Quick Edit: Spring Dogwood

by | Apr 27, 2018 | Pic of the Month | 3 comments

I don’t know if you remember, but this month’s free desktop background wallpaper was a pretty branch of dogwood flowers taken during a stroll through the park surrounding the St. Louis Arch. Well, here’s a little video of how I edited it.

In real time, using Lightroom and a little Photoshop, it took me about 30 minutes. Here is the quick version in 2.5 minutes:



Behind the Scenes Insights

  • Flowers are such common subjects that composition plays a large part in good pictures of them….especially white ones without much color! This is why I tried to include the pathway and the idea of a beautiful green park in the blurred-out background.
  • I didn’t feel like I needed to edit this shot much. However, I really wanted to draw attention to the main flower in focus. The plane of focus included some other flowers and I wanted to keep attention from going to them so made sure to brighten up the main flower, darken other highlight areas, and add a vignette to the entire image to de-emphasize the others.
  • In brightening up the main flower with the Radial Filter, it also brightened up the surrounding background grass. I didn’t like this, so I darkened the grass around the flower again with some detailed brushing. I could have done the opposite (do detailed painting of the flower to brighten it up only) but the problem with this is that any little mistake would be obvious. If instead I brightened up the whole general area and then go back and darken the background grass again (like I did), I feel it left a greater margin of error and it wouldn’t have to be as perfect (and thus as time-consuming) of a job.
  • You’ll notice I did a lot of previewing before/after of my adjustments. I don’t think I normally do this, but I think I did a lot more this time since my edits were very subtle and I wanted to make sure my edits were actually making a difference.
  • You’ll notice that I exported the Lightroom-edited version and set it as my desktop background before doing any tweaks in Photoshop. This is because I wanted to see what it looked like as my desktop background and see if there were any aspects that didn’t look right when used in its final destination. When I did that, I noticed it really needed sharpened (which I forgot to do in the first place) and would look better if I edited out the blotch of imperfect flower in the bottom left corner.
  • The Photoshop job was super simple, just using the healing tool, copying from surrounding flower areas.

PRO members can download the desktop background “Spring Dogwood” at: www.lenspiration.com/wallpapers

Next month’s desktop background can be downloaded for free in the next Latest from Lenspiraiton update sent to Lenspiration subscribers: www.lenspiration.com/subscribe



  1. Allison Crocker

    Thankyou for sharing this. It is Amazing to see how photos like this are edited. Keep up the good work!

    • James Staddon

      Yeah, editing is a big part of photography these days.

      • Allison Crocker

        Yes, I bet it is.


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