Image Reboot #7

RebootHello there! It’s @desleyjane here 🙂

At the beginning of 2015, Lucile and I discussed the idea of introducing a new feature to the RehabClinic and that is where Image Reboot was born. The idea was for me to share my editing process, initially to rescue a photograph that perhaps didn’t look so good. However, as I’ve experimented in Lightroom, I have really enjoyed creating some extreme edits. For those who have been following along, you know I love macro shots and particularly minimal macro, with a strong white background. I’ve been asked a few times lately how I get this background, so today, for #imagereboot I decided to show you how I usually go about it.

I would love it if you take some of these tips on board and share an image that you’ve rebooted. You can use the tag imagereboot and link back to this post.

A few weeks back, I cut some rosebuds for the weekly photo challenge Trio and kept them in some test tubes that I had in my living room (yes, I’m a scientist, but truthfully, they were from Target and had come full of jellybeans 😜). I quite liked that shape that this rosebud made as it opened so I took a few shots. I chose this shot because it has a few issues and I wanted to show you how I “repair” it. A quick note on my setup – I did this after work one day, so it was after 5:30 with the light fading, so I dragged my little white coffee table over by the window and set the test tubes there. I have white sheer curtains with a large print on them, so that is what’s behind them. Here’s the shot, straight out of the camera:

Original Shot.
Original Shot.
So here’s the process to reboot this image.
  1. Crop, Level and Resize. I haven’t lined up this shot very well, so it needs to be slightly rotated left. I also thought it would look great as a panorama shape, so I resized to 16×9 in my crop.

    Crop, Level and Resize.
    Crop, Level and Resize.
  2. Don’t be afraid of increasing exposure in editing. This is how we get the white background. Basically, I increased the exposure until I removed the background satisfactorily, and was happy with the whiteness. This is a little wishy washy, although it would be great to overlay some text at this point. However, don’t worry! I’ll bring back the flower. This one is at an exposure of +4.10, which is quite high!

    Expose the background.
    Expose the background.
  3. Tone down the effects of the overexposure, by bringing back the shadow detail – you do this by moving the shadow slider down to the left. In this image below, it’s to -75. This brings back some colour but also detail in the petals, while leaving the background that crisp white that I love.

    Tone done the overexposure.
    Tone done the overexposure.
  4. Add contrast and clarity for further detail. Now we bring back the depth in the image by increase contrast (+51) and clarity (+51). I also took out some black level by increasing it (+50) because I think the “dreaminess” of this image calls for a lighter tone.

    Bring back some detail.
    Bring back some detail.
  5. Lower the highlights (-75) to finally clean up any more stark whiteness within the flower (slightly overexposed areas). I also like to adjust the white level at this point, increasing it (+50) to really pack a punch in the final image.

    The Final Product.
    The Final Product.

What do you think?? I would love it if you try these tips for yourself and share your result.

Wishing you all the very best for the holiday season.
x desleyjane

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photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

19 thoughts on “Image Reboot #7

    1. Hi – actually it’s Desley here, guest posting for Lucile’s blog. I’m glad you liked the post and I hope you found it useful if you do decide to get Lightroom. Seasons greetings to you too! 😊

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  1. That was very interesting. Although I have played around with some of those settings in the Mac iPhoto, I didn’t know you could wash out the background to that extent and then bring back the colour of the subject. Thanks for the tip. I wonder, would it work in reverse for a dark background and a white flower? I am thinking of snowdrop photos coming up in a month or so.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Annette. I’m so glad it was useful. Yes it does work in reverse! Depending on the quality of your image but especially good if you have your RAW images to process. Good idea, I’ll do a dark one next time. 😄

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  2. You are a genius at what you do! 🙂
    Are you ever satisfied with a photo just as it comes out of the camera? Or do you enjoy the ‘playing’ too much?
    A very merry Christmas to you and best wishes for 2016.

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    1. Thanks so much Jo! What a wonderful thing to say. Yes there are photos that I’m generally satisfied with but I love taking a photo with a plan for how I want it to look after editing. Thanks again. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. 2016 should be fun!

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  3. Now I’m home I am looking forward to having more time to “play” with Lightroom. Thanks for this tutorial it does look very sophisticated. I also, vaguely, remember a tutorial and information you gave on using a glass table. But, of course I didn’t book mark it. Can you remember what I am thinking of. All I can remember was being impressed with your result.

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    1. I’m glad you found it useful. I checked and I think you are after this one: http://musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.com/2015/06/27/muse-space-place/ … Basically, I use the reflective surface of the table. Try to position the subject so that you don’t get reflections from other objects in the frame. Then when in Lightroom, increase exposure to whiten the glass area, as described in this reboot #7. Let me know if this wasn’t the one you were thinking of? D.

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        1. Ah maybe it was the hibiscus post? Move is going well, I’m moved in but surrounded by boxes. I strained my back on the weekend and am having a lot of trouble moving around at the moment. I think I need to get some physio as it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

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