Thursday, April 19, 2007

Making the most out of what the light gives you.

Nothing is more disappointing for a photographer than to arrive at a location and have lousy weather conditions. My trip down the Li River in Guilin, China, started out just that way. We arrived early in the morning faced with drizzle and fog. Good shooters take what's given to them and make the best out of it. As they say in photography "find out what the light is giving you". So I composed the best images I could, making sure exposure was correct and using a UV filter to reduce the haze.

(flat, unadjusted RAW image)

As you can see the result was a pretty flat image. Normally RAW files will look that way and what you are seeing is a plain old RAW file without any adjustments.

(RAW file with adjustments)

So let's bring some life to this image by making adjustments to white balance, boosting the saturation slightly, lifting up the highlights and darkening the shadows. Wow! I like it.

Here's another example below:

(flat, unadjusted RAW image)

Again, haze and other lighting conditions put this image into the blah category but with a few adjustments we have a different picture.

(RAW file with adjustments)

By making similar adjustments from the first image we also get a pretty satisfying result.

These adjustments take a few minutes to do using Adobe Lightroom. Again the goal is to stay away from Photoshop if possible and its image manipulation capability.

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.


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