Autumn Grass 2

This image is of the same clump of grass gone to seed in our south facing rock garden which I have also posted as an ICM in the showcase category. Here I’ve created an image with totally different concept, looking through the grass and showing the fine details of the seed crowns. Couldn’t resist including the sunstar. I’m a sucker for aperture stars.

To avoid blowing highlights of the bright background and loosing the beautiful blue sky I deliberately underexposed for the grass. Therefore in processing there was enough shadow recovery to justify a pass through Topaz DeNoise, in which I also used its A.I. to sharpen for the detail of the seeds. Luminosity adjustments were in LrC. Ps was used to heal over background electric lines and the internet cable, and one small blob of lens flare (maybe I should have removed the protective Zeiss UV filter). Upper portion of sky was more illuminated than that surrounding the sun and was selectively burned a little darker but I could not create a uniform blue without excessive darkening of the seed crowns. Wish LrC allowed HSL Color sliders in the dodge/burn tool and gradient tool.

My dilemma with the composition is that the star is either good or awful. My own opinion cycles. The star is indeed overwhelming, but without it the image might be too ordinary. Star was relatively smaller before cropping to exclude extraneous intruding tree branches. I do dig the color contrast of the blue and orange, 180 degrees across the color wheel.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm @ f/16, Sony a7iii ISO 100, 1/500" (grass was moving with wind). Multiple frames were shot until I captured one with the moving grass best located to nab the sun for a clean star. Loxia lenses have 10 straight aperture blades and thus make fine stars.

This is a unique image that is eye catching and invites study. Very well done!

Hi Richard, this is a very compelling and attractive compostion. I think it could stand alone without the star burst but it does add interest. I especially enjoy viewing the delicate grass heads against the blue background.

Thanks Kathy and Jim for the opinions. When I view it at first I’m very pleased, then I get thinking the star wrecks the composition. I’m going to hang a 16x20" print on our wall to se if the image holds up under repeated and forced encounter! Maybe the trick is to see the star first, then focus attention on details and color contrast.

Richard: The star is dominant but it’s in a good position in the frame and still allows exploration of the rest of the image. I think your conflicting sentiments are a good thing. This does challenge one to explore and examine more closely. Top notch IMO. >=))>

For me, the sunburst makes this image. Although it can stand alone without it, the sunburst makes it very unique and special. I applaud you post-processing skills in bringing the details in the grass blades and the seeds. Dark blue sky brings out the colors of foreground elements beautifully. A stunning image!

Ravi, thank you very much. Processing is lots of fun, challenging, and always seems to leave room for more improvement with newer skills and tools. FYI, here is the file I created and imported with construction of this image in mind.

The star drew me to view this image with its linear lines and details. It is striking and I have no suggestions to improve .

Thanks for the encouragement. When I saw th e potential for a transilluminated closeup wide angle of the grass blades the sunstar was not in mind. It only appeared in the viewfinder, and was transient as the grass moved in the morning breeze, but as I saw it it became in integral part of the composition.