Sunday, April 17, 2011

Exploring a subject - daffodils on a sunny morning

I've been trying to spend more time working with a single subject and to explore more of the possibilities; I have also been waiting for a sunny weekend morning to try taking some photos of the spring flowers in my yard. The result?  I jumped out of bed this morning, skipped the coffee for the trusty camera, and started snapping some shots.

A few of the early flowers are on the wane, but the daffodils are just hitting their stride. I'll begin here with a few of the shots I took just getting a feel for what I could produce, though I didn't have any real plan and just picked the flowers that seemed promising. None of these stand out as much, but it helped me see what I was going to get for light, depth of field, and whatnot.

I stumbled upon that last shot, as I had no intention to get the sun coming through between the tree and the deck, aside from that I was looking for flowers that were actually in the sun. Anyway, it seemed promising to get some macro shots with a really short DOF with the sun doing its magic. Here's the next round:

Cash money! That last one had something going for it. Now come inside, make coffee for me/wife and cereal for the kiddo...and during her nap I imported these into Lightroom. All I knew was that I wanted something more abstract - it doesn't need to look like light coming from behind a tree in my yard on  a spring morning - I just wanted something visually striking.

I cropped a little to start out, isolating the flower more, and then I took back a few highlights and dodged a bit in the center of the flower. Non-flower detail was mostly gone, and more so after desaturating everything but the yellow/orange. I like how the flower is floating, but still I just see "yellow," and not something more compelling...

...until I converted to black and white. It never ceases to amaze me how much more you see when you remove the distraction of color. In this case I see the texture in the translucent petal, and I pick up more of a sense of a halo. I'm biased, but I think this is a stunning image.

Final image, daffodil with a halo
 I'm pleased, but there's got to be a lot more I can do with this subject and I won't get better by blogging. Stay tuned for the next installment.


Samantha said...

I do miss spring flowers, living in a place with barely any seasonality (?) to it. I like both the color and the B&W versions of your "pick" shot... the translucence of the petals is really nice.

Sally said...

I agree with Samantha. Black and white stunning. Maga would have loved them all. I am also partial to your B&W photo of Leah sitting next to kitty looking out into the snow.
Oay, now comes the interesting part. How do I post comment?

Sally said...

Ah.Easy breezy.

Alex B Atterbury said...

Thanks! Not sure what else to say. I do it to amuse myself, but it's kinda cool to have others checking out the photos, especially since I have no expectation of a gallery show :)