I downloaded and installed the Lightroom 5 Beta yesterday. I went into my backup drive and found this image I had originally rejected as not sharp enough to my standards. I love the background in this image. Using the new Radial Filter in the beta and some new things I’ve learned about sharpening, I feel good about sharing this with you. Below is the original image without adjustments.
05/21/2013 Daily Photo-Piano Key Butterfly
05/18/2013 Daily Photo-Banded Blue Morpho
I went back into some pictures I took the first day I got my Canon 5D Mark II. I was so excited that day, I went straight from Best Buy to Butterfly World without a stop in between. That’s right, I unboxed, put in the memory card in the store, and went shooting.
I got some great shots that afternoon. These butterflies are not easy to capture wings open. They usually rest with the wings in closed position. I processed this image in Lightroom 4.4 the other night . The new Clarity and Sharpening brushes work really well at bring out lots of detail without creating halos or artifacts.
05/17/2013 Daily Photo-Soft Flower Image
I was digging around in my archives tonight when I came across this flower image. I took this image over a year ago, shortly after getting my Canon 100mm f2.8 lens. I was experimenting with different settings on flower shots, some on tripod, some handheld.
This one was taken at f2.8. I shot with the aperture wide open to get a soft effect. I like the glow of the petals, like a white sheen surrounding the green center of the flower.
I decided tonight that I wanted the center to be sharper and have more softness in the petals. So I opened my RAW image straight from Lightroom 4.4 into Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4. There I was able to isolate the center with what’s called a control point. It allows me to specify where the effects of the filter are going to be. So I applied Detail Extractor and Pro Contrast filters to the center, after using Glamour Glow Filter on the petals to make them softer.
I saved the image back into Lightroom and exported it as a JPEG to share with you here. Hope you enjoy it.
05/16/2013 Daily Photo-Dragonfly Close Macro
I lost my insect ID book and can’t remember the name for this fellow. They are quite common here in South Florida, and swarm the Fern Forest Nature Center here in Coconut Creek. I used the new Topaz Clarity plug-in (I’m an affiliate Beta tester for them) as well as the Smart Sharpen tool in Photoshop CS6 to process these images. I have always been fascinated by their compound eyes….
05/15/2013 Daily Photo-Painted Tiger Longwing
I’m excited about my recent upgrade to Photoshop CS 6. It’s definitely faster than the CS5 version and has some neat features. One of my favorite is the Oil Paint filter.
I’d seen what some photographers were doing with this filter on their nature photos, and it was one of the deciding factors in making this upgrade. It looks great on birds, and as I’m discovering in my experiments, it works well on butterflies.
I usually like to create an inverted mask in Photoshop and paint just on specific parts of the image, like wings or feathers. This image was very pleasing to me with the filter applied to the entire picture. I finished it with Pro Contrast filter in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4.