After wandering around our local arboretum in Korea yesterday and not finding a single flower, I slipped into the hothouse to defrost. To my delight I came across this Brugmansia.

Specific Feedback Requested

Outside the hothouse window there were branches blowing in the wind. My choice of angle was limited by the window frame and other plants. Any problems with the BG? Also, comments on my stacking would be most welcome. I’m just learning retouching in Zerene - had to do a bit here as the flower moved, even though it was indoors.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500 + 24-120 lens (@86mm) f4 1/2500 ISO 320 and Tripod.

Stacked 13 images in Zerene. Then Topaz Denoise in PS. Selected flower and leaves, and applied Shadows/Highlights and added Vibrance both to the selection and the Inverse (BG). Spot Healing Brush applied to BG selection also to smooth it. Finally, Topaz Sharpen.


Oh this is so beautiful. The soft light and pastels complement each other perfectly. I wish there were leaves all the way through the URC instead of slices of blue, but oh how the light plays through the leaves and the petals is just gorgeous. In terms of the retouching, I can’t tell whether there are water drops on the central leaf or if it’s what I call “goopiness” in the stacking process. In Zerene I find things get goopy with a DMap image more than a PMax. There also looks to be a bit of odd haloing around the leaf just to the left. I didn’t catch anything else that might be stack related. So glad to see this…I mean, I love winter and all, but a shot of spring is welcome, too!

Awesome image, Mike. I agree with everything @Kris_Smith said. Other than the haloing around the leaves, it looks great.

Just lovely, Mike. Really admire the detail you have gotten in the bloom from the lighting. I can’t speak to the stacking, as I’ve only attempted a few myself. It is such a wonderful sight to look at and think of spring.

Thank you for your kind words, @David_Bostock , @linda_mellor and @Kris_Smith . Kris, those are water drops on the leaf. I’ve removed the halos I could spot!

Hi Mike, a nice happenstance for you and the flower. The greens and blues really compliment the rose-tinted flower and your background is fine. The backlighting highlights the delicate structure of the Brugmansia.

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Hi Mike,

Besides the few stacking artifacts, a very nice presentation. I wonder if you can tweak down the highlights as well. The halos are any easy fix. Well done…Jim

What a fantastic comp, Mike, and the color and contrast have been perfectly handled in the presentation. No suggestions. Just totally enjoying this.

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