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| p.1 #5 · Single flowers, black backgrounds |
Here's another approach for pulling more detail out of flowers...
Starting with the original I saved two copies in .psd format: one in the original RGB and a second converted to Lab.
Opening both I selected the L channel in the Lab version then hit the ~ key which keeps the L layer selected but allows changes to it to be seen in the full color version on the screen.
Next using Image > Apply Image I applied the Green channel detail from the RGB copy to the L channel in the Lab copy, setting mode to "overlay" and adjusting the % until I liked the overall enhancement in the detail.
At the channel level all the information is in the form of B&W tone maps. In Lab files all the detail is carried in the Luminance layer so it is possible to copy detail from any other channel in any other mode file (RGB or CYMK) to L to enhance the detail without changing the hue.
I converted the Lab back to RGB, selected all and copied, then pasted into the other RGB copy putting the edited version over the original. I created a mask using the magic wand tool on the edited flower to isolate it, opt+clicked the mask icon in the layers window to create a bitmap mask from the selection. I used the mask tool to adjust the mask, feathering it a bit. That isolated just the flower on the top edit layer.
I didn't want a total black void but I wanted a darker background. With the flower isolated on the top layer with the mask I just moved to the original layer below and darkened it with about -1 stop Exposure adjustment.
I flattened the two layers then duped them again to apply sharpening. A perceptual trick which gives soft textured objects like flowers a more 3D appearance is over-sharpening. I do this by eye with amount = 500% then raising the radius amount from 0. Here I wound up using 500, .7, 0. But I didn't apply it overall or all the way. I sharpened the top layer, then added a black bitmap mask, then selectively opened the mask over the flower to blend in the over-sharpened layer by eye.
Satisfied with the overall look I flattened again then cloned out the bud in the background which I found distracting.
The final steps were cropping, selecting a color from the flower for a trap rule, selecting all, stroking a 1 px rule with the sampled color, then expanding the canvas by 4" with black as background color to create the matting.
Enhanced, but not to the point of looking unnatural