Revisiting Images

December 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Over the past few years, I've processed thousands of images. In many ways, I think that learning how to edit images is more challenging than learning how to capture photographs with the camera!

For the first few years, I used Nikon's Capture NX for the bulk of my post processing. Subsequently, I transitioned to using Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop. Although I've dedicated a significant amount of time to learning the processing programs, it seems like one could spend a lifetime and still not master all of the capabilities of a program like Photoshop.

Fortunately, I kept the original raw file for every photograph that I have. So, I can go back to images that I captured five or six years ago and process them again from scratch--without losing any image quality. This allows me to process images again with more current and powerful software. Also, I can apply additional years of editing experience to images captured years ago.

Yesterday, I took a look at an image that I captured in Newfoundland in 2010. Here is the original image straight out of the camera:

I like the image, but find it to be lacking in contrast (rather dull). I'm not fond of all the power lines in the woods in the background either. With a little processing, I ended up with this image which I then posted on my website:

I like this edited image much better. The power lines are removed. And, the image has a bit more pop to it.

Yesterday, I revisited this image. I pulled up the original raw file and processed the image from scratch. I wanted to:

  • Bring more contrast (pop) into the image
  • Bring the true red color back to the buildings as the color had shifted to orange when I warmed the image during my initial edits
  • See more detail in the clouds and more blue in the sky

Granted, I might have gone a little overboard with some of these recent edits. But, here's the latest version:

After a few days (when I'm not so close to this photo), I will revisit the most recent version to determine if my edits went too far or not. My initial impression is that it is an improvement--particularly in the sky and shoreline. And, the buildings are now red. But, I might have to bring the saturation down in the buildings. However, I can't make that determination now--that will need to wait a few more days!


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