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Any thoughts on how to further improve this image. Before and after shown. I processed the spider and the background separately in photoshop using layer masks after some preliminary adjustment in lightroom. Among the issues are the bright patches on the right. Tried various things but couldn't fully fix this. How would the sharpness rate in terms of a wildlife image?

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Hi Andrew - nice shot.

Re the lighter patches on the right, you should be able to darken these down a bit with judicious masking.  Creating a brightness adjustment of (approx) -1.5 stops seemed to be a close match to the rest of the background.  Mask the whole adjustment out and then just bring it in on the right hand side with a biggish brush, low opacity and low hardness.  It will take several brush strokes to give a significant darkening effect and as your strokes won't align exactly that will help it blend in with the rest of the background.

The sharpness looks to be there to me, but you have a very narrow depth of field, so the top of the body is not quite sharp, parts of the legs are in the plane of focus and sharp and the head looks to be a little below the focus point and so losing sharpness again.  I don't know how a judge would view that - for a static subject you could try focus stacking but that probably isn't practical for an image like this.  Perhaps enter it and see?

One other suggestion would be to try and lighten the head a bit - I think there is some detail there but can't easily be seen as it stands.

Just my thoughts (as a non-nature shooter).


Andrew -

You've done a great job in bringing out the web but it seems to have introduced some noise in the green background which might distract a judge. I don't know this can be removed/avoided I'm afraid.

I agree with Clive's advice on the brightness adjustment brush - though a bit of variety in the background is better than complete uniformity anyway (I think).



You've done a good job with this Andrew, worth entering as it stands, not sure if it's a winner however, Judges are not often wowed by spiders. Overall sharpness looks okay to me. Brighter areas of background also okay with me, but if you're uncomfortable with it you could try cloning over it with the darker background using a soft brush at very low opacity, say 10-15%. (something I neglected to do with my dragonfly). To me the biggest problem is the dark area under the head, can't decide if it's the spiders head or it's victim, but I don't think you can do anything about it. Look forward to seeing it in a future competition, hear what the judge has to say.


I'm with Ted on this. It's a perfectly good candidate and your processing has given it impact. I shouldn't get too worked up about sharpness as a fair judge would give you credit for the fact that it's a big animal and would have been impossible to be 100% sharp without focus stacking.

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