After|Before Friday Week 28: Dandelion

Well this is my first foray into Stacy Fischer’s After/Before Fridays where we show our best photo first then the original and show the process in between to map how we got there.

I don’t ever write things down I just push buttons until I feel its just right, its all through the eye more so than anything else. I will have to go back and have a look and see what I did. To me its like a chef that doesn’t use a recipe, frustrating for others to follow but easy for the chef!!

My dandelion started out in colour but with my dining room wall (an aqua blue) behind it dulling it down I thought it would look better in black and white. I don’t mind the colour one but the mood I was after was best served in black and white.

I used my Canon 70D camera and 18-200 kit lens.  I also added on two macro extension tubes to get a more detailed photo (31mm + 13mm).

Macro extension tubes, for those that do not know, are tubes that you put between your camera and lens to enable the lens to focus closer than its normal settings.  It is a cheaper way of doing macros than spending a lot on a macro lens.  Of course I am sure it has its limitations but for me its a perfect go between as I do not do a lot of macro photography.

I then took three separate exposures in RAW, one as meted by the camera, then one two stops up, then two stops down and blended them together in Photomatix Essentials – did it need that, well I felt it did as the light shining through the window on one side of the dandelion was quite bright and then there was a shadow on the other side so blending them together I thought may give a better lighting effect all around.  Its worth experimenting and very useful for landscapes more over than a still life photographed inside.

I then transferred the photo into Lightroom 5.2 to continue the processing.

My lens is quite dirty no matter how much I clean it so a bit of time was spent doing spot removal (worse than cleaning the house!).

I then switched the photo to black and white, bumped the exposure up by 1.12 and pushed up the contrast to +62.  Usually in black and white I tend to push the contrast up more to bring out the detail.

Then highlights was set at 38, shadows -5, whites up a tad at +7 and blacks +1.  All this was done with my eye and I would experiment pushing dials up further and less just to see  the effects.

Clarity was +17…  I tend to do this a lot with my photos, its one of the first things I usually do is push the clarity up to at least +15 or more depending on the photo.

I wanted to zoom in a bit to show more detail in the dandelion but to do that I had to crop the image so it was a bit of trial and error to know where I wanted to do this.  I felt this photo had more mood cropped in as well,  I wanted it to have the feeling like “I’m telling a  story, come in closer to hear….”

So that’s my first AB Friday.  For more AB photos please go to Stacy Fischer’s blog – Visual Venturing.


Categories: AB Fridays - post processing details, Photography TipsTags: , , , ,


  1. Very nice work, thank you for the explanations, I really like the right one in color – nice day

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the fluffy looking of the B&W. You pick the right color for this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so pretty…a slightly punky pink dyed dandelion…loving the colours

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great explanation that not only illuminates the technique but explains the why. I appreciate your decorating choice and decision, but like others, I think you have a pretty special picture in full colour. I’ve never seen that ‘punk’ streak in a dandelion. I’m assuming you caught it end of day? It strikes me as a more rare picture with the perfect pastels of peach and blue …. Nicely shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dale very much for your feedback. I like the B&W personally but appreciate that others like the colour and I didn’t give it, its full due at the time. Yes it was shot well probably actually mid afternoon inside with soft afternoon light coming through so not sure why it has a pink hue, others might be better at knowing that. I did have the macro tubes on, possibly causing some slight colour cast?? Thanks for taking the time to write back 😀


      • That is interesting. I had assumed it was colour from a setting sun or something. I wonder if something effected the white balance in the picture — caused either by the low and bright afternoon sun and/or the macro tube? I know I’ve creating some startling effects by “accident” — would be interesting to know what caused it. Lovely regardless. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Dale, I probably couldn’t replicate it if my life depended on it lol 😀


  5. Both photos are amazing but I am partial to the pink/blue. Really beautiful. I admire your color in walls–that aqua blue is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha thanks Loisa for noticing my aqua wall. I love it, its soft and cool and especially great for our warm climate, I have it as a feature wall.

