Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


Bird, Zoom, Crop!

I was wandering around our house a few days ago during the Golden Hour and came across this little cutie pie called a Black Phoebe.  I was not too far away, but even with my 300mm lens I couldn’t fill the frame.  It’s amazing how it seems there is never a long enough lens for bird photography lol.

Zoom lenses are usually not sharpest at the extremes of the zoom range.  For example, if you shoot a 28-300mm lens (which I used for this shot), you will get sharper photos at 280mm than 300mm.   Almost all lenses are sharper somewhere between the extremes of the zoom range.  This is especially important if you are shooting a less expensive zoom lens or a kit lens.  Spend just a minute and take a picture of a newspaper taped to the wall across from you at different focal lengths and apertures.  You’re likely to find quite a variation in sharpness levels depending on the focal length.

Backing off the full range of a zoom lens doesn’t cause much issue with presenting a close up image because it’s necessary to crop whether it’s shot at 300mm or 280mm.  I’ve included a screen shot of the original picture size so you can see how much I cropped it.

I hope you enjoy this little cutie pie!

Black Phoebe - Bird Photography

Black Phoebe – Bird Photography



Magnolia Tree

Sometimes when I don’t go anywhere special to take photos, I just focus on what’s around me.  No pun intended. 😉  I love these magnolia trees near our house.  They are just so beautiful all times of the year.  I’ve been hearing rustling in there too as of late.  I think there are some squirrels that are busy preparing for winter!

For this one I only added a few Lightroom touches.




One Photo Focus – August 2016

For those of you who don’t know this challenge, it consists of everyone editing the same photo taken by one person.  Below you’ll find my image as well as the original image provided by Robin Kent.  Thanks much Robin for the beautiful, original image!   Please check out Stacy’s blog when you have time to see everyone’s submissions.  It’s always fun to see everyone’s edits!

Basic Process:

  • Used Lightroom to make basic adjustments for clarity.
  • Imported to Photoshop and cropped to 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Used patch tool to remove the modern white building and filled it with sky.
  • Cleaned up the patch by using the healing brush.
  • Added a texture layer and set blend mode to Lighter Color, reduced opacity to 74% and fill to 89% and added a mask where I took a black brush and hid parts of the texture at varying opacities to reveal more of the water glow, the wheel and parts of the building so that the texture didn’t completely obscure details.  I picked a texture that would give me a glow near the wheel in the clouds and the water so that our eye is drawn there.
  • Added another texture layer and set the blend mode to Color Burn, reduced opacity to 50% and fill to 50%.  This layer was like laying a tissue completely over the entire image unlike the previous one where I only applied it to portions of the image.
  • Used Color Efex Pro, Pro Contrast filter.
  • Voila!
One Photo Focus, August 2016 - Edited by Laura Macky

One Photo Focus, August 2016 – Edited by Laura Macky


Original by Robin Kent

Original by Robin Kent