ri Frank WL Brooks

C . From: Angus, Scotland

■ X- I'm 57 and have been taking photos for about 20 years - my main interests are landscape and natural history. My first camera was a Zenit SLR, after which I have had (and am still using) Canon, Minolta and Nikon SLRs. Presently I use a Sony Alpha 200 alongside a Lumix DMC FZ18.1 don't do too much post-production but I tweak RAW files in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3. The Knott grass caterpillar was shot in the Scottish Highlands. I used my Lumix FZ18 with a macro lens and the settings were 1/125 seconds at f/5.6. The image was then curves adjusted in Photoshop CS3.1 managed to photograph the caterpillar head on - a change from the usual sideways on record shot.


Since i am not familiar with caterpillars I don't know what this caterpillar would have looked like if it had been photographed side on. From what I can tell it does look like an interesting specimen. The important thing in any photograph is to focus the viewer's attention where it is needed most. In this case I reckoned it would be useful to lighten the caterpillar's body and bring out some detail in the shadow areas. To do this I converted the background layer to a Smart Object layer. If you don't have one of the latest versions of Photoshop you can also simply duplicate the layer and apply the following step to the copy layer. I went to the Image > Adjustments menu and selected Shadows/Highlights... Then I applied the settings shown here (see right) to lighten the shadow detail and added a little extra midtone contrast. In the edited version of the image shown here, I think you'll agree that the caterpillar stands out more.

above: layers It's always useful to make copy layers when editing your images.

ABOVE: LIGHTEN UP I used the Shadows/ Highlights control to lighten shadow detail and add midtone contrast.

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