Winter Asters (+ 1 reversal!)

How about a flip?

While out snowshoeing and photographing little trees and things, I saw this aster still hanging on to its flowers and leaves after a few snow and rainstorms. We tend to think of flowers as fragile things and are continuously surprised at their tenacity and strength. No doubt these and the others nearby provided some last minute nutrition to the pollinators before going dormant themselves.

Specific Feedback Requested

Thoughts on processing welcome…or anything else I could have done in the field to improve.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Handheld I’m pretty sure


Lr for RAW processing - boosted whites and shadows, reduced blacks and highlights, added texture and clarity, warmed white balance, curves adjustment to brighten the whites, sharpening & nr. Also used a brush to highlight the areas where the sun is just kissing the blossoms. Photoshop to remove some distractions in the snow behind.

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I love the simplicity of this scene, Kris. The background is of course wonderful. I like the placement of the subject in the scene. My only nit, and it’s a minor one, would be to have a smaller aperture so that the back flowers were also in focus…given the neutral background you probably could have gone to f/11 or even f/16 with this one. It’s an awesome image.

Yup, I should have. I had the room in terms of ISO and Shutter speed. Poo. Maybe next time.

I really like this. Love the snow for a studio looking background and the flowers. If I had been there I think I would have composed it something like this…

Mainly because I feel like the flowers are kind of reaching to the right and it seems like the right is where they need the room to go.

That works, too @Vanessa_Hill - maybe I’ll rearrange things. IRL I didn’t have too much room over there because it was near some bushes or something, but there is always Add Canvas in Photoshop!

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That’s actually what I did!

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Stubborn little flowers!! I’d crop from the left about halfway to the first flower, to balance the spacing on the right but no tighter. I wonder about fading out the stem a little toward the bottom… Low opacity cloning could do the job.

How about a flip rather than a crop? I didn’t like the choked feeling a severe crop gave this since the delicacy of the flowers felt overwhelmed. Thoughts?

Lovely remains. How about a square crop? This feels like a formal portrait to me, hence the square crop suggestion. If not, I prefer the first version. It feels like the flowers are reaching out to the viewer (as we come in from the left). The second feels like they are running away. But, then, it depends on what you’re trying to say.