A huge sense of peace comes over me when I see a beautiful lotus flower. One of the real treats for me, in Asia, is seeing them about everywhere I go. There’s Bali lotus, Thailand lotus, Vietnamese Lotus… southeast Asia is a lotus-happy place. The possible exception; I don’t remember Cambodia being that way so much, but then I wasn’t there long enough to check it out well.
People keep their lotus in small and large pots in front of their homes. They are sprinkled liberally in and around the Wats and Temples of Southeast Asia. They are in parks and public places like this restaurante in Ubud, Bali. This is a massive lotus pond which sits between the open air restaurant and a stage for music and dance performances.
When I took the shot above, it was middle of the afternoon and sweltering hot. Too hot to take time to do the tripod ceremony. Turned out to be a good thing because it felt so good getting off my feet to get the camera down low. My idea was that I wanted that lotus to be dominate the foreground. There was a lot of interesting detail to fill in the rest of the frame and I wanted the lotus to anchor it. So I used my wide angle lens up close and at flower-level to get the effect I was after.
Not using a tripod cost me on the processing end this evening. Hand holding this caused the lotus to not be in exactly the same position in each frame. Not good. I needed it to be sharp! So I knew that I couldn’t use the Photomatix merge-to-32-bit Lightroom plugin and had to go to Photomatix Pro so that I could use the de-ghosting feature on the lotus. That is how to keep it sharp.
So, while I usually use the plugin, this is another case where just using Photomatix Pro makes it quicker and easier on myself. Another way to clean up the de-ghosting of the lotus would be to use layer masking in Photoshop or Essentials 11. But why make it hard on myself? Not that layer masking is hard… but Photomatix does the de-ghosting so well, that’s usually the way I want to roll.
If you think these lotus photos are pretty, maybe your Valentine will too. Or are you giving candy again?? Well, I have a promo code for 30% discount on all my prints through Valentines day. So there is plenty of time still. To get your discount, the promo code to use this year is “NotCandy” when you’re going through checkout in my Smugmug Galley of “More Real than Life” HDR photography! (Both the lotus photos are there)