Practicing while waiting for spring

16 03 2011

This ending winter has been really strange. We had exceptional load of snow in December, then all the snow was gone and we had some exceptional temperatures (exceptionally low) in January. February was quite normal with one exception, there was no snow and whole winter was thus quite dry. Normally the snow melts down by the end of February and rainy chilly days come followed by warmer and more sunny days of spring. This year it seemed that spring will not come at all.

When spring pot flowers arrived to shops we bought some hyacinths soon and so we were “calling for spring” with them blooming on our dining table. I took the following photos 2 weeks ago and this week we finally had spring weather with sun on clear sky and really pleasant temperatures. I even heard about new plus records 2 days ago 🙂

I like to think that I called the spring even though I know how naive this thought is. Anyway, I found the hyacinth flower a great subject which left me with more than few satisfying images. I decided to practice my post processing skills resulting in different processing for each image. The following one was simple straight shot without any specific processing, only the usual adjustments for exposition, vibrance, saturation, contrast aso.

~ Peeping Pink ~
1/15 sec. @ 100mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

I saw this photo on the LCD screen of my camera when I pointed itto the flower, chose a composition and locked the mirror. I think that the shutter is fully open in this case and image on screen looks even brighter than when it is taken. So I at least tried to close to what I saw and I think that I got very close.

Another photo is a close examination of hyacinth blossoms and their beautiful curves.

~ Calling Spring ~
1/20 sec. @ 100mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

I liked the result after usual adjustments in Lightroom but the green background was a little bit too prominent and the green/brown stem on the right side was really distracting so I gave a try to a texture overlay. I used Pareeerica’s Crimson Grunge texture (thanks!) twice as overlay which blended all subjects on photo nicely together.

Next, and last for today, photo was the most complicated.

~ (Blooming) Towards Spring ~
1/30 sec. @ 100 sec., f/2.8, ISO 100

I liked the bokeh and I knew that I want to have the “main” blossom more in focus than what’s achievable with f/2.8. Therefore I took 2 photos with the same f-number but focused on different parts of blossom. During post processing I  used the one with more blurred background and I painted the in-focus petals from second photo (using Photoshop, each photo in 1 layer). Then the usual adjustments (brightness, clarity, saturation aso.) followed but the result wasn’t still satisfying as I wanted the blossom to pop out against the background. I took the photo to Photoshop again and applied Orton technique which gave it softer look and little bit more saturated colours. Then was the right time to make the blossom pop so I masked only the blossom and used High pass sharpenning method. Finally, this is what I was striving for.

I hope you like them. I have some 2 or 3 more images from the same photo session and I plan to give a different post processing to each also.

Enjoy the spring!

Technical notice: all photos in this post were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens mounted to a tripod, under natural conditions, indoors.




10 responses

17 03 2011

Oh, my…these are gorgeous! Simply adore the first one…all the lovely spring green with the little bloom peeking out – so cute! Made me instantly think ‘peek-a-boo!’

I’ve used the same two-shot technique as you did in the third image. Sometimes there just isn’t enough space between things to give the desired DOF, even when wide open.

I’m impatiently waiting for spring, too, though I shouldn’t complain today since it is warm and sunny out. However, the yard is looking brown and dead except for a few Snowdrops here and there…

17 03 2011
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Tracy. I had a bit mixed feelings about the first one. I really liked it at first but then I wasn’t sure if others will like it. I’m glad that they do. That you do 🙂

Today I noticed that our crocuses have already swelling buds and hyacinths are peeking through soil but there’s too cold and drizzlling so it’s much better inside then out.

18 03 2011
Ingrid - London UK

Thank you for your visit to my blog and your kind comments.
Wonderful close-ups. Your knowledge of photo processing is very impressive!

19 03 2011
Tomas Turecek

Thanky you, Ingrid. I have your blog on my ” to follow” list so you can expect my comment also in future 😉 Thanks for stopping by and for comment!

19 03 2011

Tomas, I also like the first, especially for the composition. It has a nice character to it. It has been warmer here also the last week, a nice change from a rather hard winter. But next week it is cold again, such is life in Michigan.

19 03 2011
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Mark. After few warmer days we got snow yesterday 😦

24 03 2011
john Barclay

Calling Spring is a very special image. I can see why you and my friend Barbara Kile have connected! She is an amazing flower photographer. Glad to connect to your work via Bob Towery. Great stuff here!

24 03 2011
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, John! I really appreciate your visit and your comment on my work is the highest compliment for me. You are right with Barbara. She is a real master of flower photography and neverending source of creativity.

If you really like what you see here, feel free to stop by and perhaps also leave a comment sometime. Appreciation of others, especially real professionals such as you, tells me that what I do has some sense and value to someone. Thank you!

24 03 2011
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