Image of the Week

Inspired Rose in Black and White
Inspired Rose – Black and White

Image of the Week

Inspired Rose – Flower Photography

Image Considerations

I found this inspired rose in Sacramento’s McKinley Park Rose Garden. This is one of my go to locations either when I want to shoot roses, or want to just relax in a nice location. This is one where as I was shooting, I did not have a vision for what it could become.

Some roses are simply beautiful with their curves and colors, and need to be captured, even if there is no clear vision at the start. That was the case with this one. It is a beautiful rose with wonderful curves.

Image Lighting

I captured this image in the mid day sun. The bright sun at that time of day can be harsh when shooting, making it easy to over expose. I am possibly hyper focused on my exposure meter in these conditions. Although I can control the light simply by choosing what time of day I go out, sometimes I just want to go shooting. That was the case with this image. I had a chance to shoot with a friend, and we felt like shooting roses right then. It isn’t always about being somewhere for the perfect light. Sometimes the right inspiration is more about the when and why to shoot. You just have to be ready to capture regardless of possible light challenges.

Camera and Settings

I shot this with my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 28-135 IS USM lens. Because I did not have a tripod with me, I was working to ensure a stable handheld shot. I wanted a shallow DOF for this shot, so I had to balance my ISO to get to a reasonable shutter speed. In this case, no exposure bias was needed.

  • 135mm focal length
  • f/5.6 aperture
  • 1/60th second exposure
  • 0.0 exposure bias
  • 100 ISO

Editing Inspiration

Because I had no specific vision for this rose at the start, it ended up waiting many months before I was inspired with this processing. I had been seeing this type of style showing up in social media for a few months, but have often felt that more artistic processing has been just outside my reach. Regardless of that, I wanted to give it a try.

The goal was a softness, that could emphasize the curves and feel of the rose, along with a way for it to fill the frame. An additional aspect I focused on was to have the vignette be lighter, so the edges might be slightly overexposed, allowing the details to virtually fade away in the softness.

Inspired Rose inspired by curves

This rose has its own wonderful curves, but I also was inspired by soft curves I had in mind that were part of this image from the start. It ended up being a matter of finding the right balance between details and softness. I wanted to leave just enough details in the center of the rose, while the rest with all the lovely curves would remain soft, and fading to the edges.

The initial processing I did with this, kept the pink color of the rose. This ended up being one of those cases where after sleeping on it, I woke up with a vision of this in black and white. It truly became an inspired rose in black and white.

Once I finished the conversion to black and white, I saw there were some dark areas around the edges that needed correcting. They pulled the eye far too much and detracted from the overall image.

Often times, an edit is not a straight line. It can be a winding road to get to the place where the inspiration leads. In this case, it lead to a truly inspired rose in black and white.

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