Enhance Composition and Aesthetics in Your Macro Photograph

In macro and close-up photography, your subject is often very obvious, since the camera is so close to it and it’s often represented largely in your frame. Even so, you can improve its presence and lead viewers to the specific details you find interesting or relevant to your message by performing some basic photo-editing techniques.

You always need to consider good composition when setting up and taking a photograph. Even after you compose your image and capture the shot successfully, you can apply postproduction techniques to further improve the aesthetics of your composition and strengthen your message.

The Curves tool can be used to manipulate contrast in a scene. By creating the Curve on its own layer and applying a layer mask to it, you can specify which areas of the image are affected by the curve and which are not.

White areas on a layer mask tell the Curve tool where to affect the image, and black areas tell it where not to affect the image. You can create the white and black areas by painting on the layer mask with the brush tool or by filling in areas of the mask with the gradient tool or paint bucket.

By creating more contrast in the subject’s surrounding area, you can draw viewers into that space in your frame. This helps to reinforce what your subject is and guide them to it.

In this photograph, an original image appears next to one that has been altered to draw more attention to the subject. This technique also enables you to remove contrast from areas that you feel are distracting or unpleasing.

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100mm, 1/250, f/8, 400

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