Monday, February 6, 2012

No. 100

I see from my list in Blogger that this post will be my 100th post since I started this blog back in October.  I've enjoyed sharing my pictures, and I thank everyone who has looked and commented on them.  I hope you liked what you find here.   Since it is sort of milestone, I thought I would post something a little different and pose a question or two about my photography, workflow, and post processing.  The reason I'm doing this is simple.  I follow a lot of photo blogs, and I find everyone's else's pictures much better than mine.  It could be that I'm my own toughest critic, but comparing my pictures to those I see on other blogs, mine tend to look a little "over processed" and less than natural looking. It could be that others have been at this a lot longer and are much better photographers than I am.  Maybe others think differently, but I'd be interested to find out what others think.  So in an effort to post what I consider to be more natural looking photos in the future, I'm looking carefully at my workflow and the programs I'm using to do the post processing.  I'm also looking at my camera settings at time of capture and how they might influence my final images after post processing.  There are so many variables to control, but I have to admit, I do enjoy tinkering with all the aspects of digital photography.

As an example of what I'm talking about.  This first image is typical of my normal workflow of images in this blog.  It's the jpg image, straight out of the camera, with a curve adjustment, highlight recovery, shadow recovery and sharpening done in Aperture.  I then exported the jpg for this blog.

This next image is the same photo as above, reprocessed from the original RAW file using Nikon's Capture NX 2.   When starting with the RAW file, I eliminated all the camera settings used to produce the the jpg above.  I changed the white balance, did a curve adjustment and sharpened.  I saved the image as a jpg, and  prepared it for this blog exactly this same way as the first image.

I know which image I like better.  There are some subtle differences and I'd like to know what others think.       Feel free to comment on any aspect of the image whether it be subject matter, composition, exposure, whatever.  And finally, if others do a lot of post processing, do you adjust the image for a pleasing image, or to the way you remember the image looking at the time of capture?   Thanks for looking.


  1. I think both images have their strengths. I am immediately struck with the added blue sky in the second image. This is a positive in my opinion. The firt image has more detail in the clouds but I believe at the expense of making it look a bit muddy. I like how the first image has opened up the shadows a bit more. The first image overall is a bit warmer looking and it seems appropriate.

    So bottom line I do like your first attempt, but I would pull back on the recovery in the highlights to bring the sky in the upper right more natural looking.

    That's my two cents, since you asked.

    1. I agree with you totally, John. I, too, prefer the second image, primarily due to the blue sky, even though it is slightly blown out. I also prefer this image since it represents the scene as I remember it better than the first image. The first image appears too warm to me and I don't remember the sky being muddy at all. It was a bright, sunny day, and the sky was deep blue. I appreciate you taking the time to look and to comment.

  2. Ed, I agree with both of you. The second image would be my vote. The sky much better and you didn't get the bright outline around the trees along the horizon. We all fiddle with our pictures in the virtual darkroom, and it is easy to over process them. I often tweak pictures using levels in Photoshop, but it is possible to go too far. The colors get messed up. But in the final analysis you must please yourself. It's your vision, go with it.