Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Pampas Grass

Posted by
john4jack (Corvallis, Oregon, United States) on 26 October 2009 in Business & Industry and Portfolio.

This photograph had major work done to it. It began with this gorgeous huge tree decked out with fall color against a deep blue sky. However, it had this wonderful Pampas Grass next to it. It was the grass that fascinated me. So I cropped the image. Then I did a series of layers blurring and sharpening, plus a curves layer and a black stroke border. The end result is what you see. (I really owe this to recently reading Freeman Patterson's "Photography and the Art of Seeing." My goal is to get out of some of the boxes in which I have functioned.)

YESTERDAY'S PHOTOGRAPH was a 5 shot bracket which I combined in
Photomatix. The color work was done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

ONE MORE THING - LR 3 beta is considerably faster than LR 2.

NIKON D700 1/320 second F/9.0 ISO 200 44 mm (35mm equiv.)

PATRICK from miramas, France

just fantastic capture!!!!!!

26 Oct 2009 5:33am


lydia from Paris, France

Superb picture , I love the way you have done it !! Bravo

26 Oct 2009 5:39am

@lydia: Merci.

Anina from Auckland, New Zealand

WOW!!! Stunning!! The processing is spot on :) I love the final result.

26 Oct 2009 5:42am

@Anina: Thank you.

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

It is a winner; very successful creative processing work...
and it doesn't fit in ANY box that I know about. ;-) Fantastic.

26 Oct 2009 6:08am

@Dulcie: Thanks.

P J W Miller from Chase Terrace, United Kingdom

You have stepped out of the box and experimented to produce a very interesting image

26 Oct 2009 6:30am

@P J W Miller: Thanks.

Irene from France

Fabulous picture !

26 Oct 2009 6:52am

@Irene: Merci

Elena Kotrotsou from Drossia, Greece

Interesting and beautiful picture

26 Oct 2009 8:33am

@Elena Kotrotsou: Thank you.

Yvonne Simons from Tilburg, Netherlands

Wonderful, a beautiful autumnphoto!

26 Oct 2009 8:34am

@Yvonne Simons: Merci.

Sriram from Chennai, India


26 Oct 2009 8:39am

MrsAmber from West Wickham, United Kingdom

I agree about boxes (about myself!) ...glad you are having fun experimenting and producing such work..this is a really interesting picture you have made. Pampas grass is beautiful enough to be photographed even if there is a stunning autumnal tree next to it!

26 Oct 2009 9:57am

@MrsAmber: Thanks, Kate.

Mathilde Collot from Fontainebleau, France

The result is magnificent! Especially because the post-treatment fits into the picture, but does not replace the image! example: image made! The image is natural, but suddenly becomes very intimate! j'aime beaucoup!

26 Oct 2009 10:58am

@Mathilde Collot: Merci, dear Mathilde.

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Great work, Jack!

26 Oct 2009 11:21am

@Judy: Thanks.

bekkah from Pennsylvania, United States

wonderful processing and such beautiful lighting! pampas grass...thank you for that, I took a shot of it the other day and had NO clue what it was called :)

26 Oct 2009 11:42am

@bekkah: Thanks, Bekkah.

xavier cardell from menorca-barcelona, Spain

Very interesting, looks like a babylense shot.

26 Oct 2009 12:19pm

@xavier cardell: Gracias.

Don from spokane, United States

The extreme range of blur and detail make this one an eye-catching image.
I think you're experimentation is working out quite well.

26 Oct 2009 12:58pm

@Don: Thanks, Don.

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

i love that radial motion of the tree from the bluring -- makes me think of stars and rockets! and then contrasted with the absolute stillness of the pampas grass, a very intriguing image!!

26 Oct 2009 1:36pm

@dj.tigersprout: Thanks, dj.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Beautiful colors ; beautiful blurry effect :)

26 Oct 2009 2:07pm

@MARIANA: Thanks, Mariana.

Luca Bobbiesi from Milano, Italy

Fantastic focus choice, I like also the autumn colors.

26 Oct 2009 2:13pm

@Luca Bobbiesi: Thank you.

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Beautiful capture of this selective focus! It seems to bring out even more color from the surroundings.

26 Oct 2009 2:43pm

@Steven: Thanks, Steven. The selective focus is all in the processing.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Cool processing.

26 Oct 2009 3:06pm

@Steve Rice: Thanks.

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Nice isolation work on this pampas grass cluster.

26 Oct 2009 3:39pm

@Viewfinder: Thanks.

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Oh so cool! I love the look of this...My attention is drawn first to the grasses- as I know you intended. But I also like what is going on to the left- the large tree and great color, which would usually dominate an image like this if all were in focus, becomes a wonderful way to accent the beautiful pampas grass.
At first I thought maybe you had used a perspective control lens- (like a lensbaby).

