I photographed this dragonfly last summer in Blake Garden. I had a cooperative model, and basically this was a grab-and-shoot situation. I do find, however, that automatic focus usually doesn’t work quickly enough for this kind of situation. I’ve lost a number of photos waiting for auto focus to decide where it wants to come to rest. So it’s worth remembering to manually focus when speed (and accuracy) are critical.
When I saw this image in my archives, I was excited and immediately used the RAW plug-in to open it in 16-but mode in Photoshop. In Photoshop, I saw that three of the dragonfly’s wings were nice and sharp, but one wing was a little on the fuzzy side (the upper left wing).
Worse than the slightly out-of-focus aspect of this upper left wing, there was a long white streak in the out-of-focus area of this wing. I couldn’t quite tell if it was a small tear in the wing, or highlight blow-out from the sun. In any case, for me it was enough imperfection to spoil the image.
Rather than abandoning the photo, I carefully used the Photoshop Clone Tool to add color back into the wing, and hide the imperfection.
Was it wrong, morally or ethically? Is it a bad idea to retouch Mother Nature? I don’t think so. I think it is all about the final image.