Following on from the pleasing results of my macro flower experimentation a few weeks back, I decided to head out into the garden to capture the emerging crocuses bringing the first burst of colour to the garden. The difficulty in shooting in the garden is isolating the flower from the background which can tend to be messy with fences and other plants. To get this shot I had to mount the central column of my tripod upside down to enable the camera to sit a inch or so off the grass to get down level with the flower. This meant the camera was actually upside down and the first task in post was to rotate the image back through 180 degrees. I used a very shallow depth of field to blur the background but shot at a few different f-stops from f/4 up to f/11 to try and get the balance between the sharpness of the flower and the out-of-focus background. I really liked the dreamy feel the f/4 image gave me but I was a little concerned over the sharpness of the stem which rapidly fell out of focus. My next apperture at f/6.3 had the sharpness in the stem, but a a line from the fence started to appear as a thick blurry dark line. I decided to bring both images into photoshop as layers on a single image. With the f/4 on the bottom and f/6.3 on the top, I applied a black layer mask and used a soft brush at very low opacity to bring in the stem from the f/6.3 image. In the end it only required a few brush strokes at 10% opacity to get the look I was after. The remainder of the processing including the toning was finished off in lightroom.