LOOK Before you Shoot.

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I know. That seems obvious. As a pro, you’d think I’d know better. And yet here I stand… guilty of not looking closely before I took this macro shot on the big island of Hawai’i.

I was in a hurry to get the shot, and I didn’t do what I am always telling my students to do. Just take a moment to look closely! The result? Lots of cloning work in Photoshop that could have been avoided. A few quick strokes with a small brush would have removed all the dust from this little seed pod. Here’s what it looked like before I cloned out the dirt.

Luckily, it didn’t take me long to do the cleanup. I used Photoshop’s Patch and Spot Healing Brush tools to eliminate bits of dust and dirt very quickly. My stylus and Wacom Intuos5 tablet gives me precise control as I’m working, which is invaluable for this kind of correction. I zoom in so that I can see the dirt clearly, and then I can tackle those little nasties one at a time.

It would have been a lot quicker to take care of this in the field. Next time, I’ll remember.

My wise brother says, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes, but even better to learn from the mistakes of others.” Will you learn from mine, and remember to look before you shoot? 🙂

About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.