Moth Pictures on Glass Pt 3 (Post Processing)

/ in Photography by Marek
Example of post-stacked photo where a species does not keep its antenna still enough
Last of the Mothicans

Following on from my previous post where I compared pictures taken on glass as oppose to a solid uniform background with a moth that was in reasonable condition, in good light conditions and who remained still whilst the shot was taken.

Consider however the moth above who’s antennae are never still which makes it look like it’s having a bad hair day.

To include this image in my displays I will have to use the stacking software to do some retouching where I select one frame when the antennae are in focus and edit out the rest.

This editing is quite straight forward if the shot was taken on glass as I am going to rework the whole background anyway to remove any noise as explained in my earlier post.

Also, if the background colour on a solid background is uniform, again this does not cause too many problems.

Small Rivulett moth on a mottled grey background
Beyond a stilled Rivulet

If we now look at the picture of the Small Rivulet above which I have just completed for the site, it shows that the stacking software has made a really good job of bringing the background texture into focus as well as the moth.

When I select a frame where the antennae are in focus and remove the rest unfortunately the background texture is removed in that process making it now more difficult to remaster later.

Expanding the point there are a whole range of factors that will determine whether I will achieve the results I am looking for.

Few moths are found at my trap on a bright, dry windless morning, settled and in pristine condition.

Why for instance did I not take the pictures of the Rivulet when I was working outside during a visit to Northumberland on glass, as this would have given me the better option if extensive post processing was required on my return home.

I honestly cannot remember, but the chances are that it became bored and flew away which can be a bit of a show stopper and happens quite regularly.

Its also worth considering that I may only ever record some of my subjects on a single occasion so need to make the best of the time if I am to capture the moment.

As mentioned in previous posts any editing of images taken on a solid background will most likely be limited.

This is not the case when the picture is taken on glass as the colour and brightness across the image remains constant.

For instance, it becomes a simple task for me to sample one leg and seamlessly replace the one which was lost during this moth’s short flight whilst in search of sanctuary attempting to avoid a whole range of predators.

Side by side comparison of a photo of a species, where the original has lost one leg from natural causes, the second has been edited to restore the leg using the matching one from the other side of the body
I too have a pathetic limb.

As can be seen I have managed to seamlessly replace the missing leg with a workflow to be discussed in a future post.