Category Archives: Ramblings

Using Software to Tune a Photo

I have read several blogs recently regarding the use of software to adjust a photograph. Regardless of your stance on how much you should or should not adjust the original photo, I’m learning that what you see, can be made so much better with some very minor adjustments.

For illustrative purposes, I was playing around with one of the photos from my recent post “Reflections #2”.  The picture was taken just a couple of days ago, a rather warm day, but overcast.  The original photo was nothing to write home about.  If fact, it was kinda…..well…..blah.

(Actual Photo, No Edits)

The photo that I posted as part of the “Reflections Challenge” was tweaked only slightly in Lightroom to try to draw the colors out in the trees and in the reflection. I was able to accomplish my goal, however, and after looking at it again, I felt that the picture was still a little dark, that was still more there.

(Lightroom, minor edits)

I have used Photomatix Pro to create a couple of HDR images. If you are familiar with HDR image processing it uses three images taken at different exposures then processes them with tone mapping and fuses them into a single image. Photomatix is a wonder tool for creating those images.

However, I was curious how Photomatix Pro would process a single photo. My experience with Photomatix is limited, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. My first pass at processing the photo, I wanted to achieve my original goal, which was to draw out the colors in the trees and in the reflection. The difference was amazing.

(Photomatix Pro, minor edits)

After seeing the difference, I got a little ambitious and wanted to see if I could change the feel of the image. My goal was to make the image look more “cold”. (Keep in mind it is December, and it was 70 degrees outside.) I reprocessed the photo, and again was amazed at what Photomatix was able to accomplish.

(Photomatix Pro, minor edits)

Now I recoginize the Lightroom and Photomatix Pro are used for different purposes, however, I was very pleased with what PhotoMatix could do with a single image, with only a few minor adjustments after the photo was processed.

At the end of the day, I guess it depends on what your goal is when processing the photo, but I would love to hear what other think about image processing.