Sharp-looking Jewel Beetle

brown agrilus jewel beetle

The slender oblong body is typical of jewel beetles in the genus Agrilus.

In high-magnification macro photography, disappointing results are not that uncommon when the basic challenge of getting something into focus is so difficult. A lot of would-be good shots have fallen short, because I simply was a hair (or two or three) off in my focusing. (Note: I use what I consider the most practical method at this type of magnification to achieve focus, which is to manually move the whole camera.) Sometimes the distance of camera to subject and therefore the whole image is off; others the angle at which I’m facing is not perfectly parallel to my subject, leaving only part of it in focus. The featured photo of an Agrilus sp. jewel beetle is a case of the latter. I will let you guess which end of the beetle was the softer; hopefully it’s pretty tough to guess as I did some selective sharpening to even up the balance. Using a layer mask, I targeted the soft area with “Wavelet sharpen” filter, then finished up with a second round of sharpening for the whole image. I have done this on other images with less successful results; sometimes the degree of softness is too much or in too great a contrast to the rest of the image to get a natural looking fix.

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