Yellow Zantadescia 

(aka Calla)  For photographers, new and experienced, a simplified account of the process: First: in Photoshop CS5, some cloning out of small random bits around the bottom edge of the leaf. Then, still in PS, re-framing, including an extension of the background, using the crop tool to add space on the left, filled using Content Aware, to match the background. Back in Lightroom, a Monochromatic conversion was made, adding light split toning, via curves adjustments in LightRoom. Basically, using the RGB curves, I raised the lower end of the blue channel, and dropped the upper end of the same channel. There was also some negative clarity applied, countered with a local brush adjustment on the rather phallic detail to bring back clarity and definition. Then a touch of vignetting to pull down the overall brightness of the corners, nudging attention into the central area… in effect, subtly containing the view. In the seeing, one of the reasons I added the background “empty” space was to bring the heart of the flower to one of the power points of the composition, this time using the fractal curve overlay in Lightroom. On viewing the overall effect of this framing, it strikes me that the juxtaposition of the open space with the intimate space of the *flower adds a sweetness to the blossom. The lines of the leaf, indeed, of all the leaf edges, and the lines of the upper blossom all refer in some way to the foreground one. Those lines are also very curvy and gracefully active.. . Alive, in effect. I was tempted, during processing, to bring down the highlights in the leaf, but I like the way it refers/reflects/echoes the source light, out of the frame… that suggestively opens up the image to include what is not seen. Neat! I added the coloration subjectively, really.. the combo of the subtle yellows and extremely subtle blues is pleasing to me. Perhaps the yellow adds emotional warmth, while the shadows keep an open spaciousness.

*apparently not truly a blossom; look that up*

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Beautiful, Purposeful, Transitory Flesh

Saucer Magnolias 2010, originally uploaded by 0 W8ing.

This tree stands in a location that doesn’t give me clean access to its blossom bounty, but it does display them where I can get to the bottom-most ones. I don’t always get to them in their prime, but I do like the way they show their vulnerability and weathering.