Tulips – Part 2

This is the second set in the series of tulips I shot this spring.

When I am pressed for time I love doing flower edits. They are quick and easy and can be knocked out without a lot of effort going into them. When I first started processing photos I would just use Lightroom and now I use Photoshop for the majority of my work. I can quickly just do what I want and dodge and burn as needed and call it done.

One of the things that I can get away with since I now live in Thailand but publish on a East Coast of America time is I edit the same day. When I need to get out and do something I can quickly do these edits and then out the door.

I more or less explained how editing was done. Mostly gradient work to get the flower into focus then a bit of dodging and burning.


Tulips – Part 1

I shot this series of images when the tulips were in full bloom. The series was shot between Brookside Gardens in Maryland and Meadowlark Gardens in Virginia.

When I was taking these image I didn’t have a filter that fit my lens. I would have used a 3 stop neutral density to cut down on some of the light since I shot them just before midday. You can fix some of it in Photoshop but it’s never going to look as good if you had a filter.

None of these were shot with a macro lense. I just used my Sigma 24-105 on the Nikon D5500 and went wild. I was still learning how to use the camera so I there were a few misses but for the most part the images came out decent.

Editing wise I just did the Lightroom to Photoshop workflow. I always add my contrast in via a curves adjustment and do local work with dodging and burning as needed.


Flowers For Valentine’s Day – Part Two

I’ll finish up the set of flowers for Valentine’s Day. Normally I like to break these things up but my schedule has been hectic and these are already edited and ready to go so I’m going with it.

This set is actually when I first started to shoot the US Botanic Garden Conservatory. When I bring stuff into Photoshop it goes from the last photo I brought in to the first. So I work backwards. I was too lazy to sequence them yesterday since it was a quick upload. In the end it works out as these are the ones I really struggled with getting the camera tuned in and the flash to work.

Editing wise nothing special. Usual local adjustments with dodge and burn. Put the tone curve in to add contrast and done.



Flowers For Valentine’s Day – Part One

I had a request for flowers. It turns out I had recently shot some while I went on an adventure to the US Botanic Garden Conservatory.

The entire reason I went to Botanic Garden Conservatory was to test out a couple lenses, a camera, and a flash I own. I had purchased a Sigma 24-70 2.8 and I had a Sigma 50mm macro to test. So I put them on a recently acquired Sony A7ii along with a Newer Flash for Sony I had bought last year. The inside can be dark and I the A7ii with it stabilization mixed in with the flash seemed to be a good test.

I wasn’t sure how these images came out. The flash absolutely struggled the entire time. It got so hot it just shutdown. I had to let it cool and then fire it back up just to shut down again. I was far from stressing it too. Might be good for periodic use but sustained use it was all but useless.

I won’t blame some of the motion blur in these images solely on the flash. The A7ii is just smaller and lighter than my A7R or my Nikon D810 so balance with the flash was interesting. I’m mainly going to use it for video work but I will get a battery grip for it. The lenses performed fine and for being adapted lenses I was pleased with the results.

Editing wise nothing fancy. Just curves adjustments and dodging and burning for local adjustments. They are flowers, I don’t want to go too wild on them.



Winter Flowers

When I was in Florida I was informed that I would take pictures of flowers in a garden. I like to think I fulfilled my obligation with these images.

I only took my Sony RX10 with me to Florida as it was a quick trip. It was also a test of my new mobile workflow which means just a smaller external SSD drive and a Lightroom library to dump images to. When I return home I then import the images into my normal library and edit if I haven’t already. Worked well.

Still playing with my new editing workflow. Seems to do well and I’m happy that I was able to bang these images out quickly. It’s just one simple curves adjustment in Photoshop, some dodging and burning, then sharpening. Much faster for when I’m busy and need to be on the run.


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Summer Remnants – Part 2

I’ll finish up the last of the flowers for this post. Everyone seems to love my flower photos. Me? I could pass.

Interesting thing about editing these images is that before I would just crank the contrast on a flower image. Then I would boost the saturation and and the blacks and call it done. I also had weird bokeh effects that really drew the attention away from the flower. Now that I use a tone curve adjustment to add contrast I have a much more control over the contrast. I also don’t get massive color shifts like before either.

To add effect I just use localized dodge and burn to get the right light on the flower and I get a much smoother transition from flower to background. In all, they are much better images now than before.


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Summer Remnants – Part One

I really have no idea why I am going through my back catalogue other than I can. It’s not like I am not sitting on tons of unedited images that I have recently shot. I just am generally shocked on the stuff I never edited for one reason or another.

These are from Oatlands Plantation when I visited out there which is now 3 years ago. I was still shooting micro 4/3 cameras and wasn’t fully into landscapes yet. So I was just wandering around sticking my camera near flowers and calling it a photographic.

Nothing fancy going editing wise. It’s a flower and sometimes some bee’s. Typical dodge and burn and called it done.


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Flower Squares – Part Two

Here are the second half of the flowers I published yesterday. These were all taken in Portland, Oregon at the public Rose Garden. If it wasn’t for people I worked with wanting to get there I doubt I would have ever taken the photos.

There is a bit of a story behind editing these images. It almost didn’t happen. My hands were hurting from lugging around my tripod and Nikon D810 earlier in the day. While it’s not super cold, my tripod is aluminum so all that cold goes right into my hand. So when it came time to edit my hand was screaming in pain. While it only takes a few minutes per image by the time I was done doing 16 I was ready to call it quits.



Flower Squares – Part One

I have been getting requests for flowers from my Mom almost daily. Since she reads and comments daily I’ll humor her not for just one day but two!

The whole flower thing started when I was a new at photography. I had no real clue what I was doing. If I was outside it was flowers. If I was inside it was my cat. Over the years my photography got better and I realized I hated flowers because I learned to shoot other things. The cat – well she was old and had an extremely charmed life.

So I don’t take a lot of flowers photos anymore. When I was in Portland, Oregon they were doing the Rose Festival. I already published a few sets of the roses. This was the B roll stuff that I didn’t select in the first cut. Some have errors resulting from myself or the camera. Others have issues with the backgrounds. Still, I knew I had them and to make my Mom happy I just went ahead and did the edits.

Going to split this up into 2 sets. There are 16 images totals. This will also buy me some time to do additional editing of all the new stuff I have shot recently. I’m on the road starting this Friday. So I need to preload all the images which means a lot of time sitting in front of the computer and editing

Speaking of editing flowers are easily done. Nothing special here. Contrast adjustments and then dodging and burning. Called it done.



Portland Roses – Part 2

This is the rest of the roses from Portland, Oregon that I shot. I wish the weather was better when I was out there visiting but the shots I got were pretty good and I did enjoy visiting the city. Would have loved to see the Japanese Gardens that were next to the Rose Garden but I was out of time and I had a plane to catch to San Diego.

I also want to say that this is the last post for weekends going forward. Taking last weekend off made me realize that I could do better editing when I had time to put cohesive series together and work on images instead of rushing them at the end of the day. Churning out images 7 days a week is a lot of effort. While doing that many edits has really pushed my editing skills it also has made me sloppy by rushing them. So no more. Going forward there will be no more images on Saturday or Sunday. I’ll post a reminder next week but this is it.

Enjoy the final weekend post. I go out with flowers much like it started!

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