Subscribe & Follow

  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Subscribe via Email
  • Twitter
appreciate the honours but cannot commit to subscibe


Every garden is a chore sometimes, but no real garden is nothing but a chore
-Nancy Grasby

Passing Acquaintance

camellia x williamsii 'senorita'

Adios senorita

Sad to say I’ve literally only had a passing acquaintance with Camellias. My young ‘Senorita’ x williamsii blossomed well in its first year, last  February and then with a re-pot in ericaceous compost gradually faded away, leaf by green leaf over the summer. I suspect I did not water it enough and rainwater is recommended for these lime haters. Since then I’ve considered purchasing a japonica variety but the cost prohibits experimentation, especially without a garden!

I make do instead with appreciating the displays in public gardens and on a clear but temperate winter’s day, the camellias of Kenwood House, Hampstead did not disappoint. Never before have I noticed how they sparkle with winter dew as air condenses on the cold, waxen blooms, glistening like candyfloss threads or crystalline whites.

pink camellias


Reviewing the photos later I was somewhat disappointed to see how a modicum of camera shake combined with a lack of focus had dulled the droplets. But a moment of serendipity with Photoshop brought forth a solution and a totally new understanding and acquaintanceship with the HIGH PASS FILTER.
white camellia & winter dew1. Duplicate the Image Layer

highpass filter white camellia & winter dew2. Click on the duplicated layer and select Filter Menu/Other/High Pass. Setting the radius to 10 pixels is about average and clearly shows the function of the filter as delineating edges with shading (and some ghosting).

highpass filter white camellia centre3. For illustrative purposes, the above high pass filter is confined to the centre square with the opacity set to ‘Overlay’. Enlarge the image to see how the overlaid opacity of the filter only adds  a quiet modicum of depth and clarity between the original and the modifed square.
highpass filter white camellia macroThe High Pass filtered layer can be set to different opacities with  ‘Hard Light’  dramatically increasing the effect. Thus in this macro, the waxen textures are postitively crystalline and the flower anthers crisped and cut.
highpass filter fuchsia bud dropletsThe clarity of the drops on this fuschia bud needed just a slight polish with a 5 pixel High Pass and Soft Light opacity to make them shine.

Relating my new acquaintance with the photoshop High Pass filter is a long-winded way of joining Katarina for this week’s Blooming Friday theme.

Coming Soon to this Blog: Am following the idea of Donna@Gardens Eye View to end by giving notice of forthcoming posts. Here’s a clue:

“I know quite enough of myself”, said Bella, with a charming air of being inclined to give herself up as a bad job, “and I don’t improve upon acquaintance…” Our Mutual Friend

Yes its Dickens’ bicentenary year and I’ll be reacquainting myself with his illustrious descriptions and seeking out the nooks and crannies of London that his characters frequented.

Useful Links:
Sharpen Images in Photoshop with the High Pass Filter
©Copyright 2011 Laura Thomas.
All rights reserved. Content created by Laura Thomas @PatioPatch

24 comments to Passing Acquaintance