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.
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I have been trying to go through my images that need more editing than just Lightroom, these are mostly HDR, Stacked or composite images. One of the big challenges I have had recently is taking macro shots with the light not being great and needing to stop down the lens creating a shallower depth of field. This has meant I have had to take a lot of shots of one subject then edit in Photoshop maybe back to Lightroom, instead of just editing in Lightroom. One of the problems I find with stacking is that sometimes when you get home you don’t have the best combination of shots with areas in focus.
The picture for this weeks after before forum explores the issues I have been having.
I had a taken a few shots of this insect with the hope that I could stack them. In fact only two were really working so I used them to create by stacked image.
I added some small details from other exposures; Including a sharper mouth and a small bug that the insect was looking at.
I used content aware fill to fill in the blank areas around the edges.
In Lightroom I made some basic adjustments; I increased the exposure and contrast to make the image pop a bit. I also wanted to protect the highlights and reduced them. I softened the shadows by opening them up and also increased the midtone contrast and the appearance of sharpness.
I played around with the vibrance as well as adjusted the green and yellow saturation separately.
I added a brush adjustment to brighten the back of the insect to add more separation.
Personally I don’t like the picture. It is a good base for a picture but it doesn’t come together in the way that I planned. Really the problem is that I didn’t get enough areas in focus for the stacking, although it looks overall in focus, there are patchy areas out of focus. I think the colours are ok but somewhat watered down.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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