26 Oct 2009 4:46pm

@Tracy: Thanks, Tracy.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

THAT is SUPERB, love that ethereal softness, and the colours are splendid!!!

26 Oct 2009 4:53pm

@Lorraine: Many thanks.

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Outstanding work.

26 Oct 2009 5:01pm

@Ana Lúcia: Thank you.

Bill from Pacific Northwest, United States

You've made your escape (from your boxes) in dramatic fashion, Jack. Freeman Patterson is really great. He has a collaborator--Andre Gallant--who is also very inspiring. Check out Gallant's "Dreamscapes: Exploring Photo Montages"--wonderful!

26 Oct 2009 5:02pm

@Bill: Thanks. Will do so on Gallant. OK, have done it. No price break on Amazon.

Veronelle from Lens, France

beautifull bokeh !

26 Oct 2009 7:12pm

@Veronelle: Merci.

Lyl and Roll from Besançon, France

Fantastic ! 5 * for me !!!!

26 Oct 2009 7:34pm

@Lyl and Roll: Merci.

TammyWarren-CRicket from Somewhere, United States

Getting very creative here. Very nice touches.

26 Oct 2009 8:35pm

@TammyWarren-CRicket: Many thanks.

ninni from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Wonderful coulors!! Beautiful!

26 Oct 2009 8:36pm

@ninni: Thank you.

Michael from Deer Park, United States

beautiful photo! awesome effect.

26 Oct 2009 9:31pm

@Michael: Thank you.

LauraS from Chico, United States

I love the pampas grass, but the blurry left front is a bit too much for my eyes. Hard to focus... distracts me from the pampas...

26 Oct 2009 9:31pm

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

I really love the sense and suggestion of color. I love the light on the grasses. I'm a little on the fence about the extreme Gaussian blur on the left. I'm not sure, I think it overwhelms the image a bit.

26 Oct 2009 9:47pm

@Laurie: You're probably right, but I wouldn't want to reduce it too much; I want the Pampas Grass to pop.

Mirza Ahmad from Thames Ditton, United Kingdom

Both sharp and blurred, a strange sensation.

26 Oct 2009 9:51pm

Theys from Charleroi, Belgium

Beautiful photo belle composition !

26 Oct 2009 10:05pm

@Theys: Merci.

Helder from oshawa, Canada

I like the efx, and the Pampas Grass does look very nice with the golden colours!

27 Oct 2009 12:27am

@Helder: Thank you.

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

May be I would have prefer the effect on the overall image? but in photography it is nice to make different tests like you did here.

27 Oct 2009 1:40am

Ajay from Pune, India

Good thing you blurred the rest to put impact on the right pampas grass.

27 Oct 2009 2:16am

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Great post processing ... the pampas grass really stands out and the fall colors to the left are a great detail. The transition between the blurry and sharp part is a bit too strong, next time I would fade it a bit more (set the feather of the selected area a bit higher).

27 Oct 2009 2:40am

@Monique: Yeah; I agree. Actually it looks much better as a print than on the computer. The print seems to create some of that feather.

Barbara from Florida, United States

Wow, nice work. I actually like the effect on the colorful tree as much as the clarity of the Pampas Grass.
So that is what it's called, we have it here.

27 Oct 2009 3:13am

@Barbara: Thanks, Barb.

Mahboubeh from Raleigh, United States

Nice processing John ! thanks for explanation !

27 Oct 2009 3:50am

@Mahboubeh: Thank you.

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

I always thought Freeman Patterson to be one of the must read photographers. I started getting his books in the early 80s and he had huge impact.

27 Oct 2009 4:13am

ghetu from Mumbai, India

please tech me how to do it.

27 Oct 2009 2:58pm

@ghetu: The original photo was of a large oak tree with the Pampas Grass to the side. I first cropped it to make the grass much larger. Then I did my color work in Lightroom. After that I sent it to Photoshop where I applied a Gaussian Blur to the entire image. I added a mask and eliminated the blur of the grass. There was some more stuff done but those were the essentials. If I had it to do over again, I would apply less of a blur and would feather the blur. At the time, it was all an experiment.

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Seems like the idea to get the focus on a particular objet in a whole shot ..this is an awesome way to do it..and its lovely tones...patience to here.

29 Oct 2009 4:07am

ghetu from Mumbai, India

thank you very much. i will keep your instruation nearby while experimenting with a photo. i don't know anything about photoshop and anything i try with that becomes incredibly ugly. i wish i knew you in person and cone drop by for a small class.

29 Oct 2009 3:02pm

@ghetu: Thank you. Good luck. Photoshop has a very steep learning curve.