I have been reading through some of the photo critique threads, and really enjoy hearing everyone's opinions on image cleanup. As I have stated in a few previous threads, I am a complete novice when it comes to photography, aside from reading my camera manuals several times, and I have a few photos that I'm curious what other people think as far as cleanup:
This picture was originally taken from above the frog. He is attached to a window, and I had to steady the camera on the window above him. I rotated, cropped, and enlarged the photo, and adjusted the brightness and contrast to compensate for the cheap flash on the camera.
Here is the original:
This next photo I did a white balance in Camera RAW using one of the ladybeetle's black spots as a reference, a small crop, adjusted the brightness and contrast to bring out the beetle's spots (although I have noticed on some monitors the flower appears almost too bright), and a little sharpening:
This final picture I have done nothing to, because everything I do to it seems makes it look worse. It is from an old Kodak Advantix print that I can't find the film cartridge or CD to (hence, the print scan):
Again, I am just curious what people's different opinions are on cleaning up my photographs. Be as harsh and critical as need be; I'm pretty thick-skinned :). Besides, you can't learn what you're doing wrong unless someone tells you exactly what it is that you're doing wrong, right? Thanks for any and all input!
Cleaning up? If you mean post processing (editing) of your photos, most photo editing software has a lot of tools you can use. It is all up to you as to which you are comfortable with and what you ant the end result is. There is an old photograhy trick called "dodge and burn". Where you darken (burn) or lighten (dodge) certain part to give your photo some highlights. You can Google more on this technique.
I will comment on your flowers photo. Focus is good, DOF is can be better (using a bigger Aperture to get the background a little more out of focus). Here I did a quick dodge and burn. I darken most of the photo except for the area where the lady bug is thus giving the highlight.