Monday, June 13, 2011

Peony Love ~ Mono Monday!

"She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not"
(1/200 sec.@ F7.1, 180mm fl, ISO 160, 55-200mm Nikkor telephoto VR, shade)

I love love love peonies. Love them. Every aspect of them. Their scent is what heaven will smell like, I'm sure of it. That's heaven wafting through my window and across my work station right now. Their shape, their delicate profusion of petals like all the ruffles on a lady's skirt. Their sweet subtle colors. Out of everything God created for us to enjoy, I think the Peony is His most beautiful and poetic. Did I mention I LOVE peonies?

They're in full bloom right now in my garden which means I make time each day to run out there with my camera in different light and weather to get tons of pics. And I promise I'll try not to smother you in peonies all week... but hey, I'm prone to be a little less motivated to keep promises of that nature right now when they all look so darn delightful!

Mono Monday, so I have taken one of the close-ups I got this weekend and converted it. But a straight conversion didn`t yield the nuances of each petal the way the color version did, so some layers work occurred. After creating a duplicate layer of my initial conversion to the platinum B&W in PSPx2, I made sure I took the original layer into the adjustments menu and really brightened the overall image, more than usually necessary. Then in the duplicate layer I applied the B&W to the Curves option, taking the highlight and shadow points to areas where they made both extremes pop. The duplicate layer`s opacity was opened up slightly and then I proceeded to use the eraser tool to reveal the really bright layer underneath only in areas where there were natural highlights on the edges and topsides of petals. The image began to take on a depth it needed from the original conversion into B&W. A little time consuming, and required some vision as to what I really wanted to be important to this conversion. Am thinking already that I need to do this again in a really true B&W option now, that I may like it even slightly starker than it is now.

And that`s okay. Some images evolve. Your vision for an image will evolve, change, improve, become riskier. It`s called art. And more than peonies, I love art. What do you love? And have you pursued expressing it lately? Or taken the risk to show it to the world? ....More peonies anyone?

Thanks for the ramble! It`s an editing week for me, so except for the blog I may be off the grid for a bit... so have a fabulous Monday! Oh, and shameless plug here - please be sure you click on the pink vote button on the right side of the blog for Circle of Moms to place my photography in the Top 25 Photog Moms! You can vote daily! Thanks!

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