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

Photo101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot 5


Welcome to the fifth instalment of our Image Reboot – in partnership with Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic. You can find the previous ones by searching for #imagereboot in the Reader.

As enthusiastic photography enthusiasts, we wanted to include some editing techniques here – I installed Lightroom about a year ago and have taught myself the basics of photo editing, really just using trial and error in the beginning to see what worked and what didn’t. Then I did a lot of reading and have managed to make some good edits as a result.

Before we get started, take a look at some of the cool image rebooting that others have done over the last month:

Thanks so much for participating, some great drama created here 🙂

Now onto this month’s reboot. I took this photo on my lunch break while at work in Cambridge (a week-long conference). It was a really busy day and there was a lot of noise and I really needed to escape for a few minutes. So, I took my camera and dashed outside to photograph these flowers – I thought they were really pretty as I stood under the tree looking straight up at them. It was an overcast day, not especially good light, but it was great to get away for a few minutes.

The photos were nice, but didn’t seem to be quite what I wanted and I went back inside. I processed them as I usually would and was reasonably happy with the result. However, when I was looking for a new photo for Image Reboot, I went back and tried some more of the extreme editing that I had mentioned in the last Reboot.

Here is the original, unedited photo:Pink Flower - before-1

To do some “extreme editing”, here is my process:

  • Since I shoot in RAW, I applied noise reduction and camera correction first
  • Next I cropped the image to remove the building on the right and the extra piece of plant on the left
  • I wanted a clean background so I increased the exposure substantially, to +2.15
  • I then decreased contrast to -25 which brought out a little more detail in the flowers
  • For a little more detail, I brought the highlights down to -25
  • I then increased the shadows level to +24
  • To really whiten the background, I increased the white level to +92
  • And to bring out the image details, I moved the black level to -59
  • To sharpen up the image a little, I increased clarity to +37
  • Finally, to add some colour, I increased vibrance to +81 and saturation to +51

Here’s my edited image. I’m really happy with the result and it’s become my desktop image on my Mac. I really love it.Pink Flower - after-1

I hope you like this image as much as I do. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. I’ve done a black and white version and a more natural version as well, which I also like, but I’m a bit of a fan of this cleaner and more extreme image.

If you’d like to get involved, please feel free to do your own Image Reboot and link back to this post (#imagereboot). Alternatively, I can give you a copy of the image so that you can try the editing yourself.

Now, I promised to give you some hints and tricks on getting started with Lightroom as well. I started to write this for you but found that someone else has already done a fantastic job of showing you how to get started in Lightroom – you can find all the information at this link here. If you have any questions at all about what you read there, feel free to ask me for help.

Happy Editing!!
x desleyjane –


Photo101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #4


I’m happy to be back for the 4th Image Reboot, where we share some photo editing techniques to rescue or enhance an ordinary photograph. You can find the previous posts by searched for #imagereboot in the Reader.

I’ve had some people ask about some hints and tips around getting started with Lightroom – importing and cataloguing etc, so I will do that in Image Reboot #5 in August.

This month, I’m taking a photo from my back garden. I really like this plant, actually it belongs to my neighbour but it hangs over my fence slightly. We had one of these when I was growing up. The fine, feather pink petals close up overnight. I was quite taken with the water droplet on the petals but as you can see below, it doesn’t look so great on camera.

Spiky Pink Plant_before-1

Here’s where some editing comes in!

  • In Lightroom, I have a Noise Reduction and Camera Correction preset which I applied.
  • I played around with cropping the image and went very harsh on the final crop, focussing on the one flower.
  • Decreased exposure slightly to -0.45 to add a little drama (you know me!)
  • Increase contrast to +52
  • Brought down the highlights to -69 to dampen some of the brightness of the light behind the tree
  • Increased shadows to +57 and whites to +61 to lighten up the plant itself
  • Decreased blacks to -58 and increased clarity to +75 to sharpen the plant and add to the high contrast of the image and enhance those water droplets

Spiky Pink Plant_after-1


I’m happy with the final image and really love those water droplets.

