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Post processing

June 24th, 2010
I wrote this entry in my google blog in April 2009. Now in June 2010, after my tastes and ethics have slightly changed I am not sure how I think of the post processing I have undertaken. I keep rereading my last sentence in the final paragraph below I believe I fell stronger than ever to strive to do as little as possible in the post process. Of course, if a rare image presents itself in less than ideal surroundings, then I may choose to amend the background a little, hoping that minimal amendment is required. Now back to the post processing story.

The original image with the clutter.

I created this image in December 2007 at Long Reef Aquatic Reserve, NSW. The subject, a Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) was coming into land in a small colony congregating on the rock platform. With the light behind me (even though a bit strong for my liking) I captured the landing. Looking at the RAW image, flaws are immediately evident and it took close to 18 months and a new set of Photoshop skills learned for me to take another look at the RAW image again.

The improved image after acquiring more Photoshop skills.

With a series of Quick Masks, some cloning and healing and a crop for taste I created the final image that you see above this paragraph. In the process I took out three other members of the cormorant clan already resting on the rocks, drying their wