Only a Rose

Red Rose Vintage style

Beautiful red Rose given a Vintage effect.

I have continued the floral theme and having done with the Tulips decided to look for another subject – I didn’t have to look very far so soon after Saint Valentine’s day – I spied a bunch of roses on the window sill that had been received by my wife on the 14th of February. I must admit being a little curious where they came from – maybe I should investigate, but I have been so busy. ( I know where they came from really, and this time they were bought with her as the first thought – honest!)_DSC5686 antique.jpg

So there were these roses and it was a bright and sunny day, so I decided to take them outside and photograph selected ones against an out-of-focus green hedge, but it turned out to be a bit breezy and I was going to have to use a very slow shutter speed if I was to use an iso of 100 for maximum quality – I wanted to shoot in the shade as the direct sun would have given harsh shadows. I decided to photograph them on a window sill inside of the house. I needed something to fill in the shadows on the inside because there was too much contrast between the window light and the inner side.

Red Rose colour isolated.

Red Rose colour popped.

At first, I tried a home made reflector (flat baking tray covered in crinkled cooking foil) but I wasn’t quite getting the effect that I was looking for so I used used a speed light type camera flash connected to my camera with a curly cord so that I could move the direction of the light around for best effect.

Red Rose Close-up

Red Rose Close-up detail saturated with differential focus – Landscape format

In the end I really only used one or two of the roses for this project, partly because the leaves of some of the roses were starting to split – you often don’t notice that sort of thing unless you get very close up, or are editing the results at 100%! I have posted a few here but to see the whole collection, visit my website using the link below. You will find them on pages 7 & 8 – Enjoy!

via Paul Cullen Photography | Floral Gallery..

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More Tulips

I’ve had a bit of a busy day today, sorting out some more Tulip photographs – I do hope that I am not boring you…..

All taken in natural light with a reflector opposite the main source and coloured card behind the flowers. Oh, I did have fun…

Tulips on a yellow background.

Tulips on a yellow background.

I definitely got my moneys worth out of them and what is more, my wife thought that I bought them for her (no, I don’t think that I managed to fool her really!) I had two attempts at photographing them over two days.

Two colourful Tulip flowerheads on a black background.

Two colourful Tulip flowerheads on a black background.

I would like to think that they have a different feel to them despite using some similar methods. I went for a more three dimensional effect this time.

Three colourful Tulips on a dark blue background.

Three colourful Tulips on a dark blue background.

Three colourful Tulips on a white background.

Three colourful Tulips on a white background.

Experimenting, yet again with a range of coloured backgrounds – all A2 size coloured card from Rymans – (other stationery shops are available). I have even tried a bit of focus stacking, but I haven’t processed them yet so I’ll save them for another post.

I was quite pleased that I achieved the vibrant effect that I was looking for and now I have distributed them onto Fine Art America – where people can make framed prints, bags, phone covers, duvet covers and a whole lot more from my photographs – and, if I’m honest other peoples photographs and other artworks:-

flower framed prints for sale

I have also put them on Photo4Me

You will remember that I wrote recently about joining them. I have well over 100 photographs on there now.

And, 500px Prime

God loves a trier!

In addition, I have also shown them on Flickr, Pinterest and on my Facebook Fan Page – See I told you I had been busy.

Rainbow Tulips.

I am going through a bit of a floral phase at the moment. Not long after my fun with Lilies, Sunflowers and Gerbera came a couple of shoots with Tulips. These ones were labeled “Rainbow Tulips”, presumably as they were in many different colours. Now you could be thinking that I have an arrangement with a high-class florist but you would be wrong, these ones came from ASDA (for any American readers – Walmart own ASDA). On this occasion (the first of two) I decided to arrange them in a variety of patterns with a variety of backgrounds – I have a selection of A2 card in different colours. I used natural light with reflectors, indeed the sun was quite bright in my little studio so I had to make judicious use of the blinds to prevent harsh shadows. Camera on a sturdy tripod, lock up the mirror and slow exposures at between f11 and f16 – well the flowers were not going anywhere!. Enjoy…..

Three Tulips on a textured background

Three Tulips on a textured background

Three Tulips on a wooden board.

Three Tulips on a wooden board.

Three purple Tulips.

Three purple Tulips.

Five colored Tulips on a blue background.

Five colored Tulips on a blue background.

Five Tulips arranged like a bow.

Five Tulips arranged like a bow.

Three Tulips.

Three Tulips.

Three Tulips.

Three Tulips.

Three Tulips in colour.

Three Tulips in colour.

Three Tulips arranged in a circular pattern in sepia on a textured blue background.

Three Tulips arranged in a circular pattern in sepia on a textured blue background.

Four Tulips on a textured background- monochrome square

Four Tulips on a textured background- monochrome square

Three cool tone effect Tulips on a textured  Background.

Three cool tone effect Tulips on a textured Background.

Five colourful Tulips on a bright yellow background.

