Wednesday, November 2, 2016

From Drab To Dynamite



Take a long hard look at these two images. These are exactly the same picture. The top BEFORE image is as it came out of the camera with no tweaking or image optimization. The bottom AFTER image is what Lightroom did to restore the image to what the scene actually looked like.

Every image that you take has lots of color and contrast information that often is not apparent when you initially download your images after a day of shooting. ALL images need optimization, some more than others. While our digital cameras (when shooting RAW) record a wide range of color and contrast information, that information often does not appear when we first download the image. We need Lightroom to coax that information out of it and help us create an image with all the impact of the original scene that we shot.

Look carefully at the background of this image shot in Iceland near sunset. There is a huge glacier coming down to the water line.

The BEFORE image looks gray with very little color and minimal contrast. In the AFTER image, Lightroom brought out the warm color and quality of light that was actually there. The steps used were:
-  Whites and Blacks sliders were moved to expand the contrast (I rarely use the Contrast slider)
-  Clarity was increased to 30 (going beyond 30 is often way too much)
-  Vibrance was increased
-  Orange and Blue Saturation were individually increased in the HSL box
-  Dehaze was used to cut through some of the mist in the background

So after a few simple steps, a gray unexciting image was brought back to life.

1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400.  Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set to 98mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."  --Crowfoot

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