Look at the surroundings? In the top image I used the traditional burn tool to darken the background which was in the sun, and was distracting. Then I included the flowers at the bottom and sides. We see the context, and are vaguely aware of the far distant background. Compare this with the black surround in the photograph below. In that case I used a tiny black brush, maybe 3 pixels in size, to remove the tiny flowers that were cut off, cut in half, stems that were cut in half or otherwise not whole. I have done this many times, especially effective around the pink lilies which have an "S" curve as they float in the water. There is a stubborn, unruly yellow lily who insists on her place in the pool of pink lilies. You can see that photograph in the flowers gallery of the website. It worked well, there. Why?
But what do you think about this case? I think that in spite of all the work in creating the black surround, the top image works better.
This photograph was taken with no wind. I created a series of photographs because I intended to "focus-stack" them in Photoshop CS6. Therefore....... using a tripod.... I created several photographs at f.14, focusing on the flowers in the immediate foreground, then the flowers a foot farther away from the camera, then another photograph focused a foot farther away from the camera, then another foot and another to the tree itself. In Bridge, one chooses the six images, goes to "Tool," clicks and goes down to "open in layers in Photoshop." Now go to Photoshop and when they have opened on top of each other in one file, click on the eyeball of each until to get to the bottom of the first. This makes all invisible until you get to the first image. Then click to make visible, the one above. Does it add or take away or add nothing? Delete it if it does not add depth and focus which the one below does not have. Click and make visible the next higher one. Same questions. Delete what does not add deeper focus.
When this is done, select all. Go to "Edit" and click, going down to "align" and click OK. Then go back to "
Edit" and click, going down to "Blend." and click OK. This puts them together. If there is fuzziness, that is because that flower or whatever, was not aligned because it was probably blown in a breeze. If everybody was still for all the photographs, then everything is in focus. Go the "layers" click and go down to merge layers and merge'em. Quite a wonderful tool. This was accomplished in the film days by using a view camera. So these tools in Photoshop CS6 accomplish the same result as an obsolete camera.
Too much of a good thing? Yep, I have to say, I over-did it. A friend used to say, "We get into trouble not because of our weaknesses, but because we over-do our strengths."
I like the photograph on the bottom, nevertheless, because she is one of my "children." It's very personal, just as photography is usually personal and intimate, by its very nature. That's why it helps so much, to have a kind and thoughtful set of friends to look at our work, and comment, with kindness, sometimes struggling to find the words to do so. When I see them struggling to find the words, I usually know already that I've overdone something. But keep some children, and let others find their own way in the world--they go could into the world of delete or into the world of file 13. And then move on.