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Photo: The Silent Bouquet

The Silent Bouquet — a quiet batch of roses

These roses refuse to make a sound. You can see the rose in the middle wants to speak up, but is too afraid. These flowers were at Publix. They were on the top shelf in the floral department, so I held the camera up high and just guessed at the composition. Several guesses later, I had this.

I made the colors a lot cooler to make the image feel cold and uninviting, just like you’d feel around someone who refuses to speak. Then, I toned down the color, added contrast, and darkened the edges.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/160, F2.8, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-07-12T12:22:13-04, 20080712-162213rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Real Beauty

Real Beauty — fake pink flowers

An arrangement of beautiful pink flowers and green fern leaves with perfect lighting. All synthetic, of course. But whose to say that makes them less valuable? They sure last longer, for one thing.

Editing involved adding contrast and burning the edges. It was hard to keep the colors in gamut as these are hard to print, but I solved it by toning them down and then selectively re-adding saturation where it would turn out best.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/80, F2.8, 50mm, ISO400, 2008-07-12T10:24:02-04, 20080712-142402rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Sunset in the City

Sunset in the City — power lines, cars, and a beautiful pink sunset

A sunset near the Wal-Mart in South Daytona, Florida. I couldn’t move away to exclude the distractions, so I made them part of the scene to represent urban life. The colors and cloud dark clouds at the top drew my eye, as did the cars at the bottom. I made the tail light of a car the dot for the i in City, and the headlight the period for the X. in Richard X. Thripp. Creatively incorporating the title into the piece is nice sometimes.

I added a bunch of contrast, shifted the colors from yellow to pink, and brightened the lights of the cars.

Canon PowerShot A620, 1/160, F3.5, 14.93mm, ISO100, 2007-01-19T18:05:27-05, 2007-01-19_23h05m27b

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: The Sun-Kissed Rose

The Sun-Kissed Rose — a pink rose under the noon sun

A bright pink rose under the noon-day sun. This is normally the worst time to take pictures; the sun was directly overhead. But it didn’t turn out half-bad here; all the light is on the flower, so the background is dark, and the petals are nicely highlighted. It does reveal the defects in the rose, but that gives an air of honesty and truthfulness… right? :grin:

There was a lot of dirt on this rose; small specks, but annoying still. I spent a lot of time with the spot healing brush in Photoshop to take them out. Next was to add contrast and blacken the background, and then I got the finished photo you see here.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/640, F3.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-04-23T12:37:07-04, 20080423-163707rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: The Brave Rose

The Brave Rose — a pink rose trapped by a chain-link fence

This is a brave rose, because she’s trapped behind a chain-link fence. I went out for a walk with my camera this morning and spotted this; the rose was right near the fence, so I moved it to be peeking through one of the diamonds. The background was a house and the rest of the fence, but I opened up to F2.5 to blur it almost completely, keeping your focus on the flower.

By only leaving color in the red channel, everything else went black and white. I used subtle coloring on the rose, a glow effect, and added plenty of contrast. To balance the frame and draw the eye toward the center, I darkened everything else with the burn tool, especially toward the edges. This is a good example of how editing can produce a mood, the mood here being one of sadness and reflection, not only from the rose being behind the fence, but from the dark feel I added, and by alienating the subject from its surroundings with selective coloring.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/100, F2.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-05-17T06:47:05-04, 20080517-104705rxt

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Pink and Purple Sunset 3

Pink and Purple Sunset 3 — a psychedelic, neon sky

The capstone of the series, despite nearing two years of age, Pink and Purple Sunset 3 maintains a permanent spot in my portfolio. It is beloved wherever I show it, though vocal few hate it, calling it as over-edited and “phony.” I don’t believe this; this is my photography, as is the work of a whole new generation theirs. Read The “Pure Photography” Myth for further discussion.

