Editing Techniques: Macro

Since this site has not had any new content in quite some time, I will be posting a series of articles on how I personally edit my photos. Everyone has different methods of editing, I hope this provides some new insight on alternative ways of editing — since I am sure no two people edit in exactly the same ways. Phew, that’s a lot of ‘editing’.

Today, I will be taking a simple macro picture of a jumping spider — his name is Cecil — and showing you how I would go about editing the picture. Here is the picture completely unedited — at any point in time please feel free to click on the pictures for a larger view:

So the first thing I do before I even start editing is look at the picture and mentally note some things I would like to change about the picture. For this particular picture, I don’t like the white balance, the spider’s eyes need to be sharper, and the spiders eyes need to be more reflective. Now that I took that mental note I go about and fix some basic settings in Adobe Lightroom 3.

I slightly changed the temperature and tint, I also boosted brightness and contrast.

Take note that I am working with a RAW file, the settings have been loaded from the RAW file’s information and I only merely adjusted them. I have now taken care of my first objective for this picture. The white balance has been altered to make sure the colors were truer to what I remembered the greens of the flowers being. Next, using Lightroom 3’s new sharpening tool, I sharpen the picture overall.

As you can see, I sharpened alot -- but I always checked to make sure there weren't any artifacts.

Okay, so another step down and one more to go. This last one requires a little bit of  brush tool manipulation. Making the spider’s eyes more reflective will require a measly amount of exposure editing. I opened up the brush tool and set the exposure to around +1. I then brushed over the parts of the spider’s eyes where the white flower was reflecting. This gives the eyes a crisper and clearer look. Check the picture below — the red highlighted areas are where I applied the boost in exposure:
Lightoom’s brush tool is an amazing tool. Use it to enhance your pictures in natural ways. After doing some dust spot removal the picture was finished. I merely added a border in photoshop. Here is a before and after:

And here is a finished product:
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it has provided you with some new insights on how to go about editing certain pictures. Please leave comments with any of your tips or remarks.

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2 responses to “Editing Techniques: Macro

  1. I tend to keep my editing of macro pictures to a minimum but the brush too is something I might want to look in to. Nice shot as well.

    • Thank you! Yes, I completely agree with you. For the most part I would say I try to keep the editing on all of my pictures down, but sometimes that’s not possible. :)

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