Debasis Ghosh from Kolkata has sent us two photos of a Dahlia flower, one original, one edited by him. He asks, “How can the original be improved with post processing? It looks a bit underexposed. However, under the conditions prevailing I could not decrease the shutter speed as I was not using a tripod. I could not use a wider aperture either as the DOF already seemed to be shallow.” Debasis also wants to know how successful the editing has been. He explains, “I have tried to adjust the Exposure, Levels and Curve in PS CS3. I have also tried to apply High-pass sharpening at 5.9. Does it look soft? I think it may appear soft because of the petals being out of focus and only the area around the core is in focus. Is this level of sharpness inappropriate for a flower photograph?” I think you have edited the image very well and I don’t think I could have done any better! You say that your original capture seems underexposed and that you could not reduce the shutter speed or use a wider aperture. Fine. But what prevented you from increasing the ISO sensitivity? If you had to increase the ISO from 200 to 400, you could have used 1/125 sec instead of 1/60 sec. And surely, ISO 400 is not noisy on a D60. Ifiwereyou, I would have shot in RAW and exposed to the right (in other words, overexposed the picture, but without the histogram touching the right end of the box)*. When you overexpose, you are capturing greater detail in the shadow region (where the noise lies), and hence, you eventually end up with less noise. The tonalities can be adjusted in your RAW Converter. * The histogram that you see on your camera, is always a JPEG histogram (even when you shoot in RAW), and as such, does not accurately represent the RAW capture. RAW allows us to get back about 1-stop of data from overexposed highlights. By trial and error (and noting down the results), you can get a good idea as to how much of overexposure seen on the JPEG histogram is okay for recovering the lost highlights.