This is a post in my continuing series called Photography 101. I started this series at the beginning of May in an effort to reinforce all I’m trying to learn to better my photography. And I’m determined to bring y’all along with me.
Other Photography 101 subjects I’ve tackled:
Ever find a flash card in your pocket? After your pants have gone through the wash?
Well, I did find a flashcard in my pants. But I’m happy to say that my flash card seems unaffected. And so do the pictures, taken the day before Jude’s surgery as we were visiting our favorite folks in Iowa.
But this particular series of pictures had more a few more strikes against it than just a run through the washer. They were taken outdoors (good) but after sunset (bad) and my camera doesn’t do well with a cranked up ISO so I underexposed quite a few shots (bad).
BUT I was shooting in RAW (good). And I have a few post-processing tools at my disposal (great!).
And I thought it would be fun to work up a post to reveal the before, the in-between and after…
Terribly underexposed, I edited it in LR to up the exposure, adjust the white balance and boost the color and brightness.
I also used the noise reduction tool because these were taken at upwards of ISO 1000. Which is a lot for my little camera.
If you’re not familiar with shooting in RAW, check out my previous Photography 101 posts: RAW vs. JPG.
In an effort to to be respectful of his underside, I chose to go for a simple head shot.
Again, I upped the exposure, white balance, boosted the color and the brightness. Then I exported it to work on in Photoshop.
Since it wasn’t as underexposed as some of the others, I ran Lighten and Brighten but just decreased the opacity of it, to keep them all consistent.
But I do like the picture much better editing.
But I like chickens and wanted to get a picture. So I stuck my big melon in there and snapped away.
To edit, I did all the same things I did with the previous two pictures, but upped the exposure even more. And since this was shot at ISO 1600, I made sure all my noise-reduction tools were running at full tilt.
And sometimes we just do things in post-processing because we can.
Now doesn’t that chicken look so much brighter? And sharper?
P.S. Yes, she was telling me off… specifically to get my camera out of her hen house.
This is the only one of their chickens that is super tame… he had an unfortunate run-in with their dog and barely survived. It made him a very docile dude, which is nice if you’re gonna have a rooster.
I did pretty much the same edits in LR.
And voila. A boy and his rooster.
Horribly underexposed (can you tell I detest bumping up my ISO? And that it was getting darker by the second?), it’s hard to even tell who or what is in this picture.
Hello exposure adjustment tool.
And what do you know? There are adorable kids in the picture!
Hello, boys! Hello, Boulder!
And that’s it. I hope this post gives you some encouragement to consider some of the outrageously helpful post-processing possibilities. I have just a teeny tiny grasp on Lightroom and Photoshop, but am amazed at all that can be done with a less-than-stellar photo. And these minor edits only took me a few minutes for each photo – less than 15 minutes for all of the editing on all these pictures in both LR and CS6. Of course, I could have edited much more earnestly… but this seemed sufficient.
Lightroom is available for a free 30-day trial. Be prepared to fall in love it you haven’t tried it. And no, I don’t get any compensation for referring anyone over there. I’m just a girl who loves her some Lightroom.
Photoshop is a much bigger program and is not intuitive at all (read: painfully difficult)… you need to take a class, read books, or watch tutorials if you want to learn how to work in Photoshop. I am in the process of learning and I am loving it, but it ain’t easy. But then again, I’m not super savvy, either.
The real beauty of post-processing is that you can edit your pictures exactly the way you like! You might not dig my edits, but you can get in there with your pictures and tweak and adjust them until you love ’em!
So go! Be prosperous! And post-process!!