Recommended Posts

I am interested to know your individual approach to post processing. I always shoot raw and try to do as little post processing as possible for fear of introducing noise etc into my images. As I review them from time to time I sometimes feel they lack "PUNCH" but am still afraid to do too much in case they are rejected by quality control. I should say that I do currently have a 3 star rating.

 

Any help and suggestions, even criticism would be welcome. I have also mentioned before that I am colour blind which doesn't help much.

 

Thanks in advance 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hard to comment without knowing what you have available in the way of software. Basically, punch is good! Drab or a bit dull aint going to be invited to the party. I don't know a lot about colour blindness, there are degrees and variations. My wife and I disagree about some greens and greys, but she can be awkward sometimes! She's a successful artist but it's pretty abstract so just about anything goes. Back in the days of film, there was a following for Agfa who reckoned it more natural than most Kodak. Then along came Fuji who at last came up with vibrant greens. Game over! pretty well all landscape photographers bought the little green boxes of film

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colour blindness can certainly make it more difficult when PP.  I usually punch up the colour a bit, use the adjustment brush to bring out any dark shadow areas I don't want there.  I use the adjustment brush the most to work on certain areas of an image, be it exposure, shadows, and working on whites and blacks.  Most images don't take a lot, some images more.

 

Jill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same approach to PP as you when I started in digital, after 25 years with film. It took me too long to see that I needed to do more. Each time I process it seems that I'm a bit freer to do what's needed for 'punch'. Two suggestions;

-Tweak the exposure. Shouldn't create problems with RAW. R3PJ45 is noticeably lighter than R3PJ24, same subject. Try lowering the exposure and re-processing, even try a boost in saturation. Toggling between your images and Robert's, I think shooting a bit darker will help you.  

-Try for some tone in the sky. I know it's often hard to overcome a hazy sky, but your subjects look worthy of revisiting, if that's what it takes. I use a polarizer for most outdoor shots. When all else fails, I use a graduated filter in DxO PhotoLab to fix the sky. Difficult to make it look natural, but the result is preferable to what I started with. Recently I've noticed a trend toward white skies in publications; I just can't seem to pull it off (or maybe just can't live with it).

Edited by KevinS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my eyes your images look a bit bright and low in contrast. Maybe you could bring the exposure down a third or even a half stop and add an S curve in Photoshop. To do this open a curves layer in PS. Click on the curve (which is just a straight line) at about a quarter of the way along the horizontal axis (input of about 60-70) and pull the curve down a little bit. Do the same at about three quarters of the way along the horizontal (input of about 180-190) and push it up a bit. It sounds complicated as its hard to describe but it takes about 5 seconds and does wonders. I use it on almost every image, its a part of my saved RAW conversion filter in DxO. Here are a couple of links that make it easier as they have screen grabs to illustrate. 

 

https://www.slrphotographyguide.com/photoshop-s-curves/

 

https://www.techradar.com/how-to/photography-video-capture/cameras/photoshop-curves-tool-6-techniques-every-photographer-must-know-1320970

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if you are always coming from RAW don't worry too much about QC. You have to over-process pretty hard to degenerate the image enough to fail QC. Carrying out basic contrast and exposure adjustments is fine. And punch is good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies, links and suggestions. I appreciate the insight into what it takes to degenerate an image in RAW processing etc and will experiment a little here and there ,  I admit I have tried to avoid over colouring as I prefer a natural look but I know these things are subjective. I suppose the issue is as much about what buyers want .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want punch in your images, then the histogram in both your camera and post processing software is an important tool to utilise. Make sure (where approriate) that the histogram curve indicates a good range of tonality from blacks to whites. Sometimes, just moving white points further to the right on your histogram during post processing is enough to give the image a boost, then you can process colour separately as preferred. I have a tendency to underexpose images with my camera, and where the histogram indicates this, just moving that white slider to the right makes a big difference to the images tonal range.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Futterwithtrees said:

I have tried to avoid over colouring as I prefer a natural look

For some reason, RAW files usually don't look like the scene that was photographed; post processing is necessary to get there. Best done by the photographer who was there, but in-camera processing is sometimes pretty good. I have to admit, though, that I often go a bit beyond natural with saturation, hopefully stopping well short of cartoon-looking landscapes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reality can be boring. Better to exaggerate in all things.