I’ve put more time into this photo than any other, as I strive for it to be perfect, which, for me, is to reveal no blemishes nor traces of editing, even under intense scrutiny. The contrast enhancements are high, but I did not need to shift the colors nor fabricate the clouds. The finished work you’ve seen is the third revision, the first being to remove the building on the right, the second for removing the tree on the left, and the final, only coming this month, to match the print gamut and clone out the remaining JPEG artifacts (which aren’t visible except in large copies). In the June 2006 release I’d already dramatized the colors and removed the pesky streetlights which cluttered the neighborhood, but with the finalized edits this can even be imagined as a scene out in the wilderness. If I ever doubted the value of RAW mode, I found it here; because in 2006 I only had a cheap digicam, this is a lossy JPEG. In bringing the colors out so dramatically, I struggled against compression artifacts and color banding, which would have been no issue if I’d shot it now in raw format with my Canon Rebel XTi. It is not in comparing JPEGs and raw files side-by-side that the choice becomes clear, but in the digital darkroom where the extra bits count, and the “invisible” JPEG compression becomes greatly magnified when you add darkness, saturation, or contrast. My solution for the artifacts was to clone them out by hand, a tedious process that I spent some three hours on. But if I’m working for my art, it’s always worth it.

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Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/2, F3.07, 6.8mm, ISO116, 2006-06-11T20:39:14-04, 2006-06-11_20h39m14

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Pink and Purple Sunset series.

Photo: Pink and Purple Sunset 2

Pink and Purple Sunset 2 — bright and colorful clouds in an evening neighborhood

A beautiful and colorful sunset from my back yard. I remember taking this when I was sick with a cold; I was too tired to walk down the road looking for an open area, so the sunset is occluded by trees and power lines. It’s still pretty good, though.

I added contrast to make this pop, and cloned out stray tree branches at the left.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/20, F4.2, 12.9mm, ISO100, 2006-04-01T18:51:48-05, 2006-04-01_18h51m48

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Pink and Purple Sunset series.

Photo: Pink and Purple Sunset

Pink and Purple Sunset — vividly colored clouds and sky

An impressive array of clouds at sundown. I like how the colors turned out, and the shape of the clouds is quite a bit different than what you normally see.

This one is heavily edited. I used curves to add a ton of contrast and darkened the edges. I didn’t have to mess with the color, except desaturating parts that were too vivid; the beauty of the scene was all there, but just needed to be brought out.

Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/30, F4.44, 14.9mm, ISO98, 2006-03-22T18:42:07-05, 2006-03-22_18h42m07

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Pink and Purple Sunset series.

Photo: Leafy Sunset

Leafy Sunset — bright yellow leaves against a serene sunset

Yellow leaves against a blue and pink sky. This is an early piece, re-edited (January 2006). I took generic photos of the sunset, but wanted to experiment with including other elements of nature, which gave way to this. I used the flash to brighten the leaves, which also made the sunset appear darker and more vivid.

I added contrast and moved the colors from orange to pink to make this look good.

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Fujifilm FinePix A360, 1/30, F2.8, 5.8mm, ISO100, 2006-01-04T17:54:53-05, 2006-01-04_17h54m53

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Leafy Sunset series.

Photo: Bubblegum Garden

Bubblegum Garden — shiny pink flowers against a rich blue and white sky

I went to Lowe’s flower shop and started snapping photos as I sometimes do. I used my polarizing filter to get the rich blue sky, and waited for the sun to come out (the clouds were moving) to get this shot of these pink perennials. The clouds in the background make the shot; when I got down lower and only included blue sky, the background was too dull.

Bubblegum is pink, and this photo is like bubblegum pop for me, but in a good way.

Just some color and contrast enhancements, plus a light glow effect (by duplicating the image on a new layer in Photoshop, adding a gaussian blur, then choosing soft light blending between the two).

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Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/320, F6.3, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-04-23T13:19:11-04, 20080423-171911rxt

MarioGamer99 from deviantART fiddled with the source file; here’s his creation: Luminessence.

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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