Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From Drab To Fab In Five Minutes

Check out the color, contrast and sharpness in this picture of a short-eared owl that I photographed with its prey, a small dove, in the Galápagos.
By Rick Sammon Published in Quick Fix

While I’m sharpening an image, I have the most important part of the image in the Preview window—the owl’s eye, in this case.

Here are my two most important tips on sharpening: Don’t oversharpen, and sharpen last. If you oversharpen an image, your image will look pixelated. You want to sharpen last because adjusting contrast and curves also sharpens an image.

Another thought to keep in mind: Sharpen for viewing distance. As the viewing distance increases, you may want to increase the sharpness of an image; the converse is also true.

4. After Midnight

One of the cool things about Lightroom (and many popular photo apps) is that you can use plug-ins for additional creative enhancements. To create this version of the image, I used the Midnight filter in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro plug-in (www.niksoftware.com).

Summing up, it’s best to start with the best in-camera image, of course. But if the light isn’t quite right, it’s easy to turn a drab shot into a fab shot in a few minutes in the digital darkroom.

Rick Sammon is the author of many books on photography. He even has an iPhone app. Visit www.ricksammon.com.

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