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User / Pixelated Sky
Peter Whitfield / 451 items

N 9 B 355 C 7 E Nov 7, 2019 F Nov 8, 2019
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I posted a shot for Sliders Sunday last week. It was one of a set of variations on the theme all based on one original picture.

I didn’t have time to publish the rest at the time so I’ll do it now, in case it interests anyone.

The fun for me is in creating these different endpoints and seeing which ones work and which don’t. It’s always interesting to hear which you prefer too as that often surprises me.

The original image is linked in the first comment. I did about ten variants in all but I’ll only share the ones that I like for some reason or the other.

Because the subject is all about curves and textures and shapes I thought it would work well in monochrome, and I think it does. Do you?

Thank you for taking the time to look. I hope you enjoy the images (and don’t get too bored!)

[This one was made using Nik Silver Efex.]

Tags:   autumn fall leaves The Fallen Set

N 268 B 12.1K C 36 E May 11, 2017 F May 13, 2017
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'Shirofugen' cherry flowers.

The Shirofugen is one of the last cherry trees to flower but what a super plant it is. It has a spreading habit and produces an abundance of pendular double flowers which open light pink and then fade to a a blush pink-white. The flowers start to come out just as the leaves are emerging and they themselves change from bright copper to green.

This tree is about 12 years old and arches over our patio. I wanted to convey the beauty of this umbrella sky of pink - you really need to be lying on your back or sat underneath the tree to enjoy it to the full (though lying on the patio is a bit uncomfortable)!

Hope you enjoy the image. Thanks for taking a moment to look at it :)

[Tripod mount in daylight; processed entirely in LR for exposure, colour and a slight white vignette.]

Tags:   gentle blush spring cherry pink flower garden shy tree hanging soft

N 66 B 3.3K C 43 E Sep 17, 2018 F Sep 17, 2018
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Clock work(s)

I think my father was a frustrated engineer. For most of his life he was involved in looking for oil, working out ways to get it out and then to transport and refine it efficiently.

When he retired one of his many hobbies was horology, the study of clocks. He used to buy old broken ones at auctions, dismantle them, fix them and put them back together. Well, that was the theory!

Inevitably the number of clocks dismantled way exceeded the number put back together. This is an image of a tin of his leftover bits of clocks that I have kept. I guess I have kept them partly to remind me of him, but also, quite perversely and worryingly, because I actually like them. I guess I’m a frustrated something or other too :)

There are lots of bits in this image: an escapement for regulating the power from the spring or weights (top left), two parts of a strike mechanism (the large cog with spikes underneath and the arc of metal with teeth), a tiny drum for winding clock weight cord and a pulley in the background.

I like the patina and corrosion on the metal so tried to bring that out in the processing.

This is for the Macro Mondays group’s theme this week Cogwheel. The image is just over 2 inches across.

Thank you for taking time to look. I hope you enjoy the image! Happy Macro Mondays.

[Tripod in daylight with white card reflector; focused in Live View; remote release.
Ten images focus stacked in Affinity Photo.
Curves in LAB mode to strengthen colours and to tweak the contrast. A touch of added saturation and vibrance.
A bit of tidying up with inpainting, but there is a lot of dust and fluff which adds a bit to the feel of the image so I left most of it.
Sharpened using Unsharp Mask for the fine stuff and High Pass filter/Linear blend mode for the big stuff.
Slight dark vignette… and we’re done :) ]

Tags:   gears macro Cogwheel close-up wheels engineering Macro Mondays escapements cogs

N 37 B 1.1K C 18 E Nov 21, 2019 F Nov 21, 2019
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Cercis canadensis leaf.

Just a close-up of a fallen Forest Pansy tree leaf after the rain. These leaves are good value with a large heart shape, green through red to purple colours in the autumn, and water-repellent undersides. What more could you ask for? (Well the branches have a tendency to snap off in the wind so it's not perfect lol).

This version is for the Thursday Monochrome group. I love the veins and the cell structure and all those globular drops acting like little lenses...

On the way I created a bright-coloured one as well which I shall publish because I think it's pretty. Emphasising the colours gives you more options with filters in the monochrome translation so I tend to go that way when I intend to convert.

Thank you for taking the time to look. I hope you enjoy the image. Happy Monochrome Thursday :)

[Handheld in daylight after rain.
Developed in Photolab 2 with bumped Vibrance and a fair bit of Microcontrast to emphasise the cells and veins.
Into Affinity Photo with Unsharp Mask sharpening all over, and a whack of High Pass/Linear Blend sharpening where the photo was soft around the leaf stem due to depth of focus falloff (using a mask).
Into Nik Color Efex to add a Sunlight filter which changed the lighting a bit and softened the light.
Finally into Silver Efex for the conversion starting with the Wet Rocks preset, looking for a low-key effect with lots of contrast and structure; Orange filter to improve the tonal balance to something that I found pleasing, and a soft dark edge added with Burnt Edges, on the stalk side. Selenium(-ish) toned.
Having done all that I almost stopped but then I thought of flipping it horizontally. This is one of those images that changes its story when flipped and I preferred the visual flow from the flipped version so stuck with it.
...And then we were done.]

Tags:   autumn Cercis Canadensis close-up drop droplet Forest Pansy leaf macro rain raindrop tree underneath veins venation black and white Donnerstagsmonochrom monochrome Thursday Monochrome

N 62 B 2.8K C 36 E Oct 28, 2019 F Oct 28, 2019
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This flower is part of an arrangement we gave my wife’s mother for her 90th birthday. We subsequently inherited it.

I used to be rather prejudiced against artificial flowers but these days I’m not so sure. The modern quality is really very sophisticated, and in the case of these ones gave a lovely old lady a lot of pleasure without the fear of failing to care for them.

Which kind of prompted the question in my mind as to whether it was right to mimic the beauty of creation. Now that was an interesting exercise!

The problem I quickly realised was that you could say we do it all the time anyway. And ironically photographers can be seen as some of the worst offenders.

It reminded me of a related question: is a picture (image) of art, art? And if it isn’t, is a picture of a flower (or sunset) art or is the art in the flower (or sunset)? And is a picture of a flower not just mimicking the flower? Answers, please, on a postage stamp...

All too much for a Monday night. But delicious fun too! (At least I am totally safe as nobody ever reads this, lol. ;) ).

For the Macro Mondays group theme Fake today. The image is about 1.5 inches across I guess.

Thank you for taking the time to look. I hope you enjoy the image! Happy Macro Mondays :)

[Handheld in soft directional daylight.
Developed in Photolab 2. My object was to create a smooth dreamy look which hid the artificialness of the flower but still left a reasonable clue to its artificiality. I also wanted to process in a way that perhaps I would for a real rose .
Reduced micro-contrast to smooth things. Balanced the exposure, hue and vibrancy to give a rosey look with pleasant tone and colour contrasts.
Processed in Affinity Photo. Flipped horizontally to create a flow out of the picture so the eye didn’t dwell too much.
In Nik Color Efex 2 added Classic Soft Focus and Glamour Glow to taste.
Back in Photo retouched some stray threads, and then (counter-intuitively after all the softening and glowing) sharpened with Clarity, Unsharp Mask (masked selectively) and High Pass/ Linear blend mode.
Very soft dark vignette, and we’re done.]

Tags:   artificial close-up counterfeit fake flower lookalike macro Macro Mondays petal pink rose soft unreal nikon z 6 105.0 mm f/2.8 flora glow magenta warm