Photo of the Day – 9 February 2017: Hyacinth

Posted on 10th February 2017 by Admin under Comment, Equipment, Photograph
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A cold and dull day, such as the one experienced around here today, does limit the scope for photography.  There are options to use the soft light to shoot details, but as there were some fresh flowers in the house I took that option instead.  I chose a hyacinth and used the same setup as the one for my monochrome flower shot on 11 January.  My recently acquired Leica Elmarit-R 60 macro lens was mounted on a full frame camera.  The background is a piece of black velvet and I used a silver reflector to fill in the right side.


(Click on image for a larger version)


Post Capture Processing

I processed the resulting Raw file in Lightroom, which included tidying up some blemishes, before opening it in Photoshop.  The hyacinth had been at a more inclined angle as shot, so I straightened it slightly.  My initial framing had been quite tight, so I enlarged the canvas filling the new area with black.  The advantage of using a black background meant the transition between the captured image and the part I added was seamless.

At that point, I was wondering how it would look as a monochrome.  The conversion using Silver Efex Pro was not bad as it turned out.  Then I did something I learnt a few years ago, I blended the monochrome layer with the underlying colour one using Luminosity blending mode.  This brought out more texture in the flowers and leaves and added a bit more definition.  It left the colours unchanged since Luminosity only affects the tonal values.  I was nearly there at that point.  All that remained was to reduce the saturation using the Vibrance control and I was done.

This post is part of my occasional “Photo of the Day” series when I publish any shots which I think might be of interest and tell the story behind them.  They might not necessarily be portfolio standard images, nor the final version, but still be of sufficient interest for inclusion in my blog.  If I do not show a shot on any given day, it does not mean that I did not take any photographs, just that I did not get anything worthwhile.  For me, that is part of the fun of photography, not knowing what you will find on a shoot when nothing is planned.

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