Tag Archives: editing

A Sunrise For Your Saturday

A sunrise at Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado) – the edited version
Same image as above, unedited

Here’s a sunrise for your Saturday, courtesy of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

And now, class, here’s your lessons for today.

My editor wanted me to send him some images of cliff dwellings I’d captured during my visit to this national park some years ago (10 years, actually – same year I started volunteering photos and articles to the National Parks Traveler). As I was perusing all the images, I came across this sunrise shot photographed from the balcony of my room at the Far View Lodge. I noticed I’d never done anything with it – probably because I thought it wasn’t very good afterall, and because I didn’t have the editing skills to bring out the beauty of the shot. I did something that all of you should do with photos you don’t think are worth anything but that are technically ok (i.e. not blurred or really grainy): keep it until you have the skills to return to work on it.

I don’t care what anybody says, it’s my opinion that every image you capture needs some bit of tweaking. Sometimes, it needs quite a bit of tweaking to bring out what your eyes saw when you composed and captured the image. This image is a good example.

The original image is dark and muddy and has some extraneous junk in the corner (a part of the balcony roof) as well as a couple of sensor spots. I could have deleted the image and gone on about my business, but I chose to keep it (actually, I think I just passed by it and forgot about it for all these years). Now, some 10 years later, I’ve returned to work on it, and it’s not turned out too badly, I think. With improvement in my photo skills, I’ve been able to bring out details and color previously hidden, and cleaned up the composition as a whole.

You can do all this too. Just keep practicing and learning new editing skills, and don’t delete those photos you think are not that great. They might be real keepers.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Mesa Verde National Park, National Parks, Photo Editing

Editing Photos: The Data Is There

The unedited version of Mount Rainier towering over Reflection Lakes, Mount Rainier National Park
The edited version of Mount Rainier towering over Reflection Lakes, Mount Rainier National Park

Ok, before I get into the details of these images, I have to get this off my chest: Facebook sucks! I have a FB photography page Where The Trails Take You Photography, LLC . I posted these two images and an explanation that I will repost here. For whatever reason, FB decided that the post and photos “violated community standards” and my photo page has thus been restricted for 29 days. I’m not certain where those photos and post involve bullying, bigotry, abuse, and all the other things that really do violate FB’s community standards, but they decided this post did just that. I’ve filed an appeal explaining all of this. They may just get pissy and keep me restricted. Hell, I might even have my photo page deleted by them. No huge loss, although I do have over 7,000 people liking that page but who probably never ever even look at my images – once they like a page, they go on about their business because FB’s algorithms – plus the fact that I don’t shell out money to “boost” my posts – keep followers from seeing many if not most of my posts. Sigh.

Anyway, about these two images. It’s always been my belief that every photo you capture can stand to use a little editing tweak here and there – sometimes quite a bit of editing, if you have sensor spots you need to clone out and blown out highlights to fix, etc. The camera captures all of the data within a scene, but sometimes it needs to be teased out to bring forth the scene as you saw it.

The unedited version looks a little muddy and dull and blah. The overall scene is not very bright and the colors need more than a little saturating. Maybe my settings were wrong to begin with. Who knows! I remedied the situation in the edited version, which looks much better, don’t you think?

So, here’s the takeaway:

Don’t delete images that look too dark, too light, too blah. Your camera captured all the data and you just need to spend a little time bringing forth those hidden details. I spent maybe 5-7 minutes working on the edited version. No need to spend an hour or longer (like some photographers tell their audience they do). If you spend that much time on each image, no wonder you don’t like editing your photos! The only reason you may need to delete an image is if it is obviously blurred from camera shake or it was never in focus to begin with. Just save that image and come back to it later, after you’ve gotten more editing experience and learned new techniques.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Mount Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography

Before And After – An Ode To Photo Editing And Photoshop

The “Before” shot of the Bryce Amphitheater detail at Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
The “After” shot of the same scene at Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)

Ok, this is not so much of an “ode” but it is an appreciation of what photo editing can bring out in a composition. Whether you believe it or not, and whether you even like it or not – most images really do need some sort of editing done to them after downloading them to your computer. Digital and mirrorless cameras capture all the detail of a scene, but they don’t necessarily present it quite like we saw it. Our eyes – our wonderful, delicate eyes – are still the best at defining detail within the light and shadow of a landscape. To get that image to match what our eyes have seen (and the memory recorded in our heads), some editing using a favorite piece of software, like Lightroom or Photoshop or some other program is really necessary.

It was my first-ever visit to this particular national park. An April birthday gift I gave to myself several years ago – that, plus one of the last paid vacations I’d be able to get out of the company before my subsequent retirement and out-of-state move some three months after this shot was captured. I wanted to photograph the detail of the amphitheater wall, so I used my Canon 100-400mm lens for a “telephoto landscape.” Unfortunately, I didn’t pay much attention to the camera settings, and the resulting image was washed out, a little overexposed, and downright “blah.”

Recently, I’ve been brushing up on my editing skills, learning all sorts of cool stuff through the video tutorials purchased from one of my favorite photographers, Sean Bagshaw. I wanted to test my newly-learned skills and returned to this image. The result is not half bad, imo.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, National Parks, Photo Editing, Photography, Utah