Bluebells of Spring

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


It was mid-day, the wrong time, and my auto white balance was adding tons of yellow to the scene. I decided to go for a softer approach and reversed a decision to add a dark vignette by simply adding a white vignette over it. I went to Topaz Studio 2 and gave this shot 30 percent of the Impression effect. Then I removed most of it from the flowers, but left the softer background. I found wilted edges on several of the flowers and used a healing brush 15 or 20 times.

Specific Feedback

This photo looks whitish to another similar photo of bluebells against a dark log. I have stopped adding textures because it takes forever and blending modes don’t work well for me. I brush it in for 30 minutes or so.

Technical Details

Uploading: Screenshot 2023-04-01 at 2.03.52 PM.png…

Uploading: Screenshot 2023-04-01 at 2.10.34 PM.png…

Details for the softer show are Canon R6 II, f/9, manual, 1/125 sec., ISO 1250.

1 Like

Oh I am jealous of your bluebells. I’ve only photographed them once and it was in an outdoor plant museum in Massachusetts. The lightness in the photo is a nice change of pace. I’ve often tried using a white vignette, but it never looks right. Midday is tough and this is a way to deal with it. Looks as though you chose the stamen as your focus point on a few of the flowers and that works because it’s the area with the most detail and a good strategy for a cluster like this.

In terms of aesthetics, I’d like to see a bit more room around the flower and have it less centered. Right now it’s a bit static and snapshot-y if you know what I mean. The second photo you put up has more character and flair for me - it’s a view of bluebells I haven’t seen before and I quite like the diagonal and bendy structure against he log and background. The light in it is more interesting as well; falling on the flower head and the middle leaf. I also like the smaller group of buds on that mid leaf. It could use a bit more room at the top and possibly the bottom. If you don’t have it in the frame possibly Content Aware Fill and Add Canvas in Photoshop could simulate it.

They are such beautiful flowers and I like that second shot quite a bit. The colors are beautiful as is the structure of the plant itself.