What do you think? Have you tried something like this before or do you have a photo that you could try some image-reboot-editing to and share with us? If so, take your post #imagereboot and pop your link in the comments section.

x desleyjane


Photo101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #3

Reboot Welcome again to Image Reboot, a joint feature between Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab (bridging lacunas) and myself (musings of a frequent flying scientist). Lucile asked me if I would write a monthly feature outlining what I’ve learnt about editing my photographs and I was honoured to do so. I use LightRoom 5, I need to upgrade to version 6 soon. I’ve taught myself as I go, just working out what looks good through trial and error. There’s a lot more for me to learn and I’m looking forward to doing that one day when I have time. Lucile presented a brilliant reboot last month, where she rescued an image that was overexposed, here is a little preview, but pop by and read about what she did.

Now, on to this month’s image. In the first two Image Reboot posts (ImageReboot#1 and ImageReboot#2), I did some quite extreme edits, pushing the boundaries of exposure, contrast and black and white levels. This month, I wanted to do something a little more mainstream, something that I hope you will find useful. Here’s my original image, straight from the camera: 201506_ImageReboot_original-1 It was taken in the evening at Bondi Beach in Sydney, it was quite dark and while I used manual settings for aperture (f/4.0), shutter speed (1/5s) and ISO (800), I let the camera decide the White Balance (which I usually do). I find the image to be quite muted. Obviously my levelling was bad – I think I was composing for the land, but completely ignored the horizon. So I knew I would have to correct the horizon by straightening the image. So here’s the process I went through:

  • import into LightRoom with my preset (noise reduction and lens correction)
  • I then straightened the horizon and cropped slightly because the guy sitting down on the left was cut in half by the lens correction
  • next, i increased exposure just slightly (+0.2) to brighten the image a little, make it less muted
  • I then increased the contrast (+26) and highlights (+26) to sharpen up the colours
  • I decreased shadows (-26) which means that the shadows become a little darker – I find that this helps with creating a more contrasted image
  • To complete the level contrast, I increased the white level (+25) and decreased the black level (-27) then boosted clarity (+24)
  • Finally, something we haven’t talked about before is adjusting the white balance. The camera white balance was set to auto and this usually works pretty well, but since it was quite dark, it seems to have taken the colours more towards blue and I think that’s what has contributed to the overall “muted-ness” of the image. So, I increased the temperature (+5) and increased the tint (7.4k). These numbers don’t tell us much, but in the white balance adjustment area, the sliders are coloured. Temperature is coloured blue through to orange – which equates to cool through to warm.
  • I wanted to reduce the amount of blue, so I warmed up the image by moving it towards orange. You get immediate feedback on the image itself, so you can easily see where to stop.
  • The tint slider is coloured green through pink. Once I’d removed some of the blue in the step above, I noticed that the image was still a little green, so a very small adjustment towards the pink end of the slider gave me the result I wanted.

Here is my final image: 201506_ImageReboot_Edit-1 Finally, I thought I would show you how I would then convert to black and white. It’s not necessarily as straightforward as clicking the “black and white” button. It can be, but I find that black and white images do well with a little more boosting to contrast and clarity. Here’s what I did:

  • convert to black and white
  • decreased the contrast (-22) – this actually brings out more detail in the buildings
  • I pushed the clarity all the way up (+100) to provide more crispness to the details in those buildings
  • I pulled down the black levels (-75), white levels (-27), shadows (-46) and upped the highlights (+54) which all served to give the image some contrast – separating the black and white parts
  • The image ended up a little dark at this point, so I increased exposure (+0.8)
  • I felt like this image would look good in a panoramic crop so I cropped to 16:9 – this let me put the seated guy back in the image on the far left 😉

Here it is! What do you think? 201506_ImageReboot_Edit-2 There’s something about black and white beach scenes. I love them in colour, and usually they look amazing in colour, but the serenity of a black and white beach scene really makes me happy. Anyway, that’s it for this month. We’d love to hear back from you. If you’d like to have a go at this yourself, that would be great. I can share the image with you, or you can use your own image. If you do, please tag your post with imagereboot and link back to this post. x desleyjane

Photo101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #2


Welcome to the second instalment of our Image Reboot – in partnership with Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic. You can find the first one here. As enthusiastic photography enthusiasts, we wanted to include some editing techniques here – I am just an amateur, having installed Lightroom about 6 months ago and have taught myself the basics of photo editing, really just using trial and error in the beginning to see what worked and what didn’t. Then I did a lot of reading and have managed to make some good edits as a result.

