Marc St.Onge Photography: Blog en-us (C)2024 Marc St.Onge (Marc St.Onge Photography) Tue, 08 Jun 2021 20:23:00 GMT Tue, 08 Jun 2021 20:23:00 GMT Marc St.Onge Photography: Blog 120 120 A short post-processing example Why the heck is it called "post-processing"?  Why not just "processing"?

Well, anyways, while waiting in the Westfield Tech parking lot for a baseball game to begin I happened to look up to see a predator circling overhead.  I had my baseball photo setup in hand (Nikon D7500 with Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens) so, of course, I went to maximum zoom and took a series of photos until he (or she) flew out of sight.  The camera was set on aperture priority which, at maximum zoom, was f/5.6.  Since the camera has an APS-C crop sensor, max zoom was 450mm.  It being a beautiful evening with lots of light I had the ISO set to 200.  Here's the resulting image:

Camera originalCamera original

Obviously, I wanted a bit more out of this picture.  I brought it into Lightroom and made two adjustments I make to almost every shot I take - in the Develop Module I enable the lens correction profile for the particular lens I'm using; and in the Camera Calibration drop down I change it from Adobe Standard to Camera Standard.  The first corrects lens defects including vignetting - the second makes the image more like Nikon's preferences than Adobe's preferences insofar as color, contrast, etc.  It's a personal preference thing.  The result was this:

Original + lens and calib corrOriginal + lens and calib corr

It might not show up well on your monitor but the vignetting is gone and the blue of the sky is much more appealing to me.  The raw image had a blue/green sky while the adjusted Camera Standard image was all blue.

Now I wanted to see more of the bird.  Cropping in tightly provided me this view:

Original detail 1Original detail 1

And, of course, the bird is a little shaky.  Not really out-of-focus but shaky which is a little surprising as it was shot at 1/800th of a second. 

Here's where Topaz Sharpen saves the day.  Sharpen has three algorithms it can apply to an image with varying degrees of strength: sharpen, stabilize, and focus.  After a period of intense fooling around with settings, I ended up applying the "Stabilize" algorithm to the image which made all the difference:

Org 1 stabilizedOrg 1 stabilized


This version was much more to my liking.  I've used Topaz software on a number of images and heartily recommend it both as a go-to image improver and a creative powerhouse.


(Marc St.Onge Photography) bird feather focus Topaz Tue, 08 Jun 2021 20:23:17 GMT
The Story Behind the Picture: Flyby On a warm, winter Saturday I took a walk through Stanley Park in Westfield.  I had brought along a newer camera that I had been trying to get used to ( a Panasonic FZ1000) -- it was very convenient and easy to use but I wasn't convinced its quality was what I wanted for my photography.  I re-visited several areas where I had taken interesting pictures before, including the half-frozen stream just below the Japanese pavillion.  There I found a very small still life of a rock frozen in ice with a sprig of pine needle draped across it:

Ice rock originalIce rock original

It didn't look like much but I knew I could work on it in Lightoom and Photoshop to eliminate the distracting element and emphasize the design.  Back at the computer, I first cropped it square to concentrate on the rock and sprig:

Ice rock cropIce rock crop

It just wasn't doing it for me.  The image wasn't sharp enough and nothing I did could fix it.  I posted it to Facebook and after getting a well-aimed comment (thanks, Paul) and much staring and pondering and messing around I decided I had to re-shoot it.  I knew there was something there I wanted but this wasn't it.

Sunday morning was different -- cloudy and cold.  This time I took a better camera and lens (if you're interested a Nikon D7100 with a 28-105 lens) and returned to the spot.  Well, yesterday's warm weather had taken its toll on the ice leaving me with a very different looking rock and no pine needle.  CONFESSION: This picture needed a pine needle sprig and since I had shot one yesterday I did not feel it would be photographically dishonest to add one to the rock.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.  The new image:

Flyby originalFlyby originalNo usage without written consent

Different, yes, and better.  It needed, however, one more step to get it to where I wanted it -- tight cropping to emphasize the "swoop":

Flyby finalFlyby finalNo usage without written consent

A little abstract but it had everything I wanted.  I've entitled it "Flyby" and dedicate it to Paul -- no Cokin filter involved here.



(Marc St.Onge Photography) cold ice orange pine rock water winter yellow Sun, 26 Feb 2017 22:52:17 GMT
The Story Behind the Picture: Flying Turkey Many of you have commented on the pictures I post so I thought I would start telling the story behind some of the pictures.  For those who are interested in photography, this might give you some ideas on how to capture better photos.  If you're not that interested in the photographic part of it, I'll try to make the story interesting, maybe even amusing.

For my first attempt at TSBTP (just rolls off the tongue, yes?) let's look at today's picture "Flying Turkey":


I'd like to say I lay in wait for hours in the freezing cold to get this shot but that would be an alternate fact.  In reality, I stepped out of the house to get the mail, only to see a couple of turkeys startle at the noise.  I stole quietly back into the house to get a camera.  The nearest one was an older Canon point-and-shoot ( a G15) and, time being of the essence, I grabbed it.  Stepping back outside I noted the turkeys were heading away from me into the woods between the house and the road.  I took a quick grab shot:


Boring.  Turkeys disappearing into woods.  Oh well, I thought, I'll go get the mail.  Maybe they'll try to cross the road and I'll have time to zoom in on them. 

Now, here's the photographer part: as I'm heading up to the road I'm checking the settings on the camera.  I've got no real idea of what's going to be there to shoot so I set the thing on P mode.  P is Program mode (not Professional mode as some seem to think) and in P mode the camera takes over most, but not all, of the camera functions.  I know I won't have time to pick better settings so I'm letting the camera do that while I do the work of getting in a position to get SOME kind of picture.

When I get to the road, one of them flies UP OVER THE TELEPHONE LINES!  Whoa, cool!  I bring the camera up to try and get him but he's already in the neighbor's yard.  Now the other turkey takes off and I manage to get one shot off, no looking through viewfinder or at the LCD on back of camera -- just "point and shoot".  So here's the raw image, straight out of the camera:

Turkey originalTurkey original

It's a little overexposed but I can fix that in post-processing (yes, just like in the movies!).  And here's photographer thing #2: as is, the picture's not so hot.  Aside from the overexposure, the turkey is way to the right and the neighbor's house does not add to the "story".  By cropping out the house, driveway, and sign I've isolated the bird against a background of trees -- more in line with an "in-the-wild" theme.  Finding the "picture within the picture" can often turn the mundane into something interesting.


Hope you've enjoyed this post. 


(Marc St.Onge Photography) feather flying photograph turkey wildlife wing winter Sat, 18 Feb 2017 21:25:31 GMT