Frozen in time

Full disclosure; this is my first post, I need all the help i can get and also there is no ice in the Texas hill country. I had to improvise, so this is a studio still-life.

I place this flower form in the freezer, then added ice chips and placed it on my light box with lights and color tissue paper below. I used and external flash . I did some post processing including some cropping and a bit of dodging. Anyone have suggestions about how to work with the ice reflections and still get the flower lighter without having to dodge? Any other comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Nikon D7200, f/13, 100 iso, 2 sec. 70 mm.


Welcome to NPN, Linda! I love this concept. Creativity knows no limit, very well done.

My only suggestion is to include the tip of the leaves on the left and bottom edges. Right now it looks as if they are clipped. I really like the color you have chosen to light the ice.

I am not sure if I understand what you mean by “ice reflection” but dodging shadows is a pretty common thing to do. Could you post a before editing image to illustrate what you mean?

Thank you Adhika. By “ice reflections” I should have said the highlights on the ice. When i set up my still life I purposely position the flower in the left hand corner, trying to avoid dead center. I have posted the original raw image (converted for web) for comparison. Thanks again for you comments.

Welcome aboard and quite the nice and fascinating first post! Beautiful colors and an excellent composition. I quite like it.

I am looking forward to seeing more of your work and reading your insights into the work of others! Welcome again.

Thank you Harley. I’m going to give this my best efforts to trying to hang in there with all of these amazing photographers.

Linda, the only thing that I can think of is a polarizer. Or you could do a luminosity mask to avoid lifting the highlights as you brighten up the scene.

Thanks Adhika. Can’t believe i didn’t think of a polarizer filter. Clearly still have a lot to learn. Appreciate your taking the time.

This is a very striking creation, Linda! I like it just the way it is but if you wanted to brighten the flower without blowing out the highlights you can just do a luminance curve adjustment to raise the shadows and either maintain or lower the highlights. If you play with the curves adjustment a bit I think you would be able to find the right combination.

Linda: A terrific first post and I like how you processed it especially. I’m OK with the comp having the flower in the LLC and clipping some of the leaves. It is enough of a clip that it’s pretty clearly intentional and not an oversight. Terrific concept carried off really well. Looking forward to more of your work. >=))>

Thanks Bill, i appreciate your comments. Take care.

First off, welcome to NPN, Linda!
This is a neat first post. I think you’ve pulled off what you were trying for very well. I agree that it’s clear that your clipping of the leaf tips was deliberate, so it’s just fine. I also really like the colors in your original post as well as the dodging of the leaves. I think the goldish highlights in the ice add a fine touch of warm color to contrast with the blue/purple tones, I wouldn’t want them to go away. There are a small number of specular reflection highlights but they’re small enough that they fit in. Specular reflections are equivalent to the reflection of the light source from a good mirror. They are often 6 - 8 stops brighter than everything else so they’re impossible to get rid of unless you change the angle between the camera and the sun. A polarizer can reduce them, but rarely makes them disappear. You may be able to reduce them by diffusing your flash. Another possibility is to use a partial reflector to direct a bit more light onto the flower.

Mark thanks for taking the time to comment on my photo. I’m glad you like it. Clearly I have a lot to learn and I appreciate your suggestions and am trying them out now. I am looking forward to being part of the group and contributing when and as I can.