Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Same Only Different


Compare these two images of a female cardinal. They are the same shot. The BEFORE image is how the original looked as shot, and the AFTER image is with some quick optimization in Lightroom.

Notice how the AFTER image shows more detail in the head and body, as well as the twig. Notice that the colors are improved but still look natural. The overall look is brighter and punchier in the AFTER image.

After cropping, only 5 quick steps were needed to create the final image:
1. Shadows were increased to +100.
2. Highlights were reduced to  -70.
3. Clarity was increased to +32.
4. Vibrance was increased to  +63.
5. Noise (Luminance) was reduced to 30.

That’s it. In about 5 minutes or less this so-so image was improved and brought to life.

Image optimization does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. Just spend a little time learning the software and practicing, and before you know it you will have elevated your images to a much higher level.

Shutter Speed 1/640 sec.  Aperture f/11.  ISO 800.  Lens: Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS with 2x extender for an effective focal length of 800mm. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”  --Confucius

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