Alien Blanket flower & repost

Repost to subdue the “worms”.

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This was mostly just playing around. I got a new lens Wednesday and had to take it out yesterday morning to make sure it worked. The lens (Sony’s new 70-200 f/4 Macro) worked fine, but I wasn’t satisfied with anything I did to the image in color, so I went to B&W via a Darks II mask and putting the light at the center seemed to make a world of difference to me.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Sony A7Riv, FE 70-200 f/4 macro @ 73 mm, hand held, f/6.3, 1/250, iso 500, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 6840x5496. Taken yesterday at 8:54 AM with a bit of overcast.


Veeeery cool! The lens looks like we might see more from it — hint hint…

The inverted B/W is delightful but I wonder if the BG could be subdued. I really hate to say it (and it’s happy hour and I shouldn’t be allowed to have an iPad for extra entertainment) but the BG evokes a bucket of fishing worms from my childhood. Go ahead— get back at me.

Loved the effect of the inversion in the flower, but I’m with @Diane_Miller on the background, it’s a bit bright and call attention. Maybe add a vignette with a localized radial filter.

Hopping to see more images made with that lens :wink:

Very eye catching and creative. Different for this category and I kind of dig it even though I rarely go to such processing extremes. I think lightening the bg is a good idea to make the flower stand out even more, especially since it has a dark edge. Pretty cool.

Oh and congrats on the new lens!

@_Kris Thanks. I was actually browsing for the normal 70-200 f/4, but I’ve also been looking at macros for the Sony so I don’t have to use my canon lenses with the adapter (though I love my 180). I was on B&H and saw a blurb for this new design with 0.5 life size throughout the zoom range, so I read the reviews and they were pretty stellar. Thus far, it’s looking very good.

I love it when lenses can give you double duty without sacrificing something you want or need. Looks like an adaptable and versatile lens.

I’m in love with darks masks as layers these days, so this is very cool. While I agree that the background is a bit competitive, maybe darkening it rather than lightening it would be interesting since it’s that light emanating from the center is the focal point.

This is a very striking image, and a nice example of using monochrome to diverge from reality. But maybe only our reality. Insects see a different range of the spectrum than people. A flowers colors are designed to guide an insect in. So maybe you’re giving us a bugs eye view.

As to the background, I agree that it is distracting. But I think the tone is about right to contrast with the dark flower. It’s the pattern in the background that is distracting. Instead of lightening or darkening the background, could you blur it to erase the “worm” pattern?

@_Kris @WillR @Diane_Miller @Bonnie_Lampley @João_Ferrão Just put up a repost with a gaussian blur and slight brightness adjustment on the background to subdue Diane’s bucket of worms. When I was playing with the brightness on it, bringing it up very much started competing with the center of the flower and bringing it down made the ends of the petals start to blend in, so it ended up with just a slight increase.

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That blur makes a huge difference, Dennis. Wow, what an awesome image. Well done on a unique take.

This is very cool and I think the repost with the softer background is definitely better. I also really think the b&w and your processing is fantastic - it results in an all new (at least to me) view. I kind of imagine that this is what the flower looks like to the insects. Nice work!

You definitely nailed this with the repost, Dennis! I have to say that I am digging your creativity here with the B&W conversion. That glow in the center of the flower is quite eye catching, almost as though light is emanating from the flower itself. Beautifully done and congrats on the new lens.

The new version really channels all the attention to that so interesting flower.
It created a “sense” of shallower DOF isolating the subject, beautifully done.

That did it!! One nit – the selection has left some raggedness on the edges of the stem – easy to touch out.