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ShareMondays2018 – Dahlia

Dreamy Dahlia

ShareMondays2018 – Dahlia

My favourite display at the RHS Wisley Gardens Flower Show is ALWAYS the one from Pheasant Acre Plants! I adore dahlias so their display is just heavenly. They are multi-award winners, adding Best Exhibit 2018 at Wisley to their trophies, alongside a Gold Medal from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. My favourite dahlias are undoubtedly the giant decorative cultivars. I was too enthralled by the beauty of this flower to actually note it’s name! I have many images from the flower show this year but I keep being drawn back to this particular dahlia. It just has to be my entry for ShareMondays and the Fotospeed challenges this week! I captured this image with my mirrorless Sony a6000 and a vintage Helios lens. I really like the soft matte quality of the images I get. Great fun for still life, particularly floral subjects!

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One Four Challenge: January Week 4

One Four Challenge - January Week 4

One Four Challenge: January Week 4

It’s the final week for January’s One Four Challenge from Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me. I’ve loved working with this Dahlia image this month and I’ve really enjoyed all your great feedback. I thought I would carry on working with the flower in a classic design theme inspired a bit by last week’s image and all the comments I received. My thoughts behind these designs were vintage fabric prints. This week I’ve kept the colour but made the overall look softer and subtle.

Photoshop CC
Select flower using polygonal lasso tool
Refine Edge
Fill Background Black
Select Black Pixels
Refine Edge
Layer via copy
Apply Radial Zoom Blur to both layers
Copy Background Layer and add Radial Swirl
Overlay Blending 20%
Merge and Flatten
Add an Invert Adjustment Layer
Difference Blending
Flatten Image

Greater Than Gatsby
Sentimental Colour Base
Sky Harbour 20%
Bright Pink Burst top left 90%
Soft Lavender Burst bottom right 75%
Eloise 30%
Paddington 20%
Moody Brush applied to flower centre
Bright Contrast 30%
Brooklyn Theatre Fire 60%
Merge and Flatten
Painterly Soft
Flatten Image

Open Paisley Texture Image
Apply Hue/Saturation Adjustment
Apply Brightness/Contrast Adjustment
Flatten Image
Add Texture Overlay to Flower
Create several copies of the flower
Transform size and opacity and place flowers diagonally across image
Merge with Multiply, Soft Light and Normal Blending
GTG Tuscan Vingnette 60%

Analogue Efex 2
Basic Adjustments: +detail -contrast +brightness
Light Leaks: Soft
Cool Film Type

Here’s my gallery of all the images for January and a poll if you would like to choose a favourite:

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One Four Challenge: January Week 3

One Four Challenge - January Week 3

One Four Challenge: January Week 3

It’s the third week of this month’s One Four Challenge, from Robin Gosby at Captivate Me, and I’ve used another combination of processing software to produce something completely different! I don’t expect anyone to try counting them, but there are twenty-four versions of my original dahlia in this composition.

Here’s the list of the processes I took and a gallery of the images.

Photoshop CC
Polygonal Lasso Tool
Select main flower head
Refine edge – feather, smooth and reduce size

Delete Background layer
Apply BW Filters: Yellow, Neutral Density, Maximum Black, Infrared, Blue, Red Filter

Create an invert of all BW versions

Add Black Fill Layer To Background

Copy and paste all versions of the BW Flower
Resize, rotate, and arrange
Duplicate selected layers to completely fill the image
Blend with a combination of Luminance, Overlay, Hard Light and Difference
Use Soft Eraser at Low Opacity to gently soften petal edges and details
Merge Visible
Flatten Image

Greater Than Gatsby
Lighthouse at 15%
Stillwater at 25%
Clean Drama at 25%
Soft Cool Burst 20% bottom right

Lightroom
Import with GTG Muted Edit Preset
Drop Clarity -10
Vignette +10

Nik Software
Colour Efex Pro 2
Tonal Contrast
Detail Extractor
Pro Contrast
Glamour Glow
Graduated ND

Export to Lightroom
Noise Reduction
Split Toning mauve highlights

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One Four Challenge: January Week 2

One Four Challenge - January Week 2

One Four Challenge: January Week 2

For the second week of this month’s One Four Challenge, from Robin Gosby at Captivate Me, I’ve used another combination of programs and processes to produce something a bit more abstract and a lot more vibrant! Hope you all like it.

Here’s the list of the processes I took and a gallery of the edits.

Lightroom
Crop Image
Vibrant Edit

Analogue Efex Pro 2
Double Exposure + 2nd image purple dahlia
Zoom and Rotate – blur centred to the left
Lens Distortion – Pincushion and Defocus
Basic Adjustments – Increase Detail and Brightness, Decrease Saturation

Photoshop CC
Duplicate Background Layer
Solarise
Invert
Merge Down
Glowing Edges Filter
Duplicate Layer Twice
Invert + Exclusion Blending 50% on 1st Layer
Invert + Difference Blending 100% on 2nd Layer
Merge Visible
Blur Tool

Colour Efex Pro
Tonal Contrast
Skin Softner
Bi-Colour Gradient
Pro Contrast

Analogue Efex Pro 2
Classic Camera 6 customised filter

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One Four Challenge: January Week 1

One Four Challenge - January Week 1

One Four Challenge: January Week 1

I decided to play with a photograph of one of my favourite flowers this month. It’s a dahlia that I pictured at RHS Wisley Gardens last September at their annual flower show. This week’s edit is soft and dreamy, maybe something that my 9yr old goddaughter would enjoy as a screen saver or wall poster. I will also show you the original image and a basic Lightroom edit, that will be the base image from which to work with over the course of the month. For January’s One Four Challenge, from Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me, I have decided to use a combination of processing software programs to create a totally new look each week.

Here are the processes that went into creating my first edit:

Nik Software
Analogue Efex Pro 2
Double exposure
Bokeh with blur
Basic Adjustments – reduce contrast, brighten, increase detail, decrease saturation
White Vignette
White Frame

Photoshop CC
Duplicate Background Layer
Clone Tool to remove unwanted detail
Blur Tool around edges
Screen Blending 100%
Duplicate of Background
Soft Light Blending 70%
Merge Visible

Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions
Carving Tree Collection
Tickled Pink 30%
Bright Pink Burst – top right
Soft Pink Burst – bottom left
Innocence Collection
Create Depth Brush
Amelia Bedelia 70%

Adobe Lightroom
Reduce Noise
Adjust Hue, Saturation and Lightness

Here’s the gallery for your perusal 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – Imagination

Flame Dahlia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity – Imagination

Humanity is a very BIG word to describe through photography or any other means I think! In terms of relating to the human race and the quality of being human, I think that there is one defining aspect of humanity – our ability to imagine. Throughout the history of our race, imagination has driven our capacity to learn and evolve as no other species. Only a very few animals show signs of this ability and they are among the most intelligent species on Earth next to our own. Many of the greatest minds in history have linked imagination and creativity to humanity. Here a few of my favourite quotes:

I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.
Keith Haring

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
Albert Einstein

Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.
Ken Robinson

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
Aesop

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.
Blaise Pascal

Man lives by imagination.
Havelock Ellis

I imagine, therefore I belong and am free.
Lawrence Durrell

Below is a slideshow showing the basic steps I used to create an imaginative flower study. I like to learn through experimentation. The dahlia I had photographed made me think of a glowing ball of flames. I used Lightroom, Photoshop and my imagination to bring my interpretation to life.

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