High-Key Orchid revised

27 01 2010

My previous two posts about high-key resulted in a fruitful discussion here and also on forum where I posted those photos, too. Some of you liked the images as they were presented, some of you suggested higher contrast. At first, I really liked the innocent snowy white look, it was exactly what I wanted to achieve. After a week and some discussions I decided to try the suggested higher contrast and I must admit that I like the result even more. Here it is:

1/10 sec. @ 100 mm, f/6.3, ISO 100

You can compare it to the previous post cropped to the same format here. It wasn’t easy for me to achieve this more contrasty look. I did several adjustments in Lightroom, then took it to Nik Color Efex Pro (just trial version), used High-Key filter there and tuned it up using unique U Point feature to preserve shades and contrast in petals and centre. Then I took it back to Lightroom and adjusted some sliders a bit more and you can see the result.

I’ve been playing with an idea of trying some overlay textures lately and this seemed to me as great opportunity. I browsed free textures on Flickr and find what I was looking for, a Papyrus texture by Pareeerica (you can find all her amazing textures here). I rally wonder what you will say on this:

Even though it is a texture of papyrus I wanted to give it a look of old painting on a wood and I think that it’s quite close. What do you think?

I’d like to thank to all of you who provided me suggestions on improvements of my high-keys. I still have a long way to go, that’s for sure, and you help me to not loose right direction.

Enjoy the moments of creativity!




19 responses

27 01 2010

At last That is IT! This is the result I can write: I like it!

27 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

😀 Thank you, I’m pleased 🙂 But, you know, art is a matter of taste so if you don’t like something you can’t simply say that it’s bad. It’s just not up to your taste 😉

28 01 2010
Barbara K

I love the snowy white look – for me that was my favorite look. I do love your texture! It’s perfect for your flower – great choice. You can create a layer mask and ‘paint off’ some of the texture with a soft black brush or airbrush. (lower opacity) This would create a whiter vignette if you choose to do that. Lots of options for your vision!

28 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Barbara. Re. the snowy look, do you mean that you liked the previous brighter whiter photos more than this one? Thank you also for suggestions on using textures. I originally planned to erase the texture a bit over the blossom but when I saw this the idea was quickly fogotten 🙂

29 01 2010
Anita Bower

I prefer the contrasty white orchid in this post to the prior post, though both are good. This one just stands out more. Love the composition!!!

Glad to see you experimenting with textures. I’ve used a number of pareeerica’s textures. Nice result! I worked with some textures today on a Cyclamen, but didn’t like any of the results.

31 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Anita!

31 01 2010

The fit of the flower in the frame and the angle of the flower are splendid. The bright look and petal shadings are subtle and attractive. One suggestion: dodge the stem, it is the darkest tone area and may be too prominent.

I like the second treatment, but the pattern in the background pulls my eye from the flower…

31 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Tom, for your valuable suggestions! I tried to lighten up the stem but was not able to come up with usable result, I’ll give it next go.

31 01 2010
More orchids, no high-keys « Close Nature

[…] showing orchid photos in previous 2 posts, here and here, I took one more session with our lovely snow-white Phalaenopsis orchid and looked for suitable […]

4 02 2010

OK, it’s no secret that I am not the biggest fan of high key images, white backgrounds, and so on. So it is really difficult for me to to make many constructive comments. I will say that, with the white on white, high key focus, I do find the dark stem to be distracting. It pulls my eye away from the flower.

4 02 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Ed for the constructive criticism even though you don’t like white-on-whites.

5 02 2010

I am a bit undecided about the stem myself, but really like what you have done with this series. The subtlety of the petals against the background certainly makes you want to explore deeper into the image.

5 02 2010
Tomas Turecek

Hi Mark. Thanks for honest comment. I plan to brighten the stem a bit more but haven’t found time to do so, yet. Thanks for your kind words.

10 02 2010

Man, … you are really nailing some good high-key images here Tomas!
(I have always loved high-key)
I hope that you continue shooting these and to experiment in other areas as well.
It’s just like having a grand meal for the soul!


11 02 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Michael! I’m glad to see your comments here. And thanks for encouraging me!

12 02 2010

Beautiful photo and highly successful, really lovely . SUPERBE

12 02 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you. I appreciate it!

21 02 2010

Wonderful and subleme photos. There is avery good balance in the soft tones that gives much harmony to them. The texture gives that photo an extra dimension, wich I both like and not like. Anyway great images!

22 02 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you for honest comment. I appreciate it.

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