Before and After Forum; Macro Spider

The Before and After forum is organised by Stacy Fischer, it is a place where amateurs as well as seasoned photographers explain the wow and how about their photo and editing decision.You can read more here about how to take part.

For the last few weeks on my before and after forum posts I have been sharing a lot of Photoshop workflows. Not all images need to be edited in complicated processes using multiple layers and masks, sometimes the  basic processing of a raw file is enough.

Benjamin Rowe Before and after forum wk 18 Before
The image I am editing today is a macro shot of an orb spider. This spider was huge about an inch in length (the body) and to get him to fill the frame I used  a 50mm lens with 65mm extension tubes with a ttl flash attached with a home made defuser.


In the bottom right corner the highlights were blown out and this was really distracting. The first thing I did was use the gradient tool to bring back some of that detail and add balance to the image. I  also set the black point as well, so I could judge the contrast of the image before continuing.


I then made some basic changes to the image; setting the colour profile to “landscape” to bring out the greens in the background and boost the orange and yellows in the spider. I checked the boxes in lens correction and reduce the noise as well as applying basic capture sharpening.


I then choose my kodachrome 25 preset to get some nice colours in the image especially the orange in the spider itself, as well as reducing the highlights some more, this time globally.


I wanted to lift the shadows but only in the spider and did this using an adjustment brush.


I cleaned the image using the spot removal tool and made a final local adjustment lighting one of the spiders eyes.

Macro Spider

This image didn’t need anything extra special from Photoshop as the subject is fascinating in itself, some basic adjustments to boost the image is all that was needed.

Remember to head over to Stacy’s Blog and check out all the others participating in the forum today.

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8 thoughts on “Before and After Forum; Macro Spider

  1. Okay, Ben, I came and read and survived the screen shots 😉 You mentioned setting the color profile to “landscape,” which before this week, I would not have known what you meant. But just took a LR course this weekend and, lo and behold, never knew those adjustments were there!! Amazing the difference they can make. I still need to play around with them to understand exactly what each does, but too funny that you should mention it right after I learned about it.

    Anyway, I digress. You really did do a nice job on the image, with minimal adjustments. That’s the great thing when you get a nice shot to begin with – it doesn’t take much to get it to where you want it to be. Thanks, as always, for being a loyal participant in ABFriday!

    • Profiles are really interesting, I generally stick with the camera ones but I have read about creating your own. My camera allows me to create my own, so I could create a cross processing profile or lo-fi for example. I should experiment.
      Minimal editing is totally the best thing in the world but your right you need a good shot to begin with.

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