Editing Friday; Photogram of a Tulip

Welcome back and to the end of another week, of course it is also the beginning of Editing Friday.

Editing Friday is a post where I show my workflow for creating an image or I edit an image again and critic myself. As always comments and critics are welcome.

I don’t want to say I have been board shooting with my camera because that isn’t true. I did want to do something a little bit different this week. I bought some tulips last week for my wife, as it was Valentines day (she also got roses). These tulips have now seen better days and I was asked to send them down the shoot to the green lands of the rubbish tip.

In looking at the flowers I saw that they were making interesting shapes and thought well they will make a nice picture. I kept thinking about them and came to the idea that the tulips would make a nice photogram. To create my digital photogram I used my scanner.

scan0089-copy-orig This was the original scanned image. In the scanner i did make some adjustments to; colour balance, dust removal and artifact removal. The colours are quite muted and have a metallic feel. I knew i wanted the image to be black and white with a split toning.


First I converted the image to black and white trying to create as many grey midtones as I could. I did this because in my tonal adjustments I want a midtone image to work with instead of rescuing details in shadows and highlights.  My rule of thumb when editing is to make tonal adjustments first but when creating a black and white image I am changing my mind. It makes more sense to edit it from black and white, if you need to make adjustments to the black and white conversion you can later.


The next part was the tonal adjustments.  I was wanting to have the background light while with the flower having more tonal detail.


I went next to split toning. I chose two colors from the flower, a very strong red and a more muted yellow. The red is very saturated so i balanced the split more towards the highlights. This also helped create a pinkish/yellow background.


The image was getting quite contrasted so I add in a modified high key curve. A high key image usually has most of the information in the highlights of the image with it tapering out as it comes to the midtones with very little information in the shadows.


At this point I added in some noise reduction. The scanner had a few strange effects that were reduced with the luminance noise being reduced.

For me the main editing of the image was finished. I really wanted to add something a little bit extra to the image.


For me the scan was a little flat so I used the Lens Correction palette to distort my image, I added a slight bulging of the image.


To go with the bulge I added a vignette with the bulge helping to define the shape created by the bulge. I wanted the vignette only on the corners as if light was being leaked onto the edge of the picture.  The vignette is not black as a used maximum feathering meaning that the vignette took on the tones of the split toning.


My final touch was to add film grain. I know I did noise reduction to remove artifacts and noise and now I am adding simulated grain. I did this to give a pit of texture to the image.


In Photoshop I only sharpened and cleaned a few spots from here and there. I left the scanning marks as i felt it was more authentic to do so.

I could have done a lot of the effects in Photoshop but it seemed cleaner to work on the image this way.

I really like the image. The extreme depth of field used by the scanner is great and thieving that is out of focus seems like it is moving. There is a subtlety in the image that gives it a feeling of undeserved beauty (or this is my own personality interfering with my own analysis)

What do you think of the image? Is the process something you may use? All comments are welcomed.

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