One Four Challenge: February Wk 1

Photo By: Carrie

Anther month turning over on the calendar means another photograph to learn from. I decided to challenge myself this month with this macro image. It is of an Ice Plant which grows all along the shoreline here. I have seen the blossoms in purple and yellows. This is a very aggressive plant that is not native to this area.

I should also note, for those of you following along last month, the winner of the poll was a tie! Between week 2 and week 4. Thank you to all of you who took the time to vote, I really appreciate it.

For the first edit, I chose to enhance the image by highlighting the colors, especially in the center.


  • Starting with the original image I chose the preset “yesteryear” in LR5
  • I adjusted the settings like, tint, warmth, highlights, shadows, etc.. to start and then again at the end.
  • For the saturation adjustments I used the individual color adjustment bars, mostly working with red, orange and yellow.
  • I added a radial filter to the central part of the flower, inverted the filter and adjusted accordingly. I was trying to give the petals a softer feel and the center a more pronounced feel so they didn’t get lost in the photograph.
  • I wasn’t totally satisfied with the results at this point, so I used the adjustment brush and brushed a wide circle around the central part of the flower. I played with the settings until I was satisfied with the detail, shadow, colors it brought out.

And that is how I found my way to this edit this week. I would love to hear your feedback, suggestions and/or comments.

If you are interested in joining in, it is never too late to join. See Robyn’s post this week at Captivate Me, for all the details of how to get started. If you look in her comments you will find other entries as well. Or you can go to your tag search and type in “One Four Challenge” to find everyone’s entries. This challenge has taught me so much already. I am looking forward to going through the process again this month.


  1. Carrie, Im so excited to see you working with this image for Feb 😃
    This Ice plant sounds like a beautiful weed.
    I like this first version and look forward to more!

    1. I am excited too! It is a beautiful weed, such an interesting flower to photograph 🙂 I have some “out there”, for me, things in mind this month…looking forward to it!! Thank you.

  2. Nice image Carrie! Love the yellow in it and I think you are right this is gonig to be challeging to process further. I will keep my eyes open for your other versions and I am curious how you will proceed!

    1. 🙂 Well, I have a couple ideas in mind. Things that I have wanted to try for a while but didn’t have the nerve to do it…I love this challenge for that! So, we will see how those ideas come together in the weeks ahead! Thank you for your feedback, I like the yellow too.

  3. Beautiful subject Carrie, and great edit. I like the contrast between the softness and slight blur of the petals and the precision and abundance of details in the centre. I will be very interested to see where you take this flower next. I was going to use an everlasting for my subject this month and felt I would run out of steam and interest too quickly, so ended up with a duck instead. You work is always inspiring, so who knows, it might spur me to give the flower a go next month!

    1. Your comments and feedback are so nice, Chris, thank you! I am interested to see where I got with this image too 🙂 I have a couple ideas…that get me to week 3. So, who knows! I love macro images, as you know. I needed to work on something micro-detailed this month, it just felt right.

  4. Carrie I had no idea the middle of ice plants were so interesting, all that fantastic texture and detail in the middle. Lovely job with the processing, I see how you have retained that center detail but the whole image still feels soft and floral 🙂

    1. Thank you, Stacey. I think there are a number of varieties of Ice plants, The two main types I have come across so far both have very interesting centers. Their petals are not so open like this very often, I think I got lucky in finding one that was so spread.
      Thank you very much for your feedback and comments, I am happy to hear the image comes across as I hoped.

  5. Ah, the secret life of plants! Beautiful image, I think that the flowers are the best choice for this challenge, they give endless possibilities. I love all the shades of yellow and it really looks like there is some kind of a fairy world in the middle.

    1. Yes, fairies could easily live in the center. I will have to see if I agree about flowers fairing well with this challenge, I have a few ideas but that gets me to week 3…as per usual 🙂 Hence, the challenge! Thank you very much for your feedback and comments, I really appreciate them.

  6. I like picture and the colours, I feel the center is a little soft and lost in the petals, may I suggest an extra bit of sharpening here or if you have Photoshop CC the shake reduction filter to try and tighten it up.

    1. Hi Ben, yes you are right, the exact center of the image is soft. I tried to sharpen it the best I could with the radial filter in LR, but it is still not as sharp as I would like. I don’t have PS…My edits going forward will hopefully take that blemish into account. Thank you for your suggestions, I will continue to try and work on it as the weeks progress 🙂

      1. When sharpening the rule of thumb is, if it is not a little sharp to begin with then it can’t be sharpened. This is especially true with lightroom that uses a mask system; finding slight differences in contrast that makes edges and then increasing that difference. If something is soft the sharpening will just emphasize the softness. 😉

  7. This is a beautiful image, Carrie. I love the detail at the heart of the flower and the softness of the petals. The colours are gorgeous as well. I look forward to your next edit. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Louise. I really like this flower too 🙂 It is fun to work on. I am having a hard time deciding which edit to bring forward for next week…hopefully I’ll make up my mind soon!

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