Today Art by Tori joins forces Waxing Lyrical, a blog by my friend, Ann. I will be sharing my art with her and her blog on a monthly basis and I hope to be able to share the process of how I create the pieces right here in my new Behind the Scenes section.

Month One is a photographic offering where the original picture is unpromising and needs a lot of work in Photoshop to bring out the potential I saw through my camera lens.

I took this rather unassuming picture in a car park somewhere in the Lake District in 2008.

As you can see it’s far from striking. My motivation for taking the photo in the first place was the beauty and form of the individual flowers. Most of the time, when I look back over photographs I’ve taken a picture like this gets overlooked, there’s so little that can be brought out of it at first glance. But, when you have a delicate and perfectly formed example of nature such as this you almost feel compelled to try to make something of the photo.

My first act, as with all photographs straight from the camera, is to adjust the light levels, bringing out the whiteness of the petals. I chose not to alter the colour balance as I was happy with the way the picture had come up with very little adjustment. After altering just a few things the image is already more vibrant and there is much more depth than in the original.

My next task is to take away the background vegetation, including that unsightly bramble that is a dead giveaway that I’m working in the wild, and bring out the flowers to dominate the image. I wanted to reduce the greens to shadow and draw out the highlights until they almost shine.

As you can see, most of the green is gone, leaving just the stalks and buds of the flowers visible. Instantly this rather drab, rather boring picture becomes all about those split-petal beauties. Of course, it is still far from being a finished image that would be considered artistic. It needs a bit of manipulation to enhance it further.

What I do now is to carefully cut around the central flower that was the focus of the picture right from the beginning. The one that displays best the form of the fully opened bud. When I have separated this part of the picture I enlarge it to make it stand out even more. This is the Zing. With the central flower nestled amongst it’s siblings it doesn’t make the picture sing, but bring it up just a few percent larger and postion it right and suddenly we have poetry.

I have dulled the background here to show the flower in its larger format, it looks like it is reaching up out of the plant trying to get your attention. It becomes the focus of the picture, the other flowers are the backing singers, completing the picture but not stealing the limelight from the star.

To finish the picture I crop it into a square, framing the image to look as good as possible. I then play with the background, removing flowers that add to the finished image by their absence. A few more corrections here and there and it is exactly as I saw it in my mind’s eye in 2008 when I aimed my camera at the little plant in the car park.

To see the finished article visit the Waxing Lyrical Art by Tori post here.