Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crop 'Til You Drop

While "progress" continues at Madison Park, we're only a couple weeks away from the fall season. Walking around the pond yesterday, finding interesting subjects to photograph was slim to none. Graceful butterflies, once beautiful, are looking tattered and frayed. The abundant dragonflies of weeks past have dwindled to a sparse few. Still, the pond is calm and serene as it reflects the majestic trees that cling to its banks.


In spite of the arrival of cement trucks, the boardwalk invites us to look closer, listen better, and embrace the last sounds and sights of summer.

Armed with my Nikon D300 and favorite lens (AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm), I managed to catch a few interesting shots. The range of this lens is phenomenal and allows for closeups of subjects that may otherwise be elusive. Here's a butterfly straight-out-of-camera (SOOC).

With a few minor adjustments in Photoshop, here's the same shot...but better.

I adjusted the color, applied a little sharpening, and cropped the image to make the butterfly larger than life.

With very little time to spend editing my photos, my focus (no pun intended) is on getting a good shot that requires minimal touch up.

Although I have Photoshop CS3, I still rely upon Photoshop Elements for quick touch ups. It is less complicated and more intuitive to use than PS CS3.

I almost always auto adjust and sharpen. But I am obsessed with getting the perfect frame, so I crop to bring attention to the subject.


To get a satisfactory result, your subject must be in focus. Ask any professional photographer about which camera produces the best photos, and they will say to put your money in a good quality lens. A great lens and a little cropping will change this...


...to this. Add a little color adjustment, a little sharpening, and the time spent is well worth it. You don't have to be an expert to get acceptable results.

As summer draws to a close and the colors of autumn appear, please share your favorite photos. Send me a comment that links me and my readers to your blog. Show your true colors!
Enjoy the season in all it's beauty...

7 comments:

Deb said...

Outstanding! Simply outstanding. Sadly, I haven't taken many photos other than Jack. Lately, I seem to be focused on people pictures rather than landscapes or scenery. Not to worry, I will get back into the snapping mode soon and wil be eager to share!
thanks for the lovely photos.

scrappysue said...

my wordless wednesday is up. i try and use a macro shot. i SO am getting a macro lens! and god bless photoshop...

Roxanne Schwandt said...

That is so cool! I really enjoy the "before-after" so I can see what you are doing. I just purchased Photoshop Elements, but havn't had much time to play with it. I'm in the process of transferring all my pics from my desktop to my external HD and onto my laptop. Thanks for the tips! I'm going to have to play with my pics this weekend and try to post my attempts...hehe :)

Judyann said...

Hi Debra, as always, great shots. Nice to see the effect that cropping has on the photos. Isn't it fun to see what you get with a little tweaking in PSE?

Janette said...

Gorgeous photos as always. Here I thought you were using a macro lens. That zoom is simply awesome. Great job my friend!

P.S. I did update my blog about the wedding coming up! =)

Pam (Pixie Dust Diva) said...

Beautiful pics - can't wait to see your "fall" photos!

Country Girl said...

i have lens lust. i know i should not covet my neighbor's lens, but i jes can't help it!!!