In honor of a very special friend turning the big Four-Oh today, I set out with my camera to capture an image just for her. Dawn, just let me know what size print you want and I’ll get it to you. I thought it would be cool for you to have a picture of something beautiful that existed on the day you reached this milestone in life.
Now for the “behind the scenes” info. Getting this image very nearly turned into a race against time as I had a bit of difficulty getting done with work as early as I wanted to. I was also struggling against a persistent stiff breeze. I walked around the UT Gardens for quite a while becoming quite discouraged before I finally found a bed of tulips. After taking a few test shots, I was pleased to find that on ISO 400, I could shot at f8 with a high enough shutter speed to hand hold. (I was worried about the amount of light available as it was quite overcast and the sun was getting low in the sky.) That made it so much easier to work my way closer and closer to my chosen flower while adjusting the zoom and changing angles for different backgrounds.
This shot is one of nearly two identical shots. This is actually the second one I processed and the major difference is that I changed the white balance. Although shot on the Cloudy white balance setting in the camera, I changed the balance to Fluorescent on this one. I immediately liked how it turned what was a boring grey sky in the background to a fairly deep blue. Adding the vignetting to darken the edges added what I consider a dream-like feel to the photograph. It also brought out some of the purplish-blue hues in the tulip and I did some very subtle hue adjustments to accentuate that as well. I spent some time flipping back and forth between the two versions of the image (Cloudy vs. Fluorescent) and called in both Mary and Katy for their opinion. I had already decided I preferred this version but I was happy that they independently agreed.