Lens: Olympus 14-42 zoom at 33mm, f5.6
Print: Epson 3880/ Piezography K7 Inks/ Moab Lasal
This image showed up in my neighborhood late in an afternoon of unplanned shooting. Printing and editing over a long morning that had started very early, I had walked up to Penn to use their Internet and found them closed. I decided I needed a break and went to see what my lens might find.
The white flower caused the most problems since it needed to be both bright and show detail. It had to be as perfect as possible within the limitations of the original capture. Tonal control had to be employed on four different areas: the petals, the underside of the flower, the large leaf, and the background. This meant three areas that had to be carefully masked. I worked with a color base image and even though I could use the color to select various areas, there still was a lot of manual labor involved filling in areas and cleaning up edges. Dodged and burned in the darkroom, a result like this would probably be nigh impossible even for a virtuoso printer, which I never was. A good print often took a whole day and a garbage can full of tests.
On the twenty-first iteration (shown here), I felt I had a print that worked. I backtracked slightly, to version sixteen, deciding that somewhat less illumination and contrasting detail around the base of the leafy plant made for a stronger print. Since I can’t resist experimenting, I continue on, and have hit iteration twenty-six as of the time of this writing. In the course of making different versions, I had used two different color-to- black and white conversion methods on the leafy part of the image, but it wasn’t a “one size fits all” proposition. One was better for the top, the other for the bottom. So, I’m in the process of merging both into one file. Obsessive? Perhaps, but why compromise?