Every week, Dan Ferguson, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, challenges himself to take something he doesn’t ordinarily photograph to see what he can do with it. On this day, it was a dandelion from his yard. “It struck me that in all my years of seeing dandelions I’d never looked closely at their shape and delicate design. When I took time to look, I discovered it was actually something bordering on extraordinary,” he says. He picked one, grabbed a beer bottle as a vase, and placed them in the light tent he’d been using for product shots. Dan Ferguson Photography is based in Wylie, Texas, and specializes in portraits, headshots, events, workshops, and coaching.
CAMERA & LENS: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens
EXPOSURE: 1/200 second at f/22, ISO 100
LIGHTING: The dandelion and bottle were set inside a light tent with an internal black background. Speedlights were positioned on the sides and top.
POST-CAPTURE: The raw conversion was done with Adobe Camera Raw, and post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 in 16-bit mode. Photoshop was used to paint or fill the background with complete black, and the high-pass filter was used to mitigate any soft-focus issues and provide the first pass at sharpening. Topaz Detail was used to extract the interior detail. This revealed an abundance of chromatic aberrations in the image. Adobe Camera Raw was used as a filter in Photoshop to defringe the extraneous purple. Another high-pass filter was run on the image, and after all objectionable spots had been taken care of by cloning or spot healing, Ferguson ran Nik Tonal Contrast. Finally, Nik Sharpener 3 was used for the finishing touch.