Flower Trip

More flower macros! Today I decided to share some comparison photos as well; the first set shows the difference the FlashPipe made on the macros when I was focusing in really tight. Without using an external flash, such shots were too dark:


I’ve used the Speedlite on macros before, and it definitely helps, but because of all the weird angles I’m using to get the shot I want the light kind of bounces all over. With the FlashPipe I get a nice soft diffused light that’s much more even, and definitely brighter than taking the shot without any flash:


My next set of comparisons shows how using the RadLab plugin for Photoshop helps edit a SOOC photo into something more magical. Here’s the original shot:


And here’s the shot after I adjusted the contrast and used RadLab filters to brighten and enhance color and detail:


Big difference! So even if in the final shot you can’t tell how RadLab might have helped, it definitely does. Of course all this could be done without it, but for someone with limited Photoshop skills like myself the plugin sure makes things easier.

I then used Snapseed for final sharpening and to enhance color a little further, as I felt the yellow was a little blown out in the original shot (the downside of using the flash). So here’s the final version:


This next one is a bit similar to a shot I shared in Sunday’s post; but that one was taken without the Speedlite/FlashPipe combo while the one I’m sharing today used those two additions. So as a reminder and further comparison, here’s the shot I shared Sunday:


And here’s the same flower (different angle though) taken with the external flash and FlashPipe (as well as water spritzing):


Both are nice, but the effect is totally different. Again you can see how the color gets blown out a bit by the flash, even after all my edits (this is a final version, achieved using the RadLab filters and Snapseed).

And here’s my last one for today. Definitely a favorite – final version only:


More flowers later, I am sure. Another busy week ahead, and then next week I must start getting back to work at least once a week to prepare for the year. Enough time to do a full self-portrait set complete with costumery still eludes me, but I’ll get to it when I can.

10 thoughts on “Flower Trip

  1. I think this is a good and thorough explanation. I guess I am wondering whether this adjusting can be done in Photo Ninja for example, the processing, I mean. I have an older (disc) version of Photoshop and it is pretty intuitive, so I haven’t added any plugins. Maybe I should! Who knows. I am trying to decide on which processing programs to get for my new computer. There is a new type of Photoshop Cloud and of course Lightroom. Not sure if I should get those or just use what I have. Decisions, decisions.

    • I am not able to do this much adjusting in Photo Ninja, no. It’s good for camera RAW adjustments but there’s so much more I can do in Photoshop than I can in PN. You can’t work with layers for example, or work selectively on just one section of a photo, the edits are made to the whole thing. So while PN has its uses, for me and the amount of processing I want to do it’s not a standalone program. I’m always going to want to do more. Photoshop would be the one that could do all of this, but I don’t know the program well enough and something like PN (or the RadLab plugin for that matter) is more user-friendly and straightforward, so that’s why I use it and fill in where I need to with some PS. It would be best if I could just use PS but even with trying to take classes, my knowledge of it is still weak.

  2. I see what you mean. Well, my next software purchase will either be PS Photo Editor or PS Lightroom but not until I figure out how to use Windows 8, which is completely different from Vista, my current version of Windows on my main computer. Come to think of it, I don’t know what system is on my Ultrabook, which is in between the two, but whatever it is, it was easier than Windows 8. So many things to learn, so little time.

        • Yeah thank G-d I don’t have visitors too. I am actually looking forward to going back to work! It’s that bad! (well just the bee-thing. It is ongoing, and there are bees now flying around in our house on a regular basis)

          • That bee thing is so crazy. You would think some local conservationists would be willing to relocate them for you, for free. Meanwhile, I am going to be in the poorhouse because I can’t get a bit of work done with people here. I can’t figure out how to comment here from my new computer and people are sleeping on the office couch so I can only get into WP late in the day.

          • Yeah, no. It’s gonna cost us. had a company that said they’d come out tonight so we waited around for an hour, never showed so we called and now it’s tomorrow morning…I am so tired of contractors right now I could scream.

  3. They’re all quite beautiful. The flash pipe look like a great accessory, and at only $25.00, how can you go wrong.
    You have so many flowers to take pictures of. Oh I remember, someone sent you a bouquet of flowers. “Lucky.” Like Neil Diamond, no one sends me flowers anymore.:)
    Sorry for the delay in my comments, but…you know the reason.

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