A short post-processing example

June 08, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

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.

 


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