Editing Friday; Spilling Tulips

Whoo Hoo! it’s Friday! Now we can edit!

Not true but it is Editing Friday. This week I have been experimenting with Color Efex. So guess what? I will be using it in Editing Friday today.

The image I am starting with is one i shot and I am still not sure that it works. I had some tulips and I wanted to photograph them interestingly. With a lack of vases available I decided I would use a small white jug. In the shoot I was really getting uninspired by the jug and the flowers and wanted something different! I tipped the jug slightly and found that the flowers fell forward and looked quite nice. It was hard to find a way to keep the jug tipped without it falling over. I tried so many combinations to keep it form spilling completely over.

I did capture the shot and made my first adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw.


In camera raw i just wanted to create a nice base image.


Importing in to Photoshop the first thing I did was reduce the noise of the image. I normally do this at the end, though i have recently been reading about Color Efex and it seems “more beneficial” to reduce the noise before applying the plugin.


In Color Efex, I wanted to follow a similar workflow that i use in Photoshop;  first adjust the contrast and lighting, then colour toning, and final special effects.

The image has a low key histogram so I applied the Low Key effect to boost this. I wanted in essence to darken the background and for ground.


Next I applied Lighten Center to bring out details in the Tulips.


I moved onto the colour toning and chose Film Efex Modern and picked Velvia 100 and lowered the opacity to take the edge off the saturation.


The image felt a little warm. I could have gone back into Camera Raw but I decided to tackle this here using the Brilliance and Warmth effect. I cooled down the image and it looked better.


Back in Photoshop, the leaves looked quite contrasted and distrated from the flowers. Popping back into Color Efex even with control points (selective editing procedure) I couldn’t reduce it. I decided to duplicate my smart object add a small gaussian blur and then selectively painted the effect with a layer mask. Finally I cleaned the image and sharpened.

Final Image


The final image is ok but the problems come from the shooting not the editing. I don’t think there is enough movement in the image and the tulips aren’t spilling as much as i want. Of course I could add a series of blurs to the image to give the effect but I don’t usually like Photoshopping that far.

The colours and saturation are good as well as the lighting . I like the fact the jug is not blown out white and you can make out its curved shape with an intense spot of light. the refection in the table works nicely to add subtle foreground detail.

Over to you, whats your opinion? As always you can let me know through the comment box below, be it positive or constructively negative.

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