Reflections in Macro with Photoshop

If you look at macro shots you’ve probably seen those amazing drops of water with spherical little images floating inside them. Optics are wonderful. Getting such images directly from your camera is a challenge. An equal challenge is catching a reflection in an eye, especially of an animal that refuses to pose.

Recently I visited the Lazy J bar S Ranch, a facility that boards horses and trains both hoses and riders. It’s a fun place to visit and is close to home, so with a challenge topic of macro with the Loveland Photographic Society, I was off to get my amazing eye shot.

After an hour using my 300 mm lens, I was generally concerned that I’d have anything worth using. Most of my shots were truly unremarkable, but I hadn’t gone with expectation that any of them would be spectacular. This shouldn’t deter anyone that is willing to delve into Photoshop.

I selected one of my eye shots, then went to some favorite landscapes and started the process of adding a reflection to the horse’s eye. Because the eye of the horse is spherical, I first spherized the landscape image. I then add the landscape, which created a new layer. With the whole landscape to work with, I lowered the opacity so I could see the eye and shifted the landscape until I liked the location, then I erased the portion outside the area that would show the reflection.

For added interest, I then added the flat landscape image behind the horse, but made it slightly out of focus and not so bright since I didn’t want it to compete with the main subject of the image.

Note: For LPS members, there will be a field trip to the Lazy J on the 21st of May. Hope to see you there.

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