A number of days ago I decided to take a break from some client video work and a couple of eBook projects on which I’ve been working. I ended up on the shores of Lake Ontario on a cold morning, composing some photographs. After spending a bit of time processing a few of those images I thought I’d share some quick thoughts about working with dull winter scenes in post.
A couple of readers have contacted me over the past number of months, commenting that it would be helpful if I could show a comparison of jpegs made from unprocessed RAW files (rather than out-of-camera jpegs) with some finished images produced from the same original RAW files. So, that’s what follows in this short article.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
The image above was one of the first ones that I captured during my morning outing. It appeared to have a bit of promise with the hints of colour in the sky and on the surface of the water.
I made some simple adjustments with highlights and shadows to help to bring out more details in the image. A quick adjustment in the curves function in CS6 brought out more of the colour contrast in the scene, and bumping brightness a bit livened up the image.
The unprocessed image above definitely needed some work in terms of perspective control as the shaping of the gazebo was distracting.
I used the perspective control adjustment in OpticsPro 11, tweaked highlights and shadows (double bumping both), increased colour contrast with the curves adjustment in CS6, used some micro-contrast and structure to give the details better definition, and finished the image off by increasing the brightness.
The large tree and adjacent picnic table caught my eye. I also noticed some increasing colour in the sky.
I did similar adjustments to this image in terms of adjusting highlights and shadows, increasing colour contrast with a curve adjustment, and adjusting brightness. One additional thing that I did with this image was to increase blue saturation.
While none of the photographs were ‘keepers’ in terms of images to enlarge, they did end up being good reminders of some of the simple things that can be done when working with dull winter scenes in post.
All photographs were captured hand-held using Nikon 1 gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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