After|Before Friday Week 34 – Frangipani

This week for Monochrome Madness I had put up a black and white study of a frangipani flower and wanted to show the original and what the differences were from start to finish.

Forgive me acute details as I cannot remember precise measurements in Lightroom but will generalise what I have done.

The first thing I did was crop heavily right into the central flower.  To come right into the curves and take out most of the other flowers I had to chop some of the petals off but the main focus was on the inner curves so I hoped that didn’t matter so much.

Next step was to convert to black and white.  I pushed the contrast up, slid the black down to near zero to get the background blacked out and then used the adjustment brush on several different areas to darken the centre and then highlight the curves and subtly make them a little lighter to emphasise their shape.

I quite liked the end photo which is quite different from the original.  My thoughts were to take the colour out to lessen the distraction of its beauty to show off its structure, curves and texture.

I feel I have achieved this, what do you think?

For more AB Friday posts please go to the lovely Stacy Fischer’s blog –   Visual Venturing AB Friday Week 34 – to see what everyone else has done. Of course have a look on Friday Washington DC time.   There is a lot to learn from each post so worth a visit.

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  1. Hi Karen, nice explanations. I’m thinking about getting Lightroom as I’ve heard good things about it – have you worked with it for long? Wondering how easy it is to learn as I seem to get denser the older I get 🙂 I do have editing software I use now (Photostudio 6), but as I now want to try to start shooting with manual controls and in raw format I will be needing something to do a bit more.

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  2. I like what you did here Kaz. Frangipanis are such pretty flowers 😃

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  3. They are such pretty flowers and always seem like they are made of wax to me. I love what you did. sorry I stuffed up MM for you.

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  4. Beautifully and skillfully done, Kaz! I have enjoyed using the bush and the contract for enchacement. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so impressed with what people do in photo editing. One of these days I must learn it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The original is nice, but the edited one is stunning. Great work! I’d never suspect it was cropped from a larger shot.

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  7. Kaz, the monochrome is absolutely gorgeous! Cropping to the point you did of cutting of the ends of the petals was a great choice. And you dodged and burned with the adjustment brush like a pro! The curves, the tones, the highlights – wow!!

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  8. And I hit the send button before saying thanks so much for submitting this to After-Before Friday! 🙂

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  9. Great explanation Kaz and so gorgeous. I loved what you did with the mono version!!

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  10. Wow, Karen! I agree with all your admirers above. As it happens, I am also using Lightroom as a novice, having progressed from Photoshop Essentials 11. I am a bit troubled about all this though. On the one hand, I know my photos are enhanced by removal of distortions, correcting ‘lean’, cropping and so on. On the other hand, I hope it is not making me lazy in the original capture process. To go as far as you have in ‘fessing up’ to the trickery employed takes the whole exercise to a new level.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your compliment. I like also to think of photos as art in some instances and in that case some enhancement can “create” something more. Any extras I employ in my eye are not extensive. Changing a photo from colour to black and white is really a large step in itself and changes the whole look of a photograph in one swift press of the B&W button. Its all in the perspective of the photographer I think and what they are aiming for in each instance. Its creativity, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I like what you did, Those flowers are such an interesting texture, and the black and white brings that out more.


  12. I like the compostion you narrowed in on. And switching to bw puts focus as you say on the curves and shapes. A graceful, calming image. Love the light along the petal edges.


  13. I am never brave enough to crop so heavily but it works so nicely here adding a slightly abstract feel. The black and white is also perfect for this composition.


  14. The black and white version is stunning…and the tight crop is perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think you did a great job and must comment on a few people above- though I doubt they will see this. Lightroom takes time. But there are so many tutorials on youtube and on Lightroom’s own help tab. My favorite tutor used to be Serge Ramelli but he now seems to be selling rather than demonstrating. He does have close to 200 tutorials on youtube, though. And most of them are with Lightroom. The other is about getting lazy by relying on Lightroom. Lightroom will not make a lousy photo any less lousy! But the camera lens is a tool just as much as Lightroom is. OK, maybe it’s a bit more important as you can not take a photo without some kind of lens but you can take a photo without using Lightroom. It just won’t show as well without a little help!

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  16. What a beautiful image, to crop that heavily and still have such a great quality, just shows how good your original shot was. It works so well in b&w, the curves are more prominent, you can really appreciate the beauty of the flower. Lovely work!

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