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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Wayne Upchurch

For years, as a “professional ogler” (a newspaper staff photographer), I simultaneously explored photography as craft/process/medium in its own right. The photojournalism work –credentials and mindset– got me into (and out of) places I would certainly never have had access to on my own. I was also practicing the discipline of getting a picture where there didn’t appear to be one and getting it Finished in a timely manner, to professional standards. I also learned to create imminently readable images despite poor reproduction in a small size. Though it took me several years to get this, the value of making photos that illustrated something already laid out in the story was suddenly Not Enough, and I began to make assignment pictures that added dimensions not already in the writing, or better Yet, raised questions so that the reader would go to the story for more answers. Having gained more than dreamt of, when starting out, I left to pursue my own personal photography, mounting exhibits along the way. I also worked with commercial photographer friends doing studio product photography, and making headshots for actors. Later, I also helmed a Public Radio “spacemusic” program, and acted in a Wilmington, NC drama company. I put the cameras away for a few years, to finish shedding the habit of self-limiting my identity as just “Photographer”, and can now pursue personal pleasure and expression through the freedom that digital imaging offers. Sharing photos on Flickr and participating locally in meetups and outings has renewed a passion for making new images and for sharing the process with others. For some time, I’ve found myself writing detailed comments on other people’s photos, as well as thoughts and pet ideas about photography, in general.

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