Wife’s Rose – A Variety of Edits

My wife loves knockout roses, we have 5 bushes of them lining the walk up to our house and these guys are huge.  I mean over waist high and a good 3 – 4 feet wide.  It’s getting late in the year and there aren’t many good roses left, but on my way in today, I noticed one good one and decided to snap a shot of him.

This is the original shot

After that I decided to start working in lightroom, and I LOVE what I got…

So, I first purposely underexposed the shot a little, I know it still seems bright, but it’s at -.7 according to my camera.  I didn’t want blown out colors that were too hard to see details in.  So first, for fun and ambiance, I made some quick color/contrast adjustments, added a little vignette and came up with this little shot.

Rose with some "dramatic lighting"

Then I decided to take the vibrance all the way down.  I wasn’t quite prepared for the results.  What I ended up with was what I felt was some beautiful isolation.  Here’s the result:

I don’t know, I just love this shot, the details, the color bursting all alone.  Oh wait… what’s that at the top, a piece of another rose jumping in to ruin the shot!?!?  Once I saw this I ran outside to try to get this again, to pull off the rose that’s in the other part of the shot and try again.  Lo and behold, the sun moved on me… 😦

Here’s all I could get:

I’m not saying this is bad, I like this shot, it’s a lot softer than the previous shot and the rose isn’t quite as crisp, but it’s still pretty.  It just wasn’t… what I was looking for, you lose the whites in the center, the pollen isn’t as defined, it just isn’t the same shot.  A good shot in my mind, but not the shot that I had my heart set on at that point.  So I sacrificed some of the extra area and cropped the other photo.  I didn’t want to, but it was the only way to get that isolation I wanted while retaining the photograph that I took earlier.  Here’s my result:

And with this photo, I am in love

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4 responses to “Wife’s Rose – A Variety of Edits

    • Until today, I wasn’t aware that if I took Vibrance all the way down that it would still leave some color, I just assumed like saturation that it brought it to black and white.

      This was easily my favorite discovery since starting to use Lightroom

  1. I don’t know why you didn’t want to crop the original photo. A general rule (which can obviously be broken) is that perfectly centered compositions are generally just not as pleasing or interesting. Also, did you try turning the image counter-clockwise 90°? The way the rose is oriented now is to the right, but turning the image would make it appear more vertical, as though seeking the light and growing upwards.

    That said, I like what you ended up with in terms of color and effect; I initially thought you had simply reduced the background to black & white (which I wasn’t overly fond of), but then I noticed that it was still in color, just very subdued color which makes the rose itself pop really nicely.

    • The reason I didn’t want to crop it is that I liked having more area that wasn’t that rose, I didn’t want quite so much of a close-up, if you will. However, I also do like the photograph, so it’s ok, just a preference thing that went through my mind while editing. I did not attempt turning the image, it never occurred to me that I should, since that was the orientation of the rose itself, but you are right, that is definitely an option.

      Thank you for the compliment, I really liked this photo, and I liked what the editing brought to the rose itself, in a way, causing it to really pop and be framed by the subdued background and forcing the viewer to really take in the details of the rose and focus completely there. (I made a conscious effort to leave some color, but to keep it very subdued, I’m glad you noticed)

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