While I was out recently photographing some green herons, I captured some images of one perked on a branch inside a tree. This article provides some progressive images and commentary about doing some quick adjustments to a dark bird image using DxO PhotoLab.
The sample photograph was captured using a Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 258 mm, efov 697 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-1250. I shot using Manual mode with Auto ISO 160-6400.
The objective of this short article is to demonstrate the improvements that can be made to an image by doing some very quick and simple adjustments in DxO PhotoLab. Similar results can be achieved with other photo software.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
First let’s look at an out-of-camera jpeg.
As we can see the image is underexposed and quite dark. For comparison purposes the next image is a jpeg made from an unprocessed RAW file.
As you can see there isn’t much difference from the out-of-camera jpeg and the one made from an unprocessed RAW file. Now let’s have a look at the auto-corrections done when using DxO PhotoLab and working with a RAW file.
When a RAW file is opened in DxO PhotoLab with auto corrections enabled, the program makes a number of instantaneous corrections as you can see in the above image. Now let’s see what can be done with some minor corrections done in DxO PhotoLab.
I made the following adjustments in DxO PhotoLab that resulted in the jpeg above: Highlights -20m Shadows 10, Black -10, Vibrance 15, Microcontrast 7(auto), Lens Sharpness Global 1.20 and Details 70, and PRIME noise reduction.
Since the green heron’s chest and wing needed more definition I applied the DxO Smart Lighting Spot Weighted adjustment at a ‘slight’ level. Obviously all of these DxO PhotoLab adjustments would have been done at the same time. I showed the impact of the Spot Weighted tool to demonstrate that specific adjustment.
Regardless of the photo software you may own, images can be improved a great deal by using some very quick and simple adjustments.
Photograph was captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as noted in the second paragraph of this article.
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