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.
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.
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.
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.