Dandelion in the Wind

Here’s a photograph I took today while hiking with friends on the Bailey Cove Trailhead in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest:


Since I wanted to capture the small flowers flying off of the dandelion as my friend blew it, I needed to separate them from the busy background by using the smallest depth of field possible (in this case, it was f/2.8). This blurred the dry grass in the background enough to make the flying dandelion flowers stand out more.

While this photograph captured what I intended to, it still needs a good amount of post-processing work. First, notice that white balance is off, my friend’s face is blown out, and that certain areas of the photograph are too dark. We can correct these things (and add a little vibrance) with the following settings (shown in Adobe Camera RAW):


These changes result in the following image (hover your mouse over it to compare it with the original):


Now we can finish off this basic post-processing improvement by increasing sharpness a little, tweaking the hue of the yellow grass in the background, and adding some vignetting. This is what results (hover to compare):


  • Joakim Bergquist

    Yet another very nice post! I like the vignetting, not everybody thinks of that, but it can make a whole lot difference.

    But you should have told a little more about shutterspeed wich is an essential ingredient in this recipe.

  • Michael Zhang

    Hi Joakim,

    I was going to mention it, but in this case there wasn’t much choice for a different shutter speed because of how bright the scene was. It had to be fast =)

    If I had taken this in a darker environment, I definitely would have made the necessary adjustments to keep the shutter speed high (i.e. higher ISO, this one was 100).


  • pete

    I have tried this and never got it right
    thanks for sharing

  • Joakim Bergquist

    You're absolutley right, but as Pete mention, its not the easiest thing to succeed with, and the light and shutter speed is essential :)