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Angelic lilies by Celeste Mookherjee

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These tall water lilies were growing in a perfect location for photography: a raised decorative pond at Mission San Juan Capistrano (California, USA). There was one little problem, however: the angelic white flowers were pointed straight up at the sun, almost directly overhead. This can be a recipe for blown-out highlights, which I managed to avoid only by watching my camera’s histogram. Even so, the white flowers seemed too starkly bright against the dark background. I compressed the tonal range a little by using some subtle textures overall and applying the Orton effect primarily to the flowers to achieve a glow. Best viewed LARGE! (Olympus E-300 & Zuiko 35mm macro, f/8, 1/100 sec., ISO 100, midday sun, handheld) Textures used are “Esprit” from the Artiste Collection and “Creation” from the Tableaux Collection at Leslie Nicole’s French Kiss Textures.

RedBubble Explore – Featured Photography (January 2014)

Featured in RedBubble Explore, 7 Day Popular Art, Design & Photography (November 2012)

Top 10 in “You Choose” challenge in All Glorious Lilies (January 2013)

Top 10 in “Shapes & Patterns in Orton Effect” challenge in Shapes and Patterns group (November 2012)

Featured in All Glorious Lilies (17 December 2012)

Featured in The Best of RedBubble (14 November 2012)

Featured in Peace, Love & Tranquility (12 November 2012)

Featured in The Woman Photographer (12 November 2012)

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Passionate about photography, especially nature subjects!

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My work is NOT in the Public Domain. My work is protected under U.S. and International Copyright and may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, edited, altered, published, distributed, or transmitted via any medium without my express written permission IN ADVANCE. Please do NOT pin my work on Pinterest. All images are copyright ©2004-2015, Celeste Mookherjee, all rights reserved.

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  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...over 2 years ago

  • AngieDavies
    AngieDaviesover 2 years ago

    Beautiful image and processing! Nice effects!

  • Thanks very much, Angie! I appreciate your lovely comment and fave.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Christine Annas
    Christine Annasover 2 years ago

    Very nicely done, Celeste. I love everything about this! The lilies look like torch lights reflecting on the dark water. I think this is one of your prettiest compositions yet.

  • Thank you, Chris! This is an archived image that I reworked for RB, particularly embracing a lot stronger Orton effect than I was comfortable with originally. I’m delighted that you had such a positive reaction to my results!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Emma Holmes
    Emma Holmesover 2 years ago


  • Thank you very much, Emma!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Maisie Sinclair
    Maisie Sinclairover 2 years ago

    This is gorgeous!

  • Thank you very much, Maisie!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Bette Devine
    Bette Devineover 2 years ago

    All that thought paid off, indeed. I love the way the lilies look like ethereal lamps.

  • Thanks very much, Bette. I often learn from going back to an older image and trying again.

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • KatMagic Photography
    KatMagic Photo...over 2 years ago

    Hi Celeste, I think Christine said it very well. Those lovely water lilies do, indeed, look like tiny little torch lights. Absolutely stunning.

  • Thanks for the great comment, Katherine! The Orton effect (which I very seldom use) has a lot to do with the “torch light” look. I’m glad you like the way it looks!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelover 2 years ago

    soooo beautiful !!!!!

  • Thanks very much, Angel!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • John Rivera
    John Riveraover 2 years ago

    Wow! You have done some beautiful work with these lilies! Love it!
    An instant favorite!!

  • Thank you, John, I appreciate your kind comment and fave!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

  • Glenn Cecero
    Glenn Ceceroover 2 years ago

    An image full of interest and beauty!

  • Hi Glenn, thanks for the great comment!

    – Celeste Mookherjee

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