These two photos were taken in a hotel room in Melbourne. I was trying to come up with a “Guessing Game” photo for Justine’s Eclectic Corner. This plant was on the windowsill, so I took a few photos with the macro lens. I didn’t end up using the photos for the “Guessing Game” and so the photos have stayed hidden in my files until now.

I wouldn’t say these photos were “lost” but they didn’t seem all that inspiring until I started developing them in Lightroom.

For this first high contrast close-up, here is my process:

  • increase exposure (+0.2)
  • increased contrast (+25)
  • I wanted to whiten the background, so I increase the highlights (+30) and the whites (+85). This really opened up the image for me.
  • To help increase the contrast of the colour from the white background, I decreased the shadows (-19) and the black level (-62).
  • A final boost to the clarity (+42) finished it off for me.

For this second photo, I wanted to continue with the high contrast theme, but thought it might be a more appealing image in black and white. Here is my process:

  • I started by cropping out the parts of the plant at the top of the image and also rotating the image just slightly.
  • To whiten the image, I increased the whites (+88) and brought the exposure down a little (-0.4). This worked better to keep the detail in the little fibres on the plant. If I increased the exposure (as I did in the first image), then I overexposed those fibres and lost them. The sliders in Lightroom really help with immediate feedback on the image.
  • Next, I decreased the highlights a little (-14) and, to bring out some detail, I increased shadows (+22).
  • Finally, two things to heighten that contrast between black and white – I pulled down the black level (-47) and increased clarity (+84).

I’ve learnt not to be afraid of taking some of the settings to the extreme – extreme white, extreme contrast, these can make for some really cool images.

Please let me know what you think. As before, if you’d like to try your hand at editing these images, let me know and I can send you a copy, or you can just copy it yourself from this post. If you want to create a new post with your results, it would be great if you could link it back to Image Reboot and tag your post with #imagereboot. I’ve edited RAW images here in Lightroom, but you can use quite similar techniques in most software packages, you can also use standard JPG files.

x desleyjane

Photo 101 Rehab Hosts: Image Reboot #1


Welcome to the first instalment of Image Reboot – a monthly feature partnering with Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic, and designed to give you some insight into how I go about editing photos in Lightroom. I am, by no means, an expert and I have taught myself how to use it, which means I am still learning all the time! There is so much more to learn and I’ll share it with you as I learn.

I particularly enjoy editing when I think a photo isn’t going to make it. I thought these photos were lost. I was under the Shorncliffe pier (north of Brisbane), taking photos of the light coming through the broken-down pylons. The view down the long line of timber overhead was quite intriguing, so I took a few photos but it was quite difficult to shoot handheld in such low light.

Here’s where the power of editing comes in to save the day. In these two sets of photos below, the Original image is on the left, and my Edited images are on the right.

I edited the photos in Lightroom, so now I’ll walk you through my process:

  • I began with the lens corrections which remove any distortions.
  • I then increased the exposure to brighten the whole image so that I could see what I was working with, and cropped in to provide some interest.
  • Next, I increased the contrast to +75, quite high, to provide some sharpness to the image.
  • In the Details window of Lightroom, I also did some Noise Reduction using the Luminance Smoothing sliders.
  • Finally was Highlights, Shadows, White Clipping and Black Clipping. When you move these sliders, the feedback on the image is immediate so that you can get an idea of how the changes will affect the image.
  • I find in images that have needed increased exposure, you need to bring the Highlights down, however in this case, I have actually increased them to +32 because I like the glow that emanates from the opening in the distance.
  • I have decreased the Shadows just barely (-4) to give me a little more detail.
  • The same with Black Clipping – I’ve raised the value slightly to +36 to increase the detail, but I have decreased the Whites all the way to -100 to downplay the exposure level of the “light at the end of the tunnel”.

I’m quite happy with the results. What do you think? If you are new to photo editing, you could try this for yourself – just copy my original photo and import it into your editing software and follow along the process. If you’d like a copy of the original photo, I’d be happy to share it with you, just let me know. While I’ve used Lightroom, most editing software has similar sliders and controls that you can use – even the Photos app on the iPhone has most of these settings. Please let me know if you try it out or why not do a post of your own and link back to Image Reboot?! And you can add the tag #imagereboot

x desleyjane