Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lotus Photography

Towards the beginning of July, my dad and I did something we hadn't done for a long time: we went out on a "photo expedition". Our destination was a semi-nearby aquatic garden to take pictures of the lotuses, which were getting close to peak at that point. I really enjoyed it, but because of Camp NaNoWriMo, I couldn't find time to edit the pictures I took.

Then, earlier this week, my dad told me that he'd downloaded a demo version of the Nik Effects collection, a set of plugins for Photoshop. I'd heard a lot about the Nik Effects software from other photographers, but had never actually tried it. So, I was very excited to play around with it. The first few days I spent working on some pictures Daddy had asked me to do something creative with, but on Friday I finally went back and edited some of my lotus pictures. I had a lot of fun, and I think they turned out well- but I'll let you judge the latter for yourself.

This is one of my two favorite pictures of the batch, mostly because of the colors. That's also why I enjoyed playing around with the Nik Collection so much; I could more easily bring out a lot more color and detail in the pictures. For a comparison on detail, I edited one (black and white) photo twice: once with standard Photoshop adjustments, and once with the Nik Silver Effects plugin.

Photoshop version
Nik version
As you can see, there's a lot more fine detail in the Nik version. However, that doesn't mean that the Photoshop version is bad; it depends on what you're looking for.

Lotus flowers aren't the only part of the lotus I like taking pictures of. The leaves have their own attraction, at least for me. I thought that this one looked especially interesting, with the water drop and the bits of grass trapped in it. This is also proof that Nik software isn't perfect for every situation; this picture (I'm fairly certain) was edited with standard Photoshop adjustments.

I found these lotus seedpods towards the end of the photo expedition. I liked the way they were partially twisted together, almost as if they were working together to each reach towards the light. 

Most photographers say that when you're taking pictures of anything in nature, you should look for the most perfect specimen available. However, sometimes the broken plants can be more interesting, as with this cracked seedpod.

I'll finish with my very favorite picture of the batch, which happens to be of the same lotus as the first picture I posted:

What do you think? Which of the pictures was your favorite? Any suggestions? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. My gosh, I'd no idea you were such an incredible photographer! Those pictures are beautiful. If I had to choose, I think my favorite is the last one as well; I just love water droplets on flowers. ♥

    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad you like my pictures! And I actually didn't notice the water droplets in that last picture until I edited it, if then- what attracted me was the way that one petal seemed to be falling away from the rest of the flower.

  2. Those are exquisite!! : D Lovely photography! I agree; the last was my favorite. Is that done with Nik or photoshop?

    1. Thank you very much! The last one was done with Nik. It was actually my first try with Nik Color Effects (the specific plugin I used for most of these), so I'm very happy it turned out as well as it did.


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