Magnolia Bud at Night

© Elaine Hessler

Magnolia Bud at Night

Uploaded: August 10, 2012


Exif: F Number: 10, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 1/5 seconds, Flash: fired, compulsory flash mode, return light detected, ISO: 400, FocalLength: 48.00 mm, Model: NIKON D5100


Dale Hardin August 10, 2012

I really like this composition and the dark tones Elaine. I know that you used a screen blend and variable opacity masking to achieve the effect, but would suggest that you take the concept a bit further.

Repeat the same technigue you used to create it and when you apply the masking this time give a greater contrast between the lights and darks. Be especially attentive to the shadows and the highlights of light where it appears.

You will still have the "taken at night" look but your light source will be better defined and your point of interest more prominant. #1479793

Stephen Shoff August 10, 2012

I like this image. It has good sharpness and DOF. I'll be interested to see if Dale's suggestion gives it that little additional bit of "punch". #10270979

Anthony L. Mancuso August 10, 2012

I like the dark moodiness and comp as well Elaine and also WLTSDS. #10270986

Michael Kelly level-deluxe August 11, 2012

I agree that this makes a very interesting shot. It definitely achieves the shot at night look. Nice details. I do believe it could stand a little more punch which is what Dale's suggestion should provide. #10271753

Elaine Hessler August 11, 2012

Thanks, I'll work on that soon. What does wltsds mean? All these acronyms to remember. Also, acr? #10271987

Jeff E Jensen August 11, 2012


And, me too, WLTSDS. #10272189

lisa anderson August 11, 2012

What a great acronym! I too wltsds. (I like the dof also) #10272274

Michael Kelly level-deluxe August 11, 2012

Elaine ACR = Adobe Camera RAW. #10272320

Beth Spencer August 12, 2012

I too would like to see the edits. Great focus on this one. #10273563

Peter W. Marks August 12, 2012

Can't add to what the others said Elaine so will wait to see what you do with it. #10273586

Aimee C. Eisaman August 13, 2012

Will be waiting to see edits...I think a little more of a contrast pop is just what this needs to add to the mood! :~) Do Magnolias bloom all year there? #10273942

Debbie E. Payne August 13, 2012

Elaine -- This one has real potential. Another way to get an the same idea would be to do a darken/lighten center with the bud being the "center" and lighten that area slightly. I believe that is in Color Efex Pro (a Nik software product} but you could do it the much the same using Lightroom or CS. #10274191

Debbie E. Payne August 13, 2012

Adding a very slight warmth to this could also be interesting. #10274192

Teresa H. Hunt August 13, 2012

I pass a magnolia tree every time I take my walk. They are stunning flowers and I like your close up shot. :)

WLTSDS too :)

I'd also like to see a slight warming up.

Elaine Hessler August 14, 2012

Hi-I did some more tweaks. In the first shot, I sharpened, and added a "screen" mask to lighten the bud only. What I added in this second shot was a brightness and contrast mask as recommended. I had to decrease the contrast (-22) and increase the brightness to 11-both of these I used a mask where the bud was only affected. Can someone explain why the bud got brighter with a negative number contrast?

I am not sure why this one has been so difficult to improve-I feel like I am running into a wall with the limits of this picture-this should be a very easy fix. Let me know if there is still no "pop". I bought a book to help fill in the gaps for me for pse..... I just need to open it up now!

I live in Cleveland, so I doubt these bloom all year-they are lucky if they make it through our rough winters (the last one in this spot died). I think this bud (maybe seed pod?) is what was left from a flower that bloomed in the spring.

Thanks for the comments on the moodiness of this shot-for some reason, I really like it. It is dark and sort of like a hidden treasure I found. I have never used my flash this way at night-I feel like I was spying on the tree:) #10275593

Elaine Hessler August 14, 2012

Ok-I am not sure why this second shot looks the same as the first-I bumped up the brightness to 26 and contrast to -31. #10275596

Elaine Hessler August 14, 2012

Ok-this is ridiculous. I used "levels" and moved the midtones down, then used a mask to keep the bud lighter. I think this worked better..... #10275598

Rita K. Connell level-classic August 17, 2012

elaine this is a great capture for such low light. I love anything to with Magnolia's. I really like your last post it looks the best. Do you have any of the nik filters? #10280304

Elaine Hessler August 19, 2012

Hi Rita-thanks. I don't have any nik filters. Please educate me:)

By the way, there were two requests for warming this up. I've added this in for this last and final edit. Getting the hang of PSE but am mentally finished with this.... #10281933

Beth Spencer August 20, 2012

I like your last edit, I think it looks a lot better. #10283454

Beth Spencer August 20, 2012

I like your last edit, I think it looks a lot better. #10283455

Aimee C. Eisaman August 22, 2012

Yeah sometimes you have to walk away. Maybe come back to it again on a bad weather day when you have nothing to do. :~) #10285692

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