Finally… after 4 years, this blog will revive!!!

One of my goals for this new year is to publish regularly. To do so, one of the changes is that I’ll start including english speaking photographers, as you can see now (which I didn’t do previously).

Also, if any of you are interested in being part of this project, leave a comment, or send me an email to alex.briseno at gmail.com, so we can agree on the subject and timing.

Let’s get to the matter. In this episode the guest photographer is Kelly Briarton. She’s a really great photographer, that currently leaves in El Paso, Tx. She’s a member of one of the local photography clubs, and that’s how we met.

Besides being an excellent photographer, she’s also always willing to help fellow photographers, so she immediately agreed when I asked her to be a part of this project.

You can find more information about Kelly on her website, facebook account or instagram account.

The subject for this post is Macro photography, which, to be honest, was a big challenge for me.

So, as usual, let’s start by showing the four photos.

Alex’s Photos


Macro – Processed by Alex


Macro – Processed by Kelly

Kelly’s Photos


Macro – Processed by Kelly


Macro – Processed by Alex

Processing my Photo


Macro – My Photo, processed by Me

To be honest, I don’t really do macro, so I don’t really have specialized equipment, which meant that I had to work with what I have.

I tried using a Tamron 70-200 2.8 lens, that is supposed to be macro, but I didn’t like the result, so I switched to my Sigma 18-50 2.8, that’s is also supposed to be macro, and that gave me better results, and the chance to get really close to the subject.

And talking about the subject, one of the reasons that I don’t do macro, is that I can never come up with something that looks interesting. I didn’t want to do flowers or something like that… I wanted something different. Being a Star Wars fan, I have a bunch of different toys, so I decided to use them.

I know that it might not fully qualify as a macro shot, but in order to get a better composition, I had to go less closer.

The setup is an easy one… I just arranged the toys in my table, which is close to the window, and since I wanted to keep things simpler and use natural light, that worked for me.

Since I wanted a really nice bokeh, I went for a wide aperture (f3.2) and a 1/80 speed, with an ISO of 800.

As usual, I shoot raw and developed it using Lightroom. I played with the highlights, shadows, whites and blacks, increased the contrast and the clarity a bit.

After that, I opened in Photoshop and increased the contrast and saturation.

Processing Kelly’s Photo



Macro – Kelly’s Photo, processed by Me

Kelly’s photo was also in raw, so I oppened in Lightroom, and proceeded to increase the exposure, and then just work with the contrast and saturation. After that, I opened it in Photoshop, where I did some selective brightness, using masks, and increased the yellow just in the center of the flower.

Just to notice that even when I increased the brightness, I made sure that the foreground was clear, but not bright enough to distract from the flower.

Kelly’s Processing to her Photo


Macro – Kelly’s Photo, processed by herself

I used a Canon 5D Mark III with 105mm macro lens. f9 1/160 sec ISO 800 since I was indoors without any external lighting. All post processing was done in Lightroom CC. I adjusted the shadows, highlights, whites, blacks and added vignette. I then adjusted the clarity, sharpening and luminance.

Kelly’s Processing to my Photo


Macro – My Photo, processed by Kelly

 I adjusted for lens correction, camera profile and removed chromatic abberation. I then adjusted the highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, saturation, vibrance, tone curve, vignette, sharpening, luminance, dehaze, and did a selective adjustment brush to dodge and burn areas.



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