Hey, Dad… Is This Close Enough?

My dad used to tell me to “get in close” when I was taking pictures with his sturdy little Pentax, K1000. It was good advice! When I’m shooting, I’m often thinking about how I can get close and fill my frame with my subject. I took this shot with a Canon 180mm macro lens. The greatest challenge when shooting macro is getting the focus just right – especially when you are outdoors and working with windy conditions – or a moving subject. In this case, I used a wide aperture (f/5) to capture a very narrow depth of field. This serves to eliminate the details in the background for a simpler image.

In post processing, I check my color balance carefully to make sure the greens looked natural. Then, I used my Wacom graphics tablet and stylus to draw a really quick selection around the tip of the grass and the water droplet. I feathered the selection, created a mask on a duplicated layer, and then sharpened the layer. The mask let me target my sharpening to the areas that needed it – leaving the background nice and soft.

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