Nature in my garden

Another task to be accomplished in the “Be still 52” course was to take a walk and find some props provided by nature along the way. I didn’t make it to the woods but I took scissors and a bowl and headed for our garden to find some nature beauty there. My garden didn’t disappoint me and I gathered some branches, flowers, bark and pebbles for my photography. I even found an old wooden surface in the yard and an old ugly board which made a great background so this time I was shooting outside, in the shadow of our old barn.

I created several versions and modifications with the props and experimented with the depth of field and perspective but eventually I chose just one photo which I liked best. I processed its raw format in Lightroom for the basic adjustments and got this result:

still-life

From the processed photo I created three virtual copies and applied a different Lightroom preset to each of them. I didn’t even need to tweak the presets, they were tailor-made to the photo. By the way, what I like about Lightroom presets is that they are just a short cut to the more artistic adjustments which can be achieved without any additional textures and software and when you study the settings of the presets, you can learn to make the adjustments yourselves.

The first preset was a “Nicolesy Matte 1” preset, which just made the photo a bit hazy:

still-life

As you might have noticed, the haziness softens the edges between the focused and unfocused areas and makes them blend together nicely.

The second preset was a “Nicolesy Matte 2” preset, which made the photo a bit hazy and added a colour cast to highlights and a different colour cast to shadows:

still-life

The third preset was Lightroom’s B&W Filter preset “Red filter”, which created quite an interesting effect. I wouldn’t have expected to like any b&w version of this photo.

black&white-still-life

Hard to say which one is my favourite…

I used just one photo of all the ones I took but I don’t regret that. At last I don’t feel like I should take the best photo at the first try, instead I feel enriched by all the created versions. I intend to get back to some of them later and make some improvements, some of the ideas seemed promising. Great experience for sure!

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10 Comments

  1. Nice to do a bit of experimenting. Personally I prefer the first one. The second one was to hazy (foggy) for me. The monochrome one might need a bit of manual twitching to separate the greens and yellows – IMHO.

    1. Rune, thanks for sharing your opinion. I was surprised to notice that I actually liked the b&w version and liked it as it was but now I need to go to the LR and try to twitch the greens and yellows to see what it could result in…

  2. What a wonderful exercise to gather items found in nature to create an image. Love what you did here! I wouldn't have thought the b&w would be pleasing either, but it is! Thank you for the inspiration today!

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