Had an interesting conversation the other evening with the delightful Raina Kirn, the “Raina” half of the famed Raina + Wilson photo team (Wilson – worry not, you’re delightful too). The occasion was a west-end Toronto photographer’s pub night, and we were bemoaning the loathsomeness of sorting and organizing images digitally, the endless toil and drudgery of file management, the indentured servitude photographers must now endure as pawns in the palm of the evil god that is Computer. We glumly agreed that there’s really no way to avoid it. You just have to grit your teeth and slog away, like wading through mud — completely unpleasant, but necessary if you want to escape.
UK-based photographer Sharon Johnstone has a stunning collection of macro photographs showing tiny drops of dew on dandelions.
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):