Today’s photo editing challenge is all about bringing out detail in your image. The example image you’ll be working on is a macro shot of a pocket watch (with an optional kitty face close-up to work with too).
You will learn how to enhance detail and sharpness in your image, and how to do so selectively using a mask. That means you can apply the details to one area of the image, and not to others. It sounds hard, but it’s easy if you follow the steps with me.
Your challenge today is to get the hang of doing local adjustments so you can really target your editing. This will help you do tone control as well, and really make your images stand out.
Here are the before and after images for today’s challenge.
Photography Challenge themes for the week
Over the course of these 7 days, we’ll be working with these photography themes and practice these editing techniques:
- Street photography – learn about basic edits like contrast and color adjustments and how to apply a Look or preset.
- Portrait and people photography – learn how to do skin retouching and facial enhancements the easy way, and keep it looking natural.
- Black and white conversion – see how to do it the right and wrong way, and how to take your b/w images to another creative level with split toning.
- Details and masking – you’ll learn how to do local edits that apply to just part of the image, and how to enhance sharpness and detail in those targeted areas.
- Landscape photography – take your nature photos up a notch, bring out details in highlight and shadows areas, and see how to replace the sky (not everyone’s cup of tea but you’ll see how easy it is with Luminar 4).
- Texture overlay – learn how to give your images a fine art style with a texture overlay (you’ll even get a few of mine to play with and try out)
- Night photography – learn how to apply many of the techniques you already learned and bring it all together to enhance and bring out details in a stunning night photo I took in Japan.
Step 1 – Download the RAW image
Raw Image File to Process
If you joined the challenge, you’ll have been sent the RAW file to edit in the email for this challenge. If you’d like the file to process, simply join the challenge. Otherwise, follow along with an image of your own.
Step 2 – Photo Editing Software
You’ll need some form of photo editing software in order to follow along with this challenge. I’m using Lightroom and Luminar 4 Software by Skylum (#aff) in the example videos for the challenge. If you’re already using some sort of photo editing software to process your images, you will be able to do this just fine.
If you’d like to do the challenge using the same software I’m using, you can download a free trial of Luminar 4 for Mac or PC (#aff) and try it out for 7 days.
I’m a Skylum Ambassador, as well as an affiliate partner with them. If you choose to purchase the software after the trial expires, I earn a small commission. There is no extra charge to you. I reviewed over 10 editors recently, and I concluded that Luminar was one of the best photo editing programs for beginners. I recommend it because I’m confident you’ll come to love it.
Use this discount code to save $10 USD off the regular purchase price (must be entered exactly, no spaces): DIGITALPHOTOMENTOR.
7-Day Trial: Luminar 4 (#aff)
NOTE: This discount code is only applicable to the regular price. During a sale, the price is already reduced and a further discount is not possible.
To download the trial, use the pull-down menu at the top of the page and choose “Download Trial” as seen in this image below.
Step 3 – watch the video tutorial
Next, watch the video below and follow along if you want. Feel free to pause if you need to, or rewind and watch any parts again. If you have any questions just leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
7-Day Photography Challenge
You’re reading one of a seven-part photography challenge on photo editing. To follow along with this 7-day photography challenge, enter your email address here.
You’ll be sent a daily email with a new editing challenge, and have access to my RAW files to work with so you can follow along.
Join: 7-Day Editing Challenge
Step 4 – Process the image
Now it’s your turn!
Experiment and play around with different filters and sliders, and try some of the built-in Looks that come with Luminar 4. Here are two more variations I made of this image.
You’ve likely seen my cat Munchkin as my “helper” when I wrote the Ultimate Guide to Macro Photography series on this website previously.
Here are the before and after images of her. You can choose to work with this one by subscribing to the challenge and downloading the RAW file to work with, or the watch for today’s challenge, it’s up to you.
The RAW files for download are available to subscribers in the emails provided each day. The images on this page are all JPG.
Feel free to get as creative as you like with this. Choose which parts to bring out detail and which to blur or deemphasize. Use the same techniques for tone control to add or remove contrast and brightness.
Step 5 – Share your finished image
Lastly, we want to see what you’ve created – your final finished version (or a few of them). This is how to share your saved image.
Use the commenting system on the bottom of this page to share your image, how you did it, and any experiences you had while doing the challenge. You can also share on social media using the hashtag #DPM-7DayChallenge
By now if you’ve been following along every day you should have learned a few things about photo editing. Make sure to practice and try them out on your own images as well.
Keep going and learning. You can do this!