Enhancing Your Macro and Close-Up Images in Postproduction

Part of the Digital Macro & Close-Up Photography For Dummies Cheat Sheet

All is not lost if you don't get the perfect shot. Postproduction photo-editing software enables you to enhance your macro and close-up digital images, as well as to correct minor mistakes that took place while shooting. By learning how to use this type of program, you can make your images pop and achieve technical perfection.

  • Sharpening an image in postproduction helps to create crisper edges and can be used to enhance an already sharp image or to fix an image that was taken slightly out of focus. (This tool isn't a miracle worker, so remember that it's always better to capture an image in sharp focus than to rely on postproduction sharpening.) Be careful not to over-sharpen an image, which causes a halo to appear around your edges — a sure sign to viewers that you've used the sharpen tool.

  • Adjust your exposure by brightening or darkening an image in postproduction. You can make small adjustments or correct an exposure mishap. But, like most postproduction techniques, adjusting the exposure too much can cause a major loss of quality in images and can appear obvious to viewers. You can use a curves adjustment to adjust exposure in certain areas without affecting others. For instance, if your highlights look great, but your shadows appear too dark, raise the shadow area of the curve, keeping the highlight area as-is. Doing so brightens your shadows without affecting your highlights.

  • Retouch flaws to eliminate distractions. When your focal point is very close to the lens (specifically, if you're using a small aperture for a great depth of field) the dust on your lens often shows up clearly in your photograph. Any sort of dust, scratches, unwanted hot spots, or shadows can draw a viewer's eye away from your subject or make an image appear polluted. Most photo-editing software programs offer a variety of tools that enable you to spot, clone, or retouch an image. Use these tools to eliminate flaws and distractions so that you draw your viewers to the subject.

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Digital Macro & Close-Up Photography For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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