Spring of our Discontent

White Papaver Nudicaule Inversion © Harold Davis

White Papaver Nudicaule Inversion © Harold Davis

This is the spring of our discontent. Or at least the spring of isolating in place. As long as we are on Shakespeare near-quotations, “Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”

In that spirit, keeping to our quarantined state has given me time to pursue projects I have long been putting off, like mastering video creation and leading remote webinars.

My garden is in glorious April bloom, and I have flowers to photograph. Like the white Papaver nudicaule (Icelandic poppy) shown in this story.

White Papaver Nudicaule © Harold Davis

White Papaver Nudicaule © Harold Davis

To make the image on white, I cut the flower and placed it on my light box. Making the exposure, I decided not to use a macro lens. I picked a great piece of glass, my Zeiss 135mm f/2 moderate telephoto lens. I have used this lens for this kind of composition with success before, for example in Matilija Poppies and Mallows. I added a 12mm extension tube between the lens and camera so I could focus closer.

I made six exposures with the camera on the tripod at shutter speeds between 1/13 of a second and 2.5 seconds. Each exposure was at f/22 and ISO 64. I processing the captures as a high-key layer stack in Photoshop.

With the final version on white processed, I decided to see what would happen using creative LAB color techniques, specifically an L-channel inversion. Since the L-channel inversion swaps white for blacks and black for whites, to some extent it will leave a fairly neutral mid-gray (such as this flower’s petals) close to untouched, while swapping the background colors.

I was pleasantly surprised at the results of the LAB L-channel swap (shown at the top of this story), followed by a few additional Photoshop tweaks.

Enjoy this time, and use it for staying creative!

This entry was posted in Flowers, Photography.

One Trackback

  1. By Harold Davis—Best of 2020 on December 25, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    […] Click here for the blog story! […]

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