      Funny how most people are leaning towards the coloured photo when I love the B&W. Appreciate your comments greatly 😀


  6. Lovely. I like both – the colour and the B&W.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Both beautiful images! I love the striking contrasting colours and the subtle black and white. Interesting to hear about how you have blended the photos, the exposure is spot on. Lovely details in the black and white image, the cropping has certainly brought the detail of the dandelion out. Lovely work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Katie very much. They do look quite different from each other and yes I liked the cropping to show off the detail. I was surprised that a lot of people like the colour one when I really like the B&W. It has been really interesting to get all the feedback and its much appreciated 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like both versions equally, but the colour one would go beautifully with the shop-bought dandelion picture I’ve got on my wall; its background is turquoise, too, but I like the orange tint in your dandelion.


  9. I like what you have done with the shot, I have never tried using 3 exposures with a macro shot and it is definitely something I will have to try. I have found that I always get more dust bunnies with extension tube shots than when I have the same lens attached with out them, usually cleaning my sensor gets rid of them quickly.


  10. So much unexpected lovely color in the dandelion, Karen. I’ll never look at them the same way again 😉 I had to laugh over your description of your post-processing process – while doing ABF has definitely made me think a bit more systematically, I will still go off on tangents pushing sliders around that produce great results. Thank goodness for the history tab in LR. Now if only there was a way to consolidate all the back and forth steps into a coherent history, I would be a happy camper. As for cropping the b&w, your intuition to bring us in closer is a great one. I oftentimes find choosing the final cropped area to be the most challenging!

    Great submission for ABF and so happy you decided to give it a whirl! Love having you and hope we’ll see more of your wonderful images 🙂


  11. Nice dandelion, Kaz. My vote is for the black and white image. I prefer its composition and I find the color distracting in this instance.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the colors in your original but the black and white transformation you accomplished really shows off the detail in the dandelion. The cropping was a smart move, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I too like the punk colouring in the colour photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Kaz, nice to see a new blog on the after-before forum, I followed Stacy for a while before jumping in to contribute and like you I didn’t keep notes, just moved sliders and tried things until I found what I was looking for, but now that I have started taking notes, and clarifying my thoughts for the blog it has helped my process as well. I love your image, your final results are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m with the majority on this Kaz, I love those dandelion colors. 🙂 I also thought it’s nice of you to mention macro extension tubes — I might not get them right away, but it sure is file-worthy for a future occasion.


I would love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Lindy Whitton Studio

Painting. Creating. Sharing.

lillian the home poet

rejuvenatement - not retirement

L'artiste Affamé (The Starving Artist)

An aspiring artisan/photographer

follow your nose

it always knows

Antti Johansson


Life Calls Photography - Color

Every Click is a Memory !

View from a French Hillside

Life, nature and photography on a French Hillside

from heart to head

Everyday thougths into poetry

Fantastische Hundewelten

Hundefotografie / Dog photography

James Keegan

my journey into photography


Resin Nature Art

Visual Venturing

Because everyone likes pictures.

Wandering Cows

just rambling about ... enjoy the "post"-cards


Travel advice and impressions of a colorful world

North Western Images - photos by Andy Porter

Images of North Cascades, Skagit Valley, the Milky Way and beyond

Taking One Day At A Time

Fine Art Photography and Poetry by Sarah Longes

musings of a frequent flying scientist

The Shady Tree

Alone with myself / The trees bend to caress me / The shade hugs my heart / --Candy Polgar


Sailing adventures and photography

Jeff Sinon Photography

Nature Through The Lens


Smile! You’re about to see the world through my eyes!


Landscape and Still Life Photography By Benjamin Rowe


Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera

... about nothing in particular, because "Candid photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get". Photography by Lignum Draco, "The Wood Dragon" since 2013.


Stop, Look, and See..




Having fun with photography

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

%d bloggers like this: