One Four Challenge; Wild Flower Solarized

The second part of January’s One Four Challenge I tried something I have never done in lightroom before, creating a solarized image.

In the Darkroom a solarized image was created by exposing the print twice, once with the enlarger and a second time while developing. This creates an image that is positive and negative at the same time.
I had created this effect with Camera Raw  before (Photoshop/Camera Raw Solarization) and although I was happy I wanted to experiment with different method. The method I chose was to use LR/Enfuse plugin that can be used to create focus stacked and natural HDR images.

Wild Flower MacroEnfused

The Method involved using two copies of image both black and white but one with a negative S curve (just reversing the diagonal line in the curves palette. In then exported the two files to the LR Enfuse Plugin and waited for the output file. The new file was very grey (I expected this), increasing the contrast, setting white and black points, while playing with the exposure gave me the image I have; but there were so many tonal options I could have gone for. I then created a slight split tone with a cyan blue for the highlights and a very desaturated yellow in the shadows (it is there and softens them slightly). I cropped the image slightly in to give the flower more prominence in the composition. My final touch was to add a post crop vignette to soften the edges.

This is a very differnt image to the orginal. At first I wasn’t too sure, I went and had a coffee returned and it had grown on me. I really like the method but I think there may need to be some tweaking with Enfuse to get it just right.

What do you think of the picture, do you prefer it to lasts weeks? let me know in the comment box below.

Edit; 14/01/15

Andrew asked in the comments if this effect was possible in SIlver Efex. It has taken me two days to have time to get back to the computer to double check because I thought it was possible.

To get a similar effect you need to create a v shape in the curves this make whites white, blacks white and midtones black. Then play around with the toning like usual. When toning you are in alice in wonder land with darkening an image brightening an image ect.

Remember to check out Robyn’s post as she is the creator of the challenge.

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33 thoughts on “One Four Challenge; Wild Flower Solarized

    • Hi Andrew, it has taken more time to answer your comment then others. You can create a similar effect by creating a v Curve in Silver efex. I have added a bit at the bottom of the post with a screen shot to help you.
      Thanks for a great question.

    • Hi Laura, you dont have to know a lot about photo editing to know if something works for you. I am glad you like the picture, the silver effect is bevaise of the split toning having one colour gor the light tones and one for the darker ones. I quite like the silvery look myself makes me think of a metalic print.

  1. Ben this Is a wonderful experiment and a great result.
    I enjoyed your walk through and like the way you added a touch of split toning. The silver look is very appealing. I like it a lot!

  2. I’ve not yet used Lightroom, but your image has reminded me I need to get over there sooner than later!

    I like this but honestly can’t say I like one over the other. Wk 1 & 2 are totally different animals I think. They both have their own attractions. The first week is so…life; the closeness and perspective take me down into the life and world that is green, colorful, wild and beautiful. Whereas this second week’s edit makes it more of a “thing”. It’s more artistic, for example I really see the line on the distant petals, almost as if you drew them there. Ironically, I see more graphic arts here with this one and I say ironically because I tried to go that route with my own! 🙂 Whereas the first feels grounded and beautiful this one is almost…personal perhaps…suggesting a strange introspection perhaps…hmmm….

    It’s no doubt crucial I’ve discovered to walk away and come back to photo editing later in order to make the decision you’re happiest with. I find it frustrating too as I go back and forth! 😉

    • hi, I like how you say that the pictures can’t be compared as they are two different types of images. I switched to lightroom last year and it has sped up the way I working giving more time to shooting and less to editing.

      • 🙂

        May I inquire as to how it’s making your editing faster? Like I said I’m unfamiliar with it though I’m starting to dabble. Is it just more straightforward, more user friendly in ways (at least I think I’m starting to see this).

      • I used to work soley in photoshop and adobe camera raw. Editin one picture at a time in camera raw and then exporting to photoshop to save as tiff or jpeg or add a plugin filter. With lightroom I can do it all in one place and can jump effortlessly between pictures and quickly sync settings, esp useful when editing events. Although you can sync in brige and camera raw, it is more stream lined in lightroom. After a few days I never looked back. I do still use photoshop for heavy editing but 80% of my work is soley in lightroom.

      • Interesting. I’ve been working exclusively in PS & Raw as well. Software seems like one of those things that just as you’re happy for all the options and possibilities you can easily feel overwhelmed because there’s so much to do. You’ve got me thinking about Lightroom with a more inquisitive eye. Thanks again. 🙂

  3. Missed this last week so have come back to it. I really like the solarized effect but I prefer the Photoshop version over the Silver Efex one. I think it’s because the little leaf on the bottom right has been de-emphasized; it kind of distracted from the flower in the original.

    • There is quite a big difference between the Silver Efex and the LR/Enfuse I agree. I think this is because the LR Enfuse uses two exposures, positive and negative the effect is stronger. In creating a reverse v curve you are just flipping the midtones and shadows which is not quite the same.
      Thanks for popping back and commenting, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the posts for those taking part in the challenge.

  4. This is a beautiful image. I also love the amount of detail you put into your description of editing techniques. As a complete newbie at Photoshop I find it incredibly informative. I’m hoping to upgrade to Lightroom soon… 🙂

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