Clematis Seed Head + Rework



This plant flowered way back in early summer, but yesterday I suddenly noticed how attractive the seed heads were, so I attached this one to a stake for stacking and for selecting the best background. It only occurred to me afterwards that this might suit a B and W treatment.

Specific Feedback Requested

I aimed into the light to emphasize the outer details - this meant I had to reduce some overexposure later. I also brought up the exposure a bit on the dark central portion. Are either of these adjustments too noticeable?

Technical Details

D500 + Helios 44-2 58mm f2 lens 1/1000 f8 (guesstimate) ISO200 Tripod

15 photos stacked in Zerene. Then ACR and PS for tonal adjustments. Into Nik Efex Pro 2 for the B and W conversion. Tinkered a bit with exposure of some areas to extract the maximum detail. Cloned out one or two stacking artifacts.


I often think the seed heads and dried plants are more attractive than the flowers. There are often interesting lines and textures. I think you did a great job seeing and capturing this. The back lighting is wonderful. You did a great job bringing out the details in the central darker area. Black and white really serves this image well. Wonderful job!

Stunning, Mike. Love the black/white conversion, the lighting and the detail. Thanks for explaining your set up. Also wondering about what size the seed heads are?? As always, just curious. I am clearly no expert when it comes to post processing, but none of your adjustments are noticeable to me. Nicely done.

Oh this is so cool. 15 shots of something so light and fluffy! You are a brave man. I like the choice of b&w too, but think there needs to be some actual white here. If you pushed those, probably a lot, it would give it the contrast it looks like it needs. The structure is really intricate and there is so much to see. Boosting the middle worked well, but boosting the whites will really make it sing.

This is so graceful and delicate looking, Mike! Love how the light is shining through it and it kind of looks like frost. A very elegant shot especially making it black and white.

1 Like

wondering about what size the seed heads are?
About the size of a golf ball, @linda_mellor

1 Like

I really like this image of yours Mike. Soft, yet very detailed with my favourite black background, but the darker, wispy curls at the front are what make it for me. Lovely. Only suggestion I have is maybe to ‘trim’ some of the bare ends that seem a wee bit distracting…maybe. Cheers.

Thanks @Vanessa_Hill @Phil_G @Kris_Smith @linda_mellor and @Chris_Baird for your comments.I have posted a rework at the top, with the whites whiter and some loose ends tidied up.


Wow! A great image made even better!

1 Like

I agree, the rework is a nice improvement. And I didn’t even notice the whispies.

1 Like

This is outstanding and the reworked image is spectacular. Really nice work!

What a great find, and so beautifully captured. love the back lighting.

Thank you, @Tom_Nevesely and @J_Fritz_Rumpf for your kind comments!

I got behind again and missed this – glad I finally got to see it! Wonderful subject and a great one for stacking! The RP is even better than the original, if possible.

1 Like