The Flowers of Santa Fe

Stark Single Black and White Dead Flower

So I wanted to kinda show off a series I did of some shots I got while I was in Santa Fe over the 4th of July.  I haven’t had much time to work on any of my personal projects lately so I’m really glad I got the time to work on these.  I’ve just been so busy working on those shots from my engagement session with David and Erin, that I really haven’t had much time to work on anything else. 

Oh and I guess I’ve been busy redesigning my whole website around my blog theme.  Be looking for that soon, because I should be done with the redesign here in the next couple of days.  As everyone knows I’m simply not a writer, having a blog is proof of that enough.  I don’t do grammar, and I can’t spell.  Really I just do photography, and I love that.  The problem is search engines could care less about pictures.  It’s just trash to them.  So that’s why I write on here so I can document my photographic travels, and enjoy looking back on these later, and see where I’ve come.  Even just looking through my flickr stream over the last 2 years or so has been a real eye opener.  It’s amazing how far I’ve come, and I can’t wait to see where I go. 

Is it annoying that I go off on these personal tangets?  Sorry for that, but it’s just how my mind works. 

I think this first shot at the top of the post is my favorite out of this series.  I like the darkness, and the moodiness that I got with this shot.  I don’t typically do this sort of fine art photography, but I liked these enough to work on them a bit.  If you’re wondering I shot this with my 70-200, which I do love for a lot of reasons, but after this engagement session I realized I’mgoing to have to stop it down a bit to get the kind of crispness that I really want.  I’m so used to shooting primes, and the clarity that I get withthem even at just f/2.8 that it’s hard for me to realize that zoom lenses just don’t work like that. Yes even the really nice expensive ones. I mean granted they still blow everything else out of the water, but they just can’t compete with a good 50, or my favorite 85mm f/1.4.

Santa Fe dead flower bloom

I mean you can see with this shot, which was at f/2.8 that it is pretty clear, but imagine if it was shot on a prime, different story.

Interestingly enough these were all developed only in lightroom, I liked them so much I didn’t even take them into photoshop.  This is a rare thing for me.  I almost always take them into photoshop even if it’s just to add my logo.  Why didn’t I, …. not really sure? Just didn’t feel like it I guess.  I like the one above, but I can’t tell if it’s still to busy, the bokeh looks ok, but it still is a bit distracting.  I think that’s why I like this next shot more.


Flower Standing up in Santa Fe


I think I just like the landscape orientation better on these shots.  The background has good character to it also.  Not too distracting, not to boring. 

Here’s the last shot, and then I’ll tell you how I created them all.

Last Santa Fe Flower Shot

Do you think it’s bad that I didn’t put my logo on here?  I can never tell.  I mean if someones going to steal your work they are going to do it logo or not.  It doesn’t really matter either way.  If they want the shot bad enough, and aren’t scared of the consequences it’s theirs.  Meh I’d rather people enjoy my photography, than worry about who’s stealing it.  Not worth my time.

So here’s how I processed these. First I shot all these at 1/6400 at f/2.8 ISO 250.  Then once I got them into lightroom here’s my post process:

  • I of course added a massive vignette.  That was first and foremost.  If you’re going to take pictures of dead stuff, then the mood should be set accordingly.  Dark and musty.  I don’t really know if they are “musty”, but that’s the word that comes to mind.
  • I pushed the blacks a lot, just to get the kind of contrast I wanted.
  • I also upped the exposure just a bit again to get more contrast
  • S curve for the tone curve, again more contrast
  • pushed the clarity a bit.
  • Then I have a custom grayscale mix to get this black and white look that I’ve come to like at this point.  I would say come up with one that works for your shots.  Every shot is different so working on getting a good set of black and white conversions is a useful endeavor.

Anyways hope ya like it.


3 Responses

  1. M A Andrew

    Interesting stuff Dave. I agree really with regard to adding your logo or not. Sometimes, I just can’t really be bothered! Keep it up.

  2. Charlie

    Man I’m really digging the tone here. The shots look like they could be Johnny Cash album covers. Nice work!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.