Different Textures

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I am working on smaller, intimate scenes this summer. I’m trying to learn to “see”, watch my backgrounds and look more closely at differences in textures, colors and shapes. This scene caught my eye because of the different textures, and I wanted to try some selective focus to have some fun with it. I also liked that one flower was going to seed, and another was just starting to flower.

Technical Details

Canon R6, 100-400 EF lens shot at 286mm, f5.0, 1/800 sec, handheld.
I processed this in LR and PS , still learning PS.


Hi Mary,
that image looks beautiful. I like the composition with the OOF stems. The bright flower is a real eye-catcher.

I hope you don’t mind that I downloaded your image and played a bit with it.

I added some slight contrast and blurred some of the buds at the edges. I tried that because the sharp buds at the edges distracted the eye slightly from the bright flower.

To blur parts of the image I first created a new layer with the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E on Windows (Command + Shift + Option + E on Mac). It copies all the visible layers and then merges them together into a new layer.
On the new layer, I used the Lens Blur Filter (located at the menu Filter → Blur → Lens Blur). I added a black mask on that layer and painted with a white brush over the buds and stems that I wanted to be blurred.

Maybe you already know all that stuff. I just explained that because you mentioned that you are still learning PS.

But your picture is great even without any adjustments.

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Thank you Jens! I appreciate the PS lesson, always looking to learn new tips. I like your input and the resulting image, I see what you mean about distracting the eye. Thanks again!

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You are welcome, Mary. Let me know if anything is unclear.

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Mary, you did a great job on the composition of this image. I very much like how the long vine flowers intermingle with the main subject. I think you achieved what you set out to do. I like what @Jens_Ober did on blurring some of the buds at the edges. I learned PS from YouTube and purchasing a few instructional videos. It took me awhile, but now I love working in PS. Don’t give up. PS is a very complex piece of software and takes some time to understand. You’re off to a good start.

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Thanks for the kind words Donna. I purchased some PS instructional videos from Sean Bagshaw, I like his teaching style. It is a process, but I’m taking my time and enjoying it :blush:

Lovely find, arranged and photographed well. I like the suggestion from @Jens_Ober. I think the best way to learn PS is to identify something you would like to do to an image and then find out how to do it. That way you’re accumulating a set of tools/skills. That will build up a deeper understanding of how things work. Two very important things to master are Layers and Masks.

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Diane, thank you for your thoughts. I agree with your method to learn PS, that way things “stick” in my head more. This community is also a wealth of knowledge, always something new to learn and explore!

This is really lovely and so simple that it’s an easily overlooked scene. Back when due to one thing and another, we didn’t mow the lawn for a whole summer, we had tons of these two plants growing and I did my share of photographing it. Your arrangement is nicer than what I came up with and the additional sharp flower stems don’t bother me since I think there is enough softness already. But that’s the beauty of NPN, we get so many other perspectives and ideas that I think it helps me to step away from my photo a bit more easily than in the past.

Agree about the approach to Ps - I learned some of the basics like layers and masks and then concentrated on what I couldn’t do, or couldn’t do well, in Lightroom and learned those things first. From there I expanded and added the TK8 plug in from Tony Kuyper to make difficult things easier. I figured if I had a steep learning curve ahead of me, I’d take the TK8 curve and go from there. Baby steps!

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Thanks Kristen! To be honest, I liked the few sharper red flowers amongst all the soft green. I actually used a color mask and saturated and brightened the few sharper ones just a bit. I agree though, it is very helpful and useful to see another’s viewpoint on an image. It does help you step back, always a good thing.
Yes, baby steps for PS!! :blush:

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