iPad/iPhone Photo Editing

I’ve spent days editing pictures on my desktop after a recent trip. I love doing that. Tonight I’m just fooling around on my IPad with a couple of new apps I picked up when I read a FB post by Dewitt Jones…I blame him for the multitude of editing apps I’ve collected. Here is the final image out of Photoshop, then two versions of that same image run through, first Brushstroke, then Distressed FX.  These apps can be a lot of fun.

Another image taken in Rothenburg and edited with Brushstroke.

Editing the $&@/€% Out of Pictures

Rainy day. Planned to go out an exercise my photo muscles but didn’t work out. Bring up Photoshop and my iPhone and massacre some photos. Actually you can learn something by trying everything under the rainbow. With that software it’s also a good idea to use it and practice. 

 This baby was an iPhone shot. I wished I had done better with composition but I liked the colors and textures. Heavy editing with iPhone apps.  

Force Yourself to Learn

I’ve never been tagged by anyone as a “brain”, and that’s a good thing. I can get away with more that way. What I do think I am is an exceptional grinder. I love learning new things, especially now that I’m retired from the real world, and have the time to do it…yes I realize I’m incredibly lucky. 

One technique I’ve used a few times this past year is to schedule a workshop and send out invitations a month or so out, on a topic I know little about, but have wanted to learn. I find nothing focused the mind like having to present and teach a topic which is unfamiliar. 

My latest topic is on Workflow Automation in Lightroom and Photoshop. What I think I’ve found out, after a few days of research is that this isn’t something for a single two -hour workshop. Great topic, and I’ve learned a ton, but it’s huge!

The learning continues. 

Trying something new

     There is always something different to try in photography.  I purchased a Hoya Infrared filter and got busy trying to figure out how to take interesting IR images.  I’ve got an old Nikon D70, that works (sort of, except when its not working), and I had read that the D70 was suitable for IR photography.  My two newer cameras, the D7000, and D810, were not supposed to be as good.

I’ve taken quite a few pictures over the past week with all three cameras, and can confirm that the D70 is a lot better using the Filter than either the D810 or D7000.  The two newer cameras aren’t complete busts with the filter, and I still feel that if I can figure out the Post Processing with those two cameras, they may be good.  The D70, on the other hand, works great.  Here are some images with the D70.

My post processing with the D70 is not too complicated;

1) Import into Lightroom

2) Lens correction, and then White balance using the dropper, clicking on what should be green, like grass or tree leaves.  Auto white balance is usually ok also.

3) Into Photoshop, and then

4) Auto tone (Image/Auto Tone)

5) Then reverse the Red and Blue channels by using the Image/Adjustments/Channel Mixer

6) Back to Adobe Camera Raw, and Auto White balance again, then desaturate the reds.oranges, and magentas in ACR, HSL.  I’ll frequently also go way down on the highlights slider, to bring back some detail in the white areas.

7) Done…except for maybe some dodging and burning.

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Case in Point

I’m trying to become more discriminating about my own work. I’ve written recently about the process of winnowing down after a photo shoot. There are numerous phases to that process. I’m now in the “what to edit first” phase (I shoot raw, so I edit everything). I’ve already discarded hundreds of photos. Some immediately the day they were taken, others when I first imported and reviewed the shoot, and still more when I made my first pass at keywording. At this stage I’m still deleting photos, but it’s getting tougher…and I still have too many. The editing phase is further complicated by the fact that once you’ve invested some of yourself in the editing process, you fall in love with your stuff and loose objectivity.

When I return from a trip like my last one to New England I try to get down to one “best” image from each set that I’ve kept to this point. Case in point…these three shots. I chose to edit all three. I had about ten series from this location and got down to these three, which I liked for different reasons. I will end up with only one for my trip book, but which one? The first one shows more water, which was my point with these slow shutter speed shots. The second shows more rocks and some Fall color. Love the rocks. The last one show a nice long perspective of the Acadian shore. All were taken from approximately the same location with different zoom.


I believe the last stage of the winnowing process will come after the cooling off stage. I’ll have to finish editing, let it sit for a bit, then select. Watch, I’ll decide I don’t like any of them! Oh well.

The Magic

Another good day in Post Processing. I took advantage of a rainy day today to dig into photos from my last trip. I love PP, but it does take time. A few hours sorting, selecting and editing. I’m trying to be more disciplined about selecting and editing only the best.
I found this one from an early morning shoot on the coast in Acadia park, Maine. I was trying slow shutter speed techniques to blur the waves. IMG_9399.JPG
Rainy day, not a great sky. The sky in this image is a replacement. I’m not making excuses. The white, blown out sky in the original was lousy. I’m there taking pictures, I live in Houston…not likely to return for better weather…fix it. Simple.

Learning While Teaching

I’ve always found that the best way to become an expert is to teach other people!  That may sound strange.  Arn’t you supposed to become an expert first, then teach others?  Normally I guess I’d agree, except its a matter of definition.  You’re an expert when you know more than someone else, so as long as you teach people who know less than you do, your the expert.  Now if you’re an honest “expert”, and I hope I am, you still work hard to provide value to those you are teaching, even if you are not THE worldwide expert on the topic.  I hope I never pass myself off as a worldwide expert in anything.

A case in point.  I consider myself pretty good at image post processing.  By no means do I put myself in the same universe as others I see and follow out there like Jimmy McIntyre, and the Kelby Crew, or others listed on my site.  I am however relatively good in the local-guy-in-the-neighborhood way.  I want to become much better, and I’ve been extremely fortunate to be chosen as President of our local Photoclub.  A  “modest” little club with close to 100 members.  I say “modest” see this post.  We have a Post Processing Special Interest group as part of the club activities, and we meet once per month.  The folks in this group are great, and as eager to learn, as am I.  Working with this group has given me several opportunities to present Post Processing topics.  I’ve made it a habit to work really hard preparing for the sessions, as a way of teaching myself as much as I can about the topic, and after the meeting I write up a detailed summary of what we discussed, as a way of reinforcing the learning…For myself.  Of course I hope the learning gets through to the rest of those attending, and is reinforced by the subsequent write-up, but one of the really Maine-Kennebunk-105-Editpowerful things about teaching like this is that I probably learn more than anyone else!  I’ve even used this argument with others in the group to cajole them into presenting.

Our subject last night was Exposure Blending.  Before the meeting I listed as may ways to do this as I could come up with.  I found videos and articles online, testing them out until I could do them well, and then taught them.  Of course I didn’t start from scratch.  I knew and had been using most of the techniques prior to having to teach them, but teaching makes one go much further.  It makes you try to really understand what is going on, and why…after all, you are the “expert”.  Here’s my post meeting write up.

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