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Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania (PA), USA

Sometimes, photos that seem incredibly simple at first glance are actually more complicated than you’d think. This shot of tiny flowers looks like a quick shot with a macro lens… but in reality, it posed quite a challenge.

  • Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania (PA), USA

    For Clean Background

  • Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania (PA), USA

    For Sharp Subjects

  • Bending Mask

I encountered the first challenge in the field. These tiny moss flowers were growing on an old log in the forest, and I had a hard time isolating them from their surroundings – even with the help of a narrow depth of field. A very shallow DOF sacrificed too much sharpness on the flowers themselves… but too much DOF left the background full of distracting details. So, I decided to take both shots and combine them later in Photoshop. I used layers and masks to blend the two photos.

  • Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania (PA), USA

    Color Balanced for Highlights

  • Color Balance Mask

    Photoshop Layer Structure

Then came the next challenge. The highlights contained a subtle blue color cast. I went back to Camera RAW and reprocessed one of the photos using a slightly different color balance – and then added that version of the photo to my layers. I used a mask to replace the highlight areas and fix the color cast.

Clone Layer

This left me with one final challenge – eliminating a few distracting elements in the background. I copied and merged my layers to create a new layer. I used the clone tool to clean up the distractions, and then I cropped the image to my liking.

About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.
Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams