Blue Beauty

A native of South Africa, the Blue Plumbago bush is heaven-sent to Texas. Besides being a perennial and surviving the intense Texas heat, this bush is also pest- and deer-resistant. Presently, in spite of triple-digit temperatures, these flowers are blooming with very little maintenance. Here at our house, they get watered twice a week only.

When I went outside looking for parallel line compositions, I knew I would end up using a macro lens to capture more details. I picked these flowers for this weekly challenge because most people seldom stop to look underneath their beauty or before they bloom. The parallel lines are evident before the flowers open. Check out the green stems near some of the open flowers. This particular sample shows the flowers in all stages, before and after they bloom. Apologies to any botanists and experts if I have used incorrect terms.

Specific Feedback Requested

Should I have erased the little bug photobombing the flowers? Any other comments or suggestions?

Technical Details

Sony ILCE-7M4, 1/400 sec at f/11, ISO 2000, with Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO | Art 020 lens, Aperture priority, 0 EV. I used a tripod. All editing was done in LR after first using Topaz Sharpen AI (well, it never hurts to sharpen in Topaz).

IG: EgidioTX

Lovely capture and beautiful detail in the plumbago, Egidio. We also have a plumbago bush that seems to be loving this heat of late. As far as suggestions, as always it is subjective, however, if it were mine, I wold want to create a little more separation between the foreground flower and the background. Perhaps by darkening the backdrop. Just a thought.

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Thank you, Linda, for your suggestion. I often try to highlight my subject doing exactly what you suggest. I had darkened the background by reducing its exposure -0.35. From your suggestion, I went a full stop to -1.00 on the exposure for the background. Here’s the result. I must say that I really like it better this way. It’s like the plumbago is lit up. The bokeh is still present, but more subdued. What do you think?

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For what it’s worth, @Egídio_Leitão , I like this rework a lot. Nicely done.

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A very nice flower image, Egidio. I like your rework a lot. The bug is of no problem. Youir choice of DOF is just right. I like that the colors of the sharp parts are also present in the BG, but toned down.

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Thanks for the feedback, Ola. I appreciate your taking the time to write. I’m glad you noticed the DOF in the background. I played around our flower bed to find the proper background that would also show some of the Blue Plumbago in the background.

Thanks again, Linda. I tell you, with the new masking tool in LR, it’s so easy to select the background and make adjustments just to that part of the photo.

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