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Friday Slide Show: Basil Revived Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

30 October 2020

Fresh basil and parsley are right on the kitchen window ledge, the finishing touches for our culinary adventures. The parsley has garnished many a pasta sauce, garlic-and-clam pizza and pan fried fish while the basil gets star billing in marinara sauces, caprese salads and shrimp pastas.

We are a bit too tasked, shall we say, to religiously tend to herbs in the garden. So we buy our parsley weekly at the market, cut off the bottom of the stems and keep them in a glass of water we refresh every day.

The basil we prefer to buy at the market growing in pots that vary in size. But those pots are all too small. Before you know it, the plants become root bound, grow thin leaves that turn yellow and die.

But you don't have to buy another pot of basil.

All you have to do is replant the basil before it gets sickly. In a bigger pot with potting soil. We move ours outdoors (big pot) but there's no reason not to keep it in the kitchen.

The plant we photographed this week has revived so well we want to call it a resurrection. The leaves are big and bold and healthy. Bigger than they ever were in the little pot, in fact, even when we first brought it home.

We are not a gardener by any means.

We were so happy with the results of our transplant that we couldn't help but take a few photos of the transformation. Midrange and macro.

We did it at the end of the day when the garden was in shade. And we underexposed by two stops. By mistake. So we reset the exposure and took well-exposed images. Also a mistake.

So these images are from both sets.

There was something luscious about the underexposures. And since they were all Raw files, we had the exposure latitude we needed to recover from out mistakes. In fact, just as we increased the exposure of the underexposed images in Lightroom, we decreased it for the properly exposed images.

We can't see the difference.

To avoid going blind with green images, we took a few macros of a popcorn rose that has bloomed all year. Years ago it was uprooted from its pot and left for dead on top of the compost pile. We rescued it, planted it in soil and nursed it back to bloom.

We are not a gardener by any means. But even an old sod like us can encourage something to grow in dirt with a little water.

We photographed the basil with an Olympus E-PL1 and 14-42mm II R kit lens but we also used a +4 and a +10 Lensbaby macro converter with it. We thought we'd use the macros of the rose to separate the three sets of basil images.

It's hard to say how to approach these images. On the one hand, they are faithful depictions of robust basil leaves. On the other, they are rather sensuous in their intimacy. And as a series, they are somewhat abstract.

Where would you take it from here? we asked ourselves after this edit.

We tried a few things -- monochrome and Lightroom's new Color Grading -- before we went to bed to sleep on it.

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