Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Camera Raw to Developed Photo -- a process

This photo was taken with a digital camera, in this case a Canon 5D Mark II, and downloaded as a Camera Raw image. Technically, it was embedded in an Adobe Digital Negative format, but the basic camera raw image is preserved. All of this photo manipulation was done in Adobe Camera Raw, a program that comes with Adobe Photoshop.

The above image is OK, but there are a lot of things to need to be done to make it into a final image. Bear in mind that everything done to the image is embedded in the Digital Negative file. As I made the changes, I saved off each change as a separate JPEG file for uploading. Because I saved the original Digital Negative, all of the changes are reversible and I could start all over again with the original if I choose to do so. Here is the next step, cropping the image.

The image crop focuses the subject matter more on the cattle load by eliminating some of the unnecessary background. Sometimes, it is important to preserve the background so that you can add context to the picture. In this case the extra background was merely a distraction. Here is the next step, adding contrast to the original.

Higher contrast is a matter of style and personal preference. You may have liked the photo before the contrast was added. I like to show the grain of the wood and bright out the details so I use some additional contrast.

Next, I added some clarity. This is actully more contrast, but it resolves some of the details at the expense of others. This change is also a matter of taste and preference.

The color was a little washed out, so I added some vibrance, making the colors brighter and somewhat darker.

For the final photo, I added some saturation. Increasing the amount of color in the photo. What do you think? Did I go too far? Or not far enough? In my next series I will do some additional manipulation with special effects.

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