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Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)


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#1 Eb Mueller

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:33

The Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) appears in mid May in the wooded areas and by August in the alpine areas of coastal British Columbia. It is my favourite wild-flower and I anticipate it and photograph each year. In the field, under typical windy conditions, it is difficult to focus stack because the delicate blooms on slender stems are in constant motion. Sometimes, I try for a quick stack, hoping for at least three frames which I can combine for added dof and yet maintain creamy background. The first image is a stack of 4 frames which was intended to render the entire columbine plant into reasonable focus along with some of the surrounding Miner's Lettuce blooms (Montia perfoliata.) Please click on the images for a larger and nicely framed view!

1. Crimson Columbine on a Bed of Miner's Lettuce
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This variation on the base image is achieved with some art filters in photoshop. I attend a photography club where using plug-ins and art brushes is a common practice (usually to hide imperfection or create short lived but novelty impact, in my cynical opinion!) On occasion, I do "play" along in order to fulfill my quota in the "creative expression" category we are required to submit to! Your opinions are quite welcome!

2.
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4. Here I wish that I could have gotten a stack of the entire plant but was not successful. It is that background which I wanted to preserve.
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5. Crimson Columbine and Syrphid
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7. Multiple exposures in strong wind.
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8.
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Edited by Eb Mueller, 04 May 2012 - 02:34 .

Eb Mueller
British Columbia, Canada
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#2 Ann

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:00

Experimenting with the new bristled wet Mixer-brushes is quite a lot of fun but personally I don't have the artistic skills to get worthwhile results from them.

I think that the results are more valuable and individual when the artist has used brushes and brush-strokes instead of ready-made filters except when those were used as an underlying textural effect. Still it's always interesting to see what different tools can do and more power to you for taking the time to learn new techniques.

#3 Eb Mueller

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 16:35

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Ann! Painting with customized brush strokes is indeed a meticulous process - akin to wet painting directly on canvas, (but with a photographic template,) Although I like the impressive painterly results, I'm not a painter and can't be motivated to embark on such an involved project. The second option is to apply art filters globally and then use layer mask(s) to vary the opacity of the effect(s). As you suggest, this lays down an underlying textural effect. Image #5 is such an example where the underlying "water colour" texture's opacity is reduced on the flower head and entirely cut on the hover fly. I think it an interesting exploration but hesitate to embark whole-heartedly on such techniques because, in my judgment, I just do not find it to be my love, which is photography. (Obviously, I have a very narrow definition of what that is!) :)
Eb Mueller
British Columbia, Canada
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#4 Ann

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 19:59

I think it an interesting exploration but hesitate to embark whole-heartedly on such techniques because, in my judgment, I just do not find it to be my love, which is photography.


I am in full accord with you on that.

[Or perhaps that's simply my excuse because I don't have the skills to be able to paint!]

:paint: :)

Edited by Ann, 08 May 2012 - 20:09 .





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