Protea, Capetown, South Africa

Processing a colourful photograph using Adobes Lightroom, Photoshop and Color Efex Pro.

A visit to Kirstenbosch Gardens in Capetown, South Africa, was worthwhile to photograph the sunbirds that abound there but also to enjoy the many proteas that they feed on.

Yellow Protea, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Capetown.

Canon 5D,  24-105mm zoom lens at f9.0, shutter speed 1/250 second at ISO 400.

Image Processing

Image processing here started as usual in Lightroom.  In this case, the white petals (or are they stamens) were fairly hot and so I pulled down the whites and the highlights using the control sliders.    Then I took the image into Photoshop where I opened the image as a smart object to give me maximum flexibility before using the Color Efex Pro plugin.

In CFX,  I added the following filters:

  • glamour glow

  • brilliance and warmth

  • lens vignette

  • detail extractor

Using Color Efex Pro

Some of these steps may seem contradictory,  glamour glow in part uses a soft-focus effect,  whilst detail extractor,  as its name implies,  emphasizes fine detail.    The secret lies in the use of control points so as to isolate or mask the effects to specific parts of the image.    Detail extractor for example was zeroed in on the flower head itself.   ~KD