Light Edits: Ladybug Edition

As I often lament, beetles are tough to shoot. Even if you can fit their round and curvy bodies satisfactorily in the limited depth of field, they are shiny as all get and leave distracting flash reflections. Lady beetles are probably the worst in this regard. The above shots are an example of glare spot run amok and my attempt to lessen its impact.

Much as in this oven switch shot, I used the surrounding black areas to my advantage; I did not have to worry about cleaning up the colors or gradients of any transition areas. By creating a duplicate layer and only applying edits to a selection of the glare spot, I was able to leave the rest of the image unaffected. I simply selected the “Multiply” blend mode for the duplicate layer and adjusted its opacity to a percentage I liked the look of. The result is a much less noticeable reflection. I will say if you focus on it, the spot is a bit unnatural, as it is still essentially washed out at the very center. I attempted to “fill it in” with some color, doing some cloning and healing, but gave up on that idea when it appeared to just make it more unnatural looking. I will need to upgrade my painting skills for that.

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