I'm Gonna Make A Change
When I first started photography, I thought it was all about my skill with a camera and a better lens. Now, don't get me wrong, those things are important, but there is much more to creating an image than just the gear. In this blog, I'm going to show you how "post-processing" can greatly affect the final result of an image.
I use Adobe Lightroom for my post-processing. I like how simple it is to use. I don't like spending hours doing post-processing, and Lightroom has become almost second nature to me. I know the style I want to create and know what sliders to use to make that style appear.
I also know that I am FAR from professional, and I still make many mistakes with my settings in the field. I love how Lightroom allows me to recover images that I would have deleted in the past. Below you will some before and after shots. In each pair, the first one will be how the image looked "straight out of the camera." The second image will be what I was able to create afterwards with just a couple minutes (or a few hours in some cases) of "post-processing."
I hope you enjoy the images, and begin to recognize that there is a lot of work done after the click of the camera button for each photo you see.
A before and after portrait of my sister and her husband. You can't pose people facing the sun or their eyes will be closed. So you do it this way, and try to fix it in post. Pretty amazing what you can fix in Lightroom.
The before here was an image that I just messed up the setting on. Thank goodness I shoot RAW and was able to make it look better for this wonderful senior.
When I shoot indoor sports, they are always really bland and washed out. I love how I can fix that after a little work in Lightroom, and bring the POP back to the image.
I had to adjust my shutter speed very high to freeze the action here, that the image was really dark. The after shows how much can be fixed in Lightroom.
The lighting on most high school football fields isn't that great, so doing post processing is a must. This football image is just a small preview of what I see in the camera vs. what I post later.
A little work in Lightroom can bring the "Pop" back into wildlife photographs as well. You can see more details in the feathers, and the yellow eyes just seem to stand out more.
You can't always control where you will see wildlife. Here, the sun was behind the owl. Lightroom saved this shot and made it worth viewing.
Cameras (and operators) aren't perfect. Here I over-exposed the picture and the whites were very washed out. Using Lightroom, I was able to bring back the detail in the feathers, and add a little saturation and contrast back to the image.
This before was taken in a zoo. The lighting was horrible and the result was just a dull picture. A little saturation and contrast added really helped. I was also able to do some noise reduction in the background to make the Teal appear more separated from the background.
Even though there isn't a big difference, this image of the Grand Canyon does look better after the color was boosted a little. Notice the blue in the sky, and the red in the cliffs.
Lightning images are one of my favorites, even though they take a lot of work and luck. I have to find a safe place to shoot, with an interesting foreground, and no distractions in the sky. Then I have to take hundreds of images and hope for a couple usable ones. Then I have a ton of post processing to do so that the image looks presentable.
Perhaps the greatest example of before/after shots are Milky way shots. Not only do you have to do tons of work to get to an area to see it, but you have to take hours worth of black images and hope that you can save one or two of them per night. And you only get like 5 days a month for 4 months to even be able to see it. I just went out in April to try to take some, and it was cloudy every day the moon wasn't out. Anyway, I think this is an amazing example of before/after work. from pretty much a black image to something so beautiful as the Milky Way.
I know many people just like looking at images. I do as well. However, as I have learned more about "The Art" of photography, I really do appreciate all the work that goes into each and every image captured. I hope you can come to realize how much photographers put into their art and respect their work a little more.
Song: Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson