The After and Before 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.
It is just a few days until Christmas and this is the last After and Before Forum of the year. It’s ok, we will all be back after New Year with new weekly posts showing how we get the wow in out photos.
This week I have decided not to edit more pictures of cold barren winter landscapes, instead something harking back to summer. Taken in the botanical gardens I used my 50mm lens with 50mm extension tube to get in close to the butterfly. My ISO was set to 250 the same as my shutter speed with my aperture at f/16. Since it was really bright I didn’t use my flash to fill in and that is one of the drawbacks of this shot, it is a bit under exposed.
In Lightroom, I first tweaked the exposure to create a slightly more balanced exposure and adjusted the shadows to bring out more detail. I lowered the white point to stop any clipping in the background and I also added a bit of contrast to give a it a bit of a punch.
Next I used the curves to continue the overall tonal adjustment. I locked in the darkest shadows and moved the middle of the curves to brighten the midtones as well as moving the highlights up as well. The idea of this was to brighten the image without sacrificing the shadows.
Next came colour toning using the selective tool I raised the saturation of prominent colours; like the purple in the flowers, the orange on the butterfly and the green in the background.
Now came the more mundane side of editing, I selected the automatic lens correction to fix any distortion created by the lens. I also sharpened the image and reduced the noise.
Although overall the picture was looking ok the details were not popping in the butterfly’s wing. I used the elliptical adjustment tool and increased the clarity as well as the contrast and later raised the shadows.
I went back to my basic adjustments and tweaked them all slightly.
Although the composition was ok I wanted a tighter crop and cropped the image to the ratio 4×5. I placed the butterfly in the right two thirds of the picture with the head in the bottom right of the centre third.
Although I like the edit I still think there is something lacking in the picture, something is missing.
I would be really interested in what you think, drop me a message in the comment box below.
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If you wish to get notifications when I post on my blog, you can follow me on Twitter@apertureF64, on Facebook.com/aperturesixtyfour or alternatively be emailed by subscribing below. All images are the Copyright of Benjamin Rowe , ALL RIGHTS Reserved unless credited to another photographer. For more information please read my Copyright Statement