Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lotus Blossom #11, HDR Variations

#1 - "CSI Miami" treatment
A handful of lotus flowers were still in bloom in the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical gardens last Saturday morning.  A hazy sun back light really brought out detail and texture, captured by the magical Nikon 180mm "Leni Lens".  I wound up making four versions and would love to hear from you if you have a preference.  The last step for #1 was to apply a partial "CSI Miami" glow effect in Nik Color Efex Pro.

#2 - "Platinum Print" process
Inspired by the exquisite work by Irving Penn, I came up with a Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 process preset that is very close to the look of a Platinum-Palladium process, especially when printed on a good matte paper.

#3 - "Lens Baby" filter
As an experiment, I decided to use the Nik Color Efex Pro 3 "Vignette Blur" tool to simulate the Lens Baby look.

#4 - Grainy Nude process
This monochrome processing preset in Lightroom 3 started out as an approach for nudes, but it has come in handy for botanical subjects, too.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: AF NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED "Leni Lens"
Exposure: ISO 200, 3 brackets around f/8.0 @ 1/200s, Auto WB, RAW
Lighting: Hazy sunlight
Support: Gitzo Basalt Tripod, Acratech GP-2 w/leveling base, RRS L-Bracket
Location:  Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis
Dates: Capture - July 16, 2011, Processed July 17, 2011
Processing: Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, Nik HDR Efex, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2


benjamin gandhi-shepard said...

I like all of the color versions. I'm digging this Lotus series.

Ray Meibaum said...

These are really beautiful, Preston. Great texture and color. It looks like there's a light source from the front and below the petals - are you somehow catching a reflection from something on the ground?

Preston Page said...

Gosh, thank you, gents! Ray, there were no reflectors. The petals are lit high and from behind by a hazy sun. I really like the control over texture and color available through HDR technique.

Anonymous said...

You really must photograph beautiful things more often!

Preston Page said...

Gary, the struggle I have is to make pictures of familiar, beautiful things are not a cliche. Furthermore, symmetry in many objects, like flowers, defines their standard of beauty. However, symmetry in fact is not interesting. Luckily for me, the blossom is past its prime with petals starting to droop. To keep things fresh for me, the composition here is a mix of golden mean and the eccentric subject placement we first saw in the landscapes by the Vienna Secession painters like Gustav Klimt.