditions, where you can see a bit of detail in the corners.
I suppose I could have another go at burning in the corners rather less. The real problem, however, is dealing with the leaf convincingly while maintaining detail. I guess the image is inherently problematic, and probably isn’t retrievable in an entirely satisfactory way, so I probably won’t enter it in the L&CPU! 😉
But it has been interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts. You can learn such a lot from the discussion, even if the image is less than perfect.
Thanks to everyone!December 7, 2012 at 11:49 am #2313
It is so delicate in parts that it must be a nightmare to handle and edit. I still think it is stunning and would personally persist.
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