Growing up, I thought my only passion was music, any genre of music; at home, at lessons, at school, with friends, in ensembles, large symphonic groups, playing, conducting, teaching, performing.  In 2005, my wife gave a Nikon D50 camera kit to me, which ignited an immediate passion to capture visual beauty.

The realization that I had always been taking in visual beauty as well as sonic beauty was quite a surprise.  I am still totally enthralled with experiencing beauty in either realm, and I have been working to improve my skills in photography.

In my experience, the journey to master photography is like learning to play the piano – it takes many hours to arrive at some sort of mastery level.  The humbling part is that after attaining mastery in music, one must continue to daily practice a minimum of 7 hours per day to remain at the top of their technique.  

Photography appears to have the same sort of continuing demand: mastering the mechanics of the camera, mastering field practice, mastering image capture, and mastering software.  So, photography also fits into my life goal, to help people experience artistic creation; however, in photography I have only begun.

How “Swaddling Petals” came to be.

“Swaddling Petals” © Daniel Johnson

One summer morning a bright gold Julia Child rose was blooming in our backyard. I captured it with a Nikkor 28-300 zoom lens on a Nikon D600 Camera; f-stop was at 5.6 at 1/320 of a second, focal length was at 210 mm, ISO was at 400. No flash or additional lighting was used.  The beauty of the image was simply the almost perfect blossom, so the image was cropped to omit extraneous foliage.  

After going through normal workflow in LR, a challenge of sunlight coming through 3 of the outer leaves became problematic.  Numerous efforts were made to blend the sunlight spots on the petals but failed. I then cropped the image further and transferred it to black and white.  In PS I put the image in Nik Collection Silver Efex 3 and selected the full dynamic – smooth option, then cleaned the interior petal lines of unnecessary pixels. 

This image was part of a 4-image entry group; 3 images merited, and Swaddling Petals was awarded Image Excellence in IPC. The result for the group of four was a ‘Silver Medal’ in 2022 of IPC.  

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