@Uncle Frank Here's my slide copying setup. The A4 light table (LED, ~¥2000) is on a couple tissue boxes to raise it slightly, and each side of the slides is some thin cardboard to both hold them in place a little and to mask off the bright light table on each side, so that the camera's meter only/mostly reads the light thru the slide itself. Macro lens, and distance to the slide is a few centimeters over its minimum focus distance. I stop it down to f11 for good depth of field, but that means slow shutter speeds--so an electronic 'cable release' for the shutter to the right, which keeps things steady.
Following what I've read online, I turn the emulsion side up (it's less shiny than the other side, and is what you really are trying to get a picture of). That does result in an in-camera picture that I then have to flip in the computer (so that any words read right, and vehicles drive on the proper sides of roads).
My macro lens doesn't get to 1:1, so another repetitive task on the computer is cropping each shot down. Also, I'm not too careful at this point about squaring things up, so rotating the image on the computer is another step.
Adjustments then depend on many factors. The best slides just need a bit of white balance correction. Some others that have exposure issues take more work.
On the table to be copied you can see two shots (slides) of a young girl at a door--the result of that is the next pic, below. (And at this point, I've left a bit of the slide mount in the pic as a border. Final editing will crop that down more.
I bought this rig almost 2 years ago and I have never even plugged it in. When I found almost all my Japan slides had come out of their cardboard holders and fallen to the bottom of the storage boxes I got discouraged and gave up on scanning them. I had a rig about the same 10 years ago and it gives good quality pictures after you Photoshop them a bit. One of these days I will get the energy to start scanning them , hopefully before I kick the bucket , LOL.
I have a Nikon Coolpix P80 that I've taken about 25 pictures with about 5 years ago and it has set on the shelf unused since. I got my first camera around 1957 and have a closet stuffed full of boxes of old black & white photos that should be scanned. If I don't get off my butt , they will probably all in up on the dump some day. I may just take them to a company that does scanning and pay to have it done. I have become a slug in my old age.
I saw some stems up today, with only a hint of buds/blooms--maybe another week here.
The name 彼岸花 is also related to being called the equinox flower (also called a spider lily). Which is a kind of amaryllis, or close. Also supposedly poisonous to things like rats, so nice to have around some fields.
@thomas -- thanks. I won't repost, but reset everything and started over, using increased contrast as you suggest, and got what seems to be a better result. I'll have to look at that for another day or two, and may try again, again, but using contrast will likely remain a part of the blend.