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The weather was hot and sunny the day we visited Whitehouse Perennials, so I used a diffusion filter to soften the harsh sunlight and shadows. This first image was taken without a diffuser and has a lot contrast as a result. The colour is beautiful and I like the more uniform darker background. In the end I was glad to have this image because it helped to process the softer diffused images.
The second image was taken at f5.6 and I used a diffuser to filter harsh afternoon sun. The result was a much softer image with much less contrast. I had to increase my blacks substantially to get the rich colour back. I noticed that even though I was on my tripod, there was still movement of the camera. The details of the flower and especially the stamen are less sharply focused. Also with a lighter background, the stem on the left side of the image became an unwelcome distraction.
This last image is what I consider my finished image. This was taken at f8 which has more of the details of the flower in focus and the background is still nicely blurred. My composition has 2 problems, the stem on the right side and the buds in the bottom right corner. I should have moved these out of my frame while shooting but in my defence, I had my hands full holding the diffuser and taking the shot. So I cropped and cloned out my problem areas and this is the result.
The diffused images should be better but I’m conflicted here. My husband likes the first image without a diffuser best. What do you think? Click on the images to enlarge for better viewing and comparison. 🙂