Five colourful Tulips on a bright yellow background.

Three colourful Tulips on a bright Yellow Background.

Three colourful Tulips on a bright Yellow Background.

Of course, I had to have a fiddle about in Nik Colour Efex Pro 4 and/or Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to finish them off. I’ll hopefully be able to show you the other ones soon – once I have processed them through Lightroom.

Lilies, Sunflowers and Gerbera.

I rather like photographing flowers, so I decided to buy some and do just that. The ones that appealed to me the most out of those available on the day were a mixed bunch which included Lilies, Sunflowers, Gerberas and some kind of Brassica which I must admit didn’t seem quite so photogenic! I was inspired, in part, by an article written by Lee Frost in one of the magazines about creating “Fine Art” flower photographs, so armed with said magazine, flowers and various other props, I went ahead and here is what I came up with:-

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a White background profile view.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a White background profile view.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a black background.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a black background.

I was quite pleased with the result but I wondered what they would look like in black and white:-

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a black background.

(looks better on a full screen and without the watermark, as you might expect)

I then decided (some time later) to have a play with some of the photographs in some photo manipulation software called “Smart Photo Editor” by Anthropics Technology Ltd – the Makers of Portrait Professional and again I was more than happy with the result. Smart Photo Editor allows you to put new skys, backgrounds, and make more adventurous editing changes with a couple of clicks. Many of the effects are a bit “over the top!” but you can get some good results if you don’t over do it:-

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a white background.

Dark pink Gerbera isolated on a white background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a watercolour style background.

Beautiful white Lilly isolated on a watercolour style background.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a red background and a dry brush paint effect.

Beautiful white Lily isolated on a red background and a dry brush paint effect.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a oil painting  background.

Beautifully rich golden Sunflower isolated on a oil painting background.

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder; I like them and I hope that you do too, otherwise I wouldn’t be showing them to you – I don’t think that they will be to everyone’s taste but if you fancy having a play with some of you photographs on a dull rainy afternoon, you could do worse than giving it a try. Do a search for Smart Photo Editor or failing that, Anthropics and you can get a trial version for free. I think that the full price is £39.00 but they are always having sales and special offers – the last time I looked it was at the reduced price of £19.99. I have posted some of these on my Fine Art America page:-

My Fine Art America site.

Lightroom Presets.

Hello,

I have just been working on some photographs of some flowers that I made a few weeks ago. Most of the photographs that I took were of a single red Gerbera flower from many different angles in natural light. I have the habit of taking lots of photographs with only very slight changes before moving onto bigger changes, and many of these photographs were looking a little too alike so I played with some of the Lightroom presets to get more different effects. I was quite pleased with these effects – the ones that I was most pleased with can be found at:-

https://500px.com/paulcullenphotography/sets/flowers

Here are some examples of the effects achieved:-

Original colours.

Original colours.

Selenium Tone

Selenium Tone

Original file.

Original file.

Red Hi-Contrast - one of the monochrome presets.

Red Hi-Contrast – one of the monochrome presets.

Now that you have an idea of the original colour scheme, I’ll just put in the adjustment/preset/changes used.

Cyanotype.

Cyanotype.

Black and white look 3.

Black and white look 3.

Yellow filter - the effect that you would have had putting a yellow  filter over a monochrome film

Yellow filter – the effect that you would have had putting a yellow filter over a monochrome film

Cross process 3 - each of the cross process presets  gives a different effect.

Cross process 3 – each of the cross process presets gives a different effect.

"Aged photo" preset.

“Aged photo” preset.

No preset - only adjustment of Clarity and Vibrance  -green background.

No preset – only adjustment of Clarity and Vibrance -green background.

Cold tone  - Red on Green background.

Cold tone – Red on Green background.

Split tone 2 - there are three native split tones. (On a green background)

Split tone 2 – there are three native split tones. (On a green background)

Bleach Bypass (Red on a green background).

Bleach Bypass (Red on a green background).

So there you are, 11 (13 if you count the reference images that I have put in at the beginning) different effects that you can achieve on similar images to make them stand out. There are many more, so I hope that I have given you the incentive to experiment with your own images to produce something vibrant.

The presets, found on the left hand side in “Develop mode” really just alter the adjustment controls on the Right hand side. You can broaden your scope even further with third party presets that you can buy or even get for free; alternatively, you could experiment with the right hand controls to create your own effects. Lightroom has the ability to save these “home grown” presets.

Haven’t got Lightroom? Don’t worry, other photo editing suites like Coral Paint Shop Pro and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite also have built in presets.

Pink Chrysanthemum.

Pink Mum indoor 0064 by paul2210
Pink Mum indoor 0064, a photo by paul2210 on Flickr.

I do like making photographs with flowers. This one was made a little while ago. I bought some ‘mums and arranged them. Years later I rediscovered them on my hard drive and had a play in Photoshop – the results can be found on paulcullenphotography.com