March 22, 2012



Berries make me smile.  Not sure why, but it's something simple that I enjoy.
My favorite needlework art from my Grandma have berries on them.
Berries are tucked in vases, baskets, grapevines, and window treatments.

Now, my kids don't have the same emotional response to berries...
they've worked on a blueberry farm. 
 They close their eyes after work and see nothing but berries, but they think of the pay check at the end of the week.

I love the photo, and honestly it's such a GOOD photo that I thought it could skip editing.
But a challenge is a challenge!

I'm posting the "berry picking" process of choosing my final entry.
This way my post page is full of my favorite berries.

First of the berry edit process:
I rotated the photo for a different perspective.
My favorite part about this composition is...
the branch on the left with the highlight on it.
I know that's random, but it's true.

To bring out the colors and clarity:
Ran the levels adjustment (pushed the end sliders in a bit, adjusted the midtone slider too)
Adjusted the contrast slightly.
Used Hue/Saturation to slightly desaturate the foliage, masking out the berries.
Inverted the berry mask, and used the vibrance adjustment to enhance only the berries.
Used a warming filter at a low opacity to help it glow.
Darkened the edges to draw focus to the berries.  (Quick way is to use mcp actions burnt edges)
I liked the result, but the composition balance was off.

Second Step of Berry Editing

 Cropping was in order, but I really wanted to keep that highlighted branch... that random preference. I made sure some of it was left in the photo.

The larger leaf in the right foreground posed a problem after the crop, so I cloned more branches and berries to fix it.
Darkened the new edges accordingly.
I really liked it, until I accidentally zoomed in giving it a tighter crop, and decided that was a great effect.
(Still say my best "ideas" are happy accidents.  One of these days I'll be deliberate in editing!)

Bring on the third attempt

 The accidental close up is awesome!

 The upper left corner had bright highlights that detracted from the focal point, so they were darkened.
The news edges needing vignetting.
And I really liked it... again!
But -

The final happy accident (and my entry)...

I was attempting  to darken an additional spot without isolating it, so I inadvertantly adjusted the brightness of the whole photo.

Using the Brightness/Contrast adjustment, I lowered the brightness,
giving the berries all the attention they want!

The adjustment affected the sunlight on the leaves...  the detail is brought out to see the transluscence of the leaves, glimpsing the branches behind them.
Well, hopefully you can see that on your monitor, too, especially on that foreground leaf and also on the oblong leaves (upper left center).  How ethereal and feathery!

Added some canvas to enhance the final composition.

I like the previous photo (attempt number three) for its summery, bright feel
but decided to enter this last one, finding the berries more striking with the heightened contrast.

So, thank you, Beth, for such a fun photo to work on.
Go visit her on her blog Snaps of Our Life
and meet her and her family!  You'll be glad you did :>)


  1. I like the rotation you did, it looks really good at that angle! I like the close up, too. Good job:)

  2. i really like that you rotated the photo, it gave it a fresh new look, and the crop is great also!

  3. I never thought of rotating it, but it looks so good!

  4. I love the close-up...even if accidental :)!

  5. what a unique perspective! don't you love happy accidents like that?


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