Photography by Thomas Christensen

homeward bound




Bouquets to Art

Bouquets to Art is an annual event hosted by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in which florists, designers, and garden clubs create floral designs inspired by objects in the museum's collection.

The Photography

Most of the photos were taken in the dim light typical of museums that exhibit light-sensitive objects. I used a hand-held Canon A620 camera with no flash. No exif (exposure) data is shown here, but because of the dim lighting, nearly all of the photos were shot with wide-open aperture at the widest angle possible to maximize light.

Image Processing

Because I was preparing a large number of images, I employed a consistent work flow designed to correct the underexposed images, detailed below. Except for step 1 (rotation), all of the adjustments were made nondestructively, through Photoshop adjustment layers, without touching the original image. (A few of the exposures of the images shown here went beyond my handheld steadiness theshold but I left them in because I liked the flowers.) The process:

1. Rotate (if necessary)
2. Normalize histogram with levels adjustment layer
3. Correct tonal range with curves adjustment layer (setting dark areas first and then midtones/highlights)
4. Bumb up color about 10 percent with a hue/saturation adjustment layer
5. Sharpen by copying background layer, moving new layer to top of stack, running radius 10 high-pass filter in overlay mode at 65% transparency. (This method is less destructive and more flexible than using Photoshop's built-in sharpening tools.)












top of page
home | copyright © Thomas Christensen, 2006, 2009