 

The camera's sensor chip does not see reality. The file requires post processing, either in camera in the case of JPGs, or in software in the case of a RAW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, KevinS said:

For some reason, RAW files usually don't look like the scene that was photographed; post processing is necessary to get there. Best done by the photographer who was there, but in-camera processing is sometimes pretty good. I have to admit, though, that I often go a bit beyond natural with saturation, hopefully stopping well short of cartoon-looking landscapes.

 

This is where camera profiles come in. If you use Lightroom or ACR, you can choose to import or develop your raw file using a specific profile. The default profiles tend to be relatively realistic which is sensible I think. Camera profiles used to be hidden away a bit in LR/ACR but are now completely up front and visible. You can set  a particular profile as a default so it automatically uses that profile or you can use an import preset in Lightroom. If you want to really take control you can even create your own camera profiles using a Color Checker Passport.

 

Your images look fine to me by the way - not over the top at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see absolutely nothing wrong with your images. I like them.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2018 at 13:50, MDM said:

 

This is where camera profiles come in. If you use Lightroom or ACR, you can choose to import or develop your raw file using a specific profile. The default profiles tend to be relatively realistic which is sensible I think. Camera profiles used to be hidden away a bit in LR/ACR but are now completely up front and visible. You can set  a particular profile as a default so it automatically uses that profile or you can use an import preset in Lightroom. If you want to really take control you can even create your own camera profiles using a Color Checker Passport.

 

Your images look fine to me by the way - not over the top at all. 

Thanks for the feedback on my images; never sure as I use a laptop mostly. PP has been an uphill climb for me. I was perfectly happy shooting Velvia for many years, then digital happened. Since I started using DxO software (currently PhotoLab2), my photos started to look better. PL applies a profile based on the camera and lens used. I never see the actual Raw there, and do very little to correct for lens problems. I do adjust each photo to my taste and recollection of the scene.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2018 at 10:45, Betty LaRue said:

I see absolutely nothing wrong with your images. I like them.

If you're referring to mine, Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, KevinS said:

If you're referring to mine, Thanks!

I think Betty meant the OP, who had asked the question about PP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

I think Betty meant the OP, who had asked the question about PP.

You may be right! Recent uploads by OP have more punch.

Edited by KevinS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I think Betty meant the OP, who had asked the question about PP.

5 hours ago, KevinS said:

You may be right! Recent uploads by OP have more punch.

It's just become a little bit awkward Kevin. If Betty was referring to me then thanks Betty. I do appreciate all the input on this thread and would confirm what Kevin has observed that I have put a little more processing  into some very recent images.  I use Photoshop and have no experience of Lightroom or other processing software. I am the proverbial old dog trying to learn some new tricks but I enjoy it very much.

 

Kevin I don't know if you live anywhere near Bangor. If you do I would love to buy you a coffee. Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland that is. My home town.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Futterwithtrees said:

 

Kevin I don't know if you live anywhere near Bangor. If you do I would love to buy you a coffee. Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland that is. My home town.

 

As much as I would enjoy coffee and a visit, it's a bit far from Bangor, Maine, USA, which is about an hour's drive north of me. I'm especially interested in County Down, as I have an ancestor from there. William Shields was a weaver, married Mary Ann Thompson, Aunt of Lord Kelvin. This is the most interesting twig on the family tree, so far.

 

Your recent processing yields a bit more curb appeal, I think. Hope it shows in sales. I also use an adjustment called ClearView in PhotoLab, which might be like Clarity in PS. Does wonders to many of my images, like a polarizer does with film. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, KevinS said:

 ClearView in PhotoLab, which might be like Clarity in PS. Does wonders to many of my images, like a polarizer does with film. 

+1 for Clarity- I have a preset in LR for it and vibrance, and also a bit of extra saturation. I'm sure there are equivalent things you can do in PS, LR is just quicker.

Another thing to do a la polariser is selective saturation increase on blue skies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some images can be greatly improved with extensive PP. I read years ago how you can select several different areas of an image for attention and I do that if I think that the photo would benefit. I enjoy this aspect of the work, it's time consuming but, being retired, I've time on my hands.  Other shots get very little attention but I always shoot raw, do some basic adjustments in LR and then, as a minimum, take a look at a both an overall levels and a curves adjustment layer in PS. Unmodified raw files are generally flat, unrealistic and uninspiring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now