First favorite flower – Paphiopedilums

sunnyStarting to enjoy working with CaptureOne and can’t wait to do the daily edit:

1. rather intense & subjective color edit of hue & saturation for greens & yellows
2. brought up the shadows & blacks with a modest amount of healing on a layer
3. love luma curve to bring down the hotspots – subtle mask
4. dodged shadows from nikon macro twin flash -subtle mask
5. adjusted program settings of the FOCUS MASK so it was a tad more “generous”. The lip and central column are not on the same plane, so it is necessary to stop down because I prefer both parts, if framed in camera, to be in focus.

The CaptureOne controls are very responsive. Love working with this program…it took me about 7 weeks to start feeling comfortable:)

This paph was in pretty bad shape with brown aging spots around the edges (left only a few to hint at the integrity of this specimen) and tons of microscopic debris which I really dislike…so a roundtrip to to Photoshop was required.
This took tons of work at 200% magnification.

Then, took a shortcut and ran a hi pass PS filter to sharpen up only my favorite parts of the blossom and put another dodge layer to even out the flash shadows a bit more…next visit will adjust the powers setting and try some extra diffusion.

This is the original .nef file w/o any adjustment…can’t believe I have the courage to post this:

sunny 3

Day 10…CaptureOne practice

7 days to go – the reflecting pool inside the NYBG Conservatory…

This room is peaceful and receives lots of natural light. Usually the pink passion flowers bloom late afternoon although I’ve never been able to predict when this will happen so it’s always a wonderful surprise. This year, surprise barely describes the room. The fountain is covered with moss and the water only circulates softly in the pool below. This means there are no bubbles to capture in the dark water below…just a slight sense of aquatic motion. The surface is covered with tiny green and red botanical growth which naturally clump together leaving space for the sky and glass supports to reflect in the water.

I took a photo workshop in Westville, CT this past summer and the leader told me it was best to get it right in camera so I did not have to spend time in Lightroom or Photoshop. Perhaps, she did not understand that I enjoy visiting The New York Botanical Gardens again and again or sometimes what makes one a decent photographer is the desire to improve each work. ..she announced to the group that I was “good photographer”.  This did not feel like a felt like a “slap” because I pressed my point and she then accused me of  “acting like her teenage daughter.”

I always aim to be better and ignored her misguided advice which seemed based on expediency and not the desire to grow and thus, continue to do exactly what I enjoy.


This image is the result and, I can’t wait to go back again.

The color editor in CaptureOne is amazing…was able to isolate and pump up the saturation of the blues and greens.

day 8 – CaptureOne practice…

HITCHIKEROrchidShow2020 1

9 days to go: this image was very challenging. Under macro magnification, the surface of this Phragmipedium has very tiny filaments which attract an incredible amount of debris. Perhaps, it is my background as a floral designer that prompts me to “perfect” the flower in post because it is obviously impossible to do this “in camera” at a highly curated orchid show:)

Additionally, because these orchids are terrestrial they are frequently presented near the ground. This presents another challenge…because any supplemental light will typically bounce off the beautiful, puffy pouch frequently creating a bit of a hot spot.

Knowing this going into selects for post , either I do edit it first or save it for near the last.

Something else really bothers me… the names that are usually placed very near the specimen. And, then there are the plastic clips and blue green supports that often hold the specimen in place.

So there is alot extra to edit. I was able to adjust the exposure, HDR and edit a specific color range, and a heal layer for the first touch up In CaptureOne. As a newbie with this program, still have to work with luma range and that will be the next challenge to tackle. Totally love this program and took the edit as far as possible for me before switching to Photoshop. for the pixel-based touch ups,. etc.

The plan, of course, is to go back down to NYBG soon, when it’s a less crowded than on member’s day and have fun trying several lighting set-ups: one with the R1C1 macro flash, another with a large diffuser on the SB 910 and another with the ISO cranked way up. No tripods allowed!

Naturally, my husband, got a perfect shot of a Paphiopedilum in camera with his iphone. His back faced a wall of windows which provided perfect natural light.

day 6 – practice CaptureOne

for the next 11 days, will post a new CaptureOne Practice Edit…the short term goal is to see significant progress in working with this exciting program…

#6 – yesterday was Member’s Day/Orchid Show 2020 at the New York Botanical Gardens. The show designer, Jeff Latham, installed a kaleidoscopic, reflective, structure at the main entrance. This was awesome! Can’t wait to go back when the crowds thin a bit, although no one bothered me sitting on the ground as close as I could get to the display:)

Kudos for CaptureOne again: color readouts, HDR adjustments recovered what appeared to be clipped highlights, and a tad of cropping, a pinch of sharpening and a smidge of structure gave this image extra pop. Just love this program!

The points on the Kapok tree are always on the agenda for every visit, and on occasion, don ‘t mind stepping back to get all the swirls of an orchid:)