Wow, this is impressive. http://topdogimaging.net/blog/restoring-a-photograph-from-the-1870s The commentary by Bob Rosinsky of Top Dog Photo...
I usually put photos online for clients with only minimal processing. If you are a client reviewing your online gallery, what you should loo...
Before and after
This photo of my daughter Catherine at the Dallas Arboretum is as close to an "original" as I get, but it has already been processed by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 as part of the raw-to-jpeg conversion process.
Now, I go to work and five or ten minutes later, I end up with this:
And now the photo is ready to send off to the lab (Mpix Pro) for printing.
Don't see what's changed? Look more carefully. Okay, this isn't magic, so I'll tell you:
- Horizontal alignment has been adjusted and the photo has been cropped slightly.
- White balance (color tonality) has been corrected—well, modified. The original white balance wasn't technically wrong, but in the final photo, Catherine's skin is a little pinker and more pleasant looking.
- Increased overall contrast (using Lightroom's tonality curve), set black point (makes blacks really black), and enhanced "clarity" (mid-range contrast). These steps make the photo start to "pop."
- Removed a small blemish on Catherine's right cheek (left side of photo) and also a small mole just below her lip.
- Minor noise reduction (the photo was shot at ISO 800 but wasn't too noisy to start with) and modest "capture sharpening". These effects are almost impossible to see on a computer screen but will make a difference to the print.
- Added "vignetting", that is, darkened the outside edges of the photo to highlight the subject's face in the middle. As a complement to the vignetting, slightly desaturated (weakened the color) in the background and also added an almost imperceptible extra blur to the background, as well.
I don't do this with a preset or a template. I do it one photo at a time, one tweak at a time. If you want to see the changes as they are applied, click the link below for a slideshow that will show you the process in eight stages, including two final and more dramatic changes (black and white treatments). Be sure to read the captions that appear onscreen and use the navigational tools to jump back and forth to compare the changes. Some of them are fairly subtle.
Trust me: It makes a difference to your print
And if you still don't see all the changes, well, don't feel bad. It really is hard to see some of these differences on a computer screen. Even if you have a large, high-resolution, calibrated monitor, I'm generally not displaying large, high-res copies of photos. But trust me, these changes really do make a difference to the final print. That's why I don't usually make these changes until clients place their orders.
There is of course a great deal more than can be done with a photo — you can move the subject's eyes farther apart, remove the subject's former boyfriend from the photo, convert the photo so it looks like a crayon drawing, give the photo a "grunge" effect, merge several layers to create an HDR effect, etc. But that isn't post-processing, that's manipulation. I very seldom manipulate my photos in that way.
A few years ago, I spent the morning on the campus of UT Southwestern Medical School here in Dallas, photographing snowy egrets in the rooke...
Since then, I've read more and more about photographers being challenged while photographing in public places. I find these reports depressing. I'm actually a solid law-and-order guy and I certainly favor doing things that actually work to thwart terrorism. I don't think my right to (say) take photos of a nuclear power plant overrides the government's responsibility to protect the plant and local citizens. And my default position is always to support the police. But it's also clear to me that the police are not well informed on this subject. They are, after all, not generally constitutional scholars and seem to be pretty busy with other matters. And since everybody remains a bit touchy about the possibility of another 9/11 attack, well, the police are over-zealous.
Anyway, here's an excellent legal article by Morgan Lee Manning discussing these matters very thoroughly: "Less than Picture Perfect: The Legal Relationship between Photographers' Rights and Law Enforcement." I recommend it to photographers and lawyers—and especially to policemen. It's a pretty typical law review article, long and pretty dry in parts. But law reviews are built like sandwiches, except that the meat is on the outside. You can read the first five pages and the last five pages or so and pick up the gist pretty clearly. If you have the time and inclination to dig into the middle of the article, there's a lot of interesting stuff there, too.
We're hoping to make a trip to Washington DC in the next year or two. I really really don't want to get blown up by terrorists. But I would also like the police to feel confident that I, as a photographer, don't pose a threat to national security when I point my 200mm lens towards the Capitol Building. Could be that I'm just a guy with a camera who loves his country.
Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds.
It was a slow, slow weekend at the Arboretum. I'm not just commenting on the fact that I was not...
Anyway, the lack of crowds seems to have emboldened the wildlife. Now I know we have a lot of critters in the area. At the Arboretum or in the area of White Rock Lake, I've seen coyotes, raccoons, and opossums. (I'm just mentioning non-domestic mammals. Too many interesting birds around here to get started.) Arboretum grounds manager J. Glore tells me that he has seen a bobcat at the Arboretum. But most of these animals are shy — and nocturnal. The first time my wife and I saw a coyote, it was crossing Mockingbird Lane at about 5am; we were on our way to the airport for an early flight somewhere. You can see possums and raccoons pretty frequently, but mostly in the evening towards (or after) sundown.
So it was a bit of a surprise yesterday to see a raccoon just tippy-toe across the empty Paseo (the Arboretum's main drag) and jump into the gardens behind my "field studio," in the middle of the afternoon.
Catherine urged me not to get close. But I looked into is eyes and he looked into mine and I just sensed that he wasn't a bloodthirsty killer. Apparently he sensed the same thing about me, although the constantly flashing of my camera may have momentarily confused him.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="I stepped a little closer and he didn't run away"][/caption]
We'd been throwing our drink bottles away in a nearby garbage can all weekend, and it didn't take me long to guess where he was headed.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="359" caption="Lunch time!"][/caption]
He jumped up, climbed into the trash can, looked around to see what I was doing, and then dropped down into the can, like Santa Claus sliding down a chimney. Then, after a minute or so thrashing around in the trash, he jumped back out and went on his way.
I felt like offering the guy some ice water but I didn't have a bowl.
Not a bobcat, but a bit of excitement for a slow, hot afternoon in the City.
I'm pleased to announce that the Dallas Arboretum has asked me back this weekend to take family portraits again, for Father's Day. I...
Although color "photographs" were being made from fairly early in the history of photography—starting in the mid-nineteenth centur...