Tag Archives: Post Processing

Post Processing a Glove

The other night, my wife and I got to milk cows for our neighbors.  We always enjoy this as it gives us a chance to pretend to be farmers for a day.  Also, there’s something very rewarding about a little bit of hard work.

After we finished chores, I tried to get a few photos.  At my wife’s suggestion, I took a few of an old, well worn, pair of gloves.  While they may not be the prettiest things to look at, they really speak to the hard work that goes into any physical trade.

While I liked the original photo (shown below), I really felt that it didn’t do justice to the subject matter.  It looked a bit washed out directly out of camera (which isn’t unusual) and so I thought I’d give it a go and try my hand at some post processing in Lightroom.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.8, ISO 160 | zoom in
Original Photo

I really wanted to accent the aged / weathered look of the glove, so I dragged the Lightroom Clarity slider to +100.  This accentuated all the cracks and other textures of the glove.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.8, ISO 160 | zoom in
Clarity +100

This looked better, but I really wanted to make it look aged.  Usually, age yellows things.  So I changed the temperature to make the whole photo warmer and messed with the fill light and vibrance settings until I was happy.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.8, ISO 160 | zoom in
Warmed up the colors

I intentionally made things a bit too warm and yellow.  This was done because the next step was to desaturate the photo by dragging the saturation slider to around -25.  This isn’t so much as to create a greyscale photo, but enough to make it look antique.  I also did a little cropping to straighten the photo.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.8, ISO 160 | zoom in
Final Version

I’m happy with the outcome and used this version in my Daily Photo #60.  I never had to leave Lightroom and it took under 5 minutes!

Just as a note, the easiest way to view all the steps is to click on the first photo in this post.  Once it’s loaded in a larger format, hovering your mouse over the right and left sides will bring up next / previous buttons.

Let me know what you think!

Day 60 – Hard Working

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.8, ISO 160 | zoom in
Day 60 - Hard Working
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Thanks to a great idea by my wife, I decided to take some photos of these well used gloves.  The initial photos were good, but I really wanted to try some interesting post processing on them.  This was the outcome – my attempt at giving them an antique / vintage look.  What do you all think?

(Post processing steps can be found here)

Day 33 – Vivid Crocs

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/8, ISO 200 | zoom in
Day 33 - High Contrast Crocs
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Every once in a while I like to play around with post-processing my photos.  Occasionally, I find something a bit out of the ordinary that I really like.  This was one of those times.

To get here, I used Adobe Lightroom and did the following:

  1. Dragged the exposure slider as far to the right as possible before blowing out the highlights and dragged the black slider as far as possible without loosing too much detail.
  2. Applied some highlight recovery to give it a bit more of an edge
  3. Increased the contrast slider
  4. Dragged the Clarity slider all the way to the right

What are some of your favorite ways to “play” with the post processing?

Canon G10 – No mass storage mode??

I love the little Canon G10. It’s a great camera that is much more portable than either of my two Nikon dSLRs. However, this little issue is enough to make me incredibly aggravated!

See, I guess I’m spoiled. My old Canon Powershot S30 (really old, but still works great to this day) had a mass storage mode. So do both my Nikon bodies. So what’s up Canon? What could possibly motivate you to remove such a helpful feature from your camera? And looking around online, I’m not the only one! In fact, it appears that many of the Canon dSLR bodies don’t have a mass storage mode either!

So let’s back up a step. With most cameras I’ve used, I shoot photos, they get saved to a flash memory device (either Compact Flash or Secure Digital) and I put the aforementioned card into a card reader. This works good for me. I don’t have to get out a cable and open the side of my cameras to attach the USB cable, and most card readers boast faster transfer speeds than the camera itself. So why, you ask don’t I just do this for the Canon G10? Good question!

When I bought my Nikon D50 which uses SD cards, I purchased a few 2GB SD cards for shooting. These worked well and were all I really needed. I got plenty of photos on each card (6 megapixel images) and I don’t like to store all my “eggs in one basked” so to speak. With the purchase of the Canon Powershot G10, I found that the 15 megapixel RAW files were so large that a 2GB card simply wasn’t enough. I found a good deal on a 4GB SDHC card and went for it. Little did I know that my SD card reader didn’t support the “HC” (high capacity) format of the cards. Bummer for me.

After a weekend of shooting in RAW I decided to copy the images off the card, run my custom renaming script on them and import them into Lightroom. Finding that my card reader wasn’t going to cut it, I simply pulled out a USB cable and plugged the camera directly into my MacBook. But wait! No icon appeared on my desktop. I tried my wife’s computer. No dice. Strange. I opened up Lightroom and behold, it recognized the camera. But wait! I can only import the photos into the Lightroom catalog. I don’t want to do this yet! I want to rename them first!

See, Canon, in all their infinite wisdom, decided that their cameras were too good for a Mass Storage mode which allows them to look like an external hard drive. Why? Well, that you’ll have to take up with the fine folks at Canon.

In the end, i worked around the problem by importing the files into Lightroom, deleting them from Lightroom (but leaving them on the hard drive), running my renaming script and then re-importing them into Lightroom. Phew! And then I went to bed. Needless to say, I’ll be posting some of the images I took soon, as well as investing in a newer SDHC card reader.

Using Lightroom 2 with the New Adobe Camera Profiles

Adobe’s announcement of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 coincided with their release of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) 4.5. Both ACR 4.5 and Lightroom 2.0 were touted as being able to use the also new Camera Profiles (still in Beta – see the full writeup here). According to Adobe Labs, there are multiple improvements with these new Camera profiles.

  • Updated Adobe Standard profiles which are supposed to improve color rendering in the reds, oranges and yellows
  • Camera Matching which is supposed include profiles for popular manufacturers allowing better matching of what the camera’s natively produce
  • The DNG Profile Editor which allows users to manually edit camera profiles
  • The new DNG version 1.2 standard

How do Adobe ACR Profiles Affect Me?

Of most importance to me are the first two. My understanding with the Camera Matching is that these profiles should better match the JPG output of the cameras internal RAW to JPG converters with no customization of the settings. If you have messed around with your in-camera settings, these profiles will not match them. They will match the settings as if they had all default values. I also noticed on the Adobe FAQ page, they make mention that the Camera Matching profiles work with Canon and Nikon cameras. In fact, there are five profiles for Canon designed to match the Canon Picture Styles Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, and Faithful with their default settings. There are 8 profiles for Nikon cameras designed to match the Nikon Picture Controls for Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Landscape, Portrait, D2X Mode 1, D2X Mode 2, D2X Mode 3.

Installing Adobe ACR Profiles

The installation is outlined pretty well on the Adobe Labs page. They do make mention to close Photoshop and Lightroom if they are open. The installation is quick and when I opened Lightroom again, in the Develop module under the “Camera Calibration” section on the right side under the Camera Calibration panel, there are additional options for ACR.

The first two options (ACR 4.4 and ACR 3.3) were there before installing the update. All the rest are new. I don’t have any Canon images, so I really can’t speak for how they will work or what would appear.

Using the Adobe ACR Profiles

One thing I particularly like about this setup is that I can change these profiles after the import of the RAW image. This makes perfect sense as these profiles are used to tell Lightroom how to display the RAW image. Therefore, the profile isn’t really part of the image and therefore, switching it around really just changes how Lightroom interprets the color bits contained in the actual RAW file. Cycling through each of the presets does indeed show different results. In fact, the new Adobe Standard beta 1 profiles does exactly what they say — better rendition of reds, oranges and yellows.

NIKON D200 @ 220mm — ¹/80 sec, ƒ/5.3, ISO 100 | zoom in
ACR 4.4 vs. Adobe Standard Beta 1

Clearly, the image I chose had strong orange / red tones to it to start with. But to my eye, the difference is very noticeable and I really think the new Adobe Standard is far better. The colors look much richer and less washed out.

Comparing the Profiles

In order to give a good idea of what each profile does to a raw image out of my Nikon D200 with no adjustment except for resizing / cropping. I omitted the “Camera Portrait beta 1″ on purpose since the lily in the photo really doesn’t lend itself to skin tones. Perhaps I’ll do another post which deals more with portraits. I also omitted all the D2X profiles. Feel free to experiment with all of them.

Also, the following photos will show everything compared against the new Adobe Standard Beta 1 profile. I chose to do this for a couple reasons. First, it’s the new standard Adobe profile. Second, if I were to compare everything to multiple profiles (such as the old standard ACR 4.4), the images of this post would become difficult to examine due to sheer numbers. Finally, I really think I’m going to pretty much stop using the ACR 4.4 profile as the new profiles are that much better. Your mileage may vary.

The easiest way to view the following images for me is to click on one and let the lightbox open. If you move your mouse to either edge of the image, a ‘Next’ or ‘Previous’ button will appear. This will let you cycle through each image.  Also, I’m viewing all of these on a color calibrated monitor.  Please understand that if your monitor isn’t calibrated these may look very different.

NIKON D200 @ 220mm — ¹/80 sec, ƒ/5.3, ISO 100 | zoom in
Adobe Standard Beta 1 vs. Camera Landscape Beta 1

The Camera Landscape profile gives a bolder look. For the above photo, it makes the oranges more vivid and the greens less brown. For this photo, that works well, but for some others I’ve tried it gave an almost over processed look to the image.

NIKON D200 @ 220mm — ¹/80 sec, ƒ/5.3, ISO 100 | zoom in
Adobe Standard Beta 1 vs. Camera Neutral Beta 1

The Camera Neutral profile seems to give everything a more yellowish tint. For this photo, I really don’t think it works. Everything looks a bit washed out. This could be perfect for other images though. It’s all about flexibility!

NIKON D200 @ 220mm — ¹/80 sec, ƒ/5.3, ISO 100 | zoom in
Adobe Standard Beta 1 vs. Camera Standard Beta 1

The Camera Standard is my favorite for this particular image. To me, it gives the most accurate representation of the colors in the image without making them look ‘too vivid’ or over processed.

NIKON D200 @ 220mm — ¹/80 sec, ƒ/5.3, ISO 100 | zoom in
Adobe Standard Beta 1 vs. Camera Vivid Beta 1

The Camera Vivid profile is just that. For those sunsets that just need more color, this might work perfectly. For this photo, it’s too much in my opinion. Either way, it’s a great way to bump up the colors without having to do any adjustments.

Conclusion

There are many opinions about which RAW format converter gave the best colors. For me, I think Adobe handled this in a fantastic way — letting the user choose what profile works the best for them. And since you don’t have to just pick one and stick with it, this whole system affords a ton of flexibility.

If you’re like me and decide that there is a better default setting for your camera, you can save the default develop settings. This is a little tricky as there are a few options. Please note: I have tested these instructions on a Mac. I have not tested them for a PC. First, go to Preferences and select the ‘Presets’ tab. Under the Default Develop Settings heading there are two check boxes we’re concerned with — ‘Make defaults specific to camera serial number’ and ‘Make defaults specific to camera ISO setting’. This allows the user to select if they want to use different default profiles for different cameras and even different ISO values.

Once you’ve this choice has been made, view a RAW file in the Develop module. Select the profile you want to set as default and from the Develop menu, select Develop->Set Default Settings. This will save your default profile as well as any adjustments which were made to it using the sliders in the Camera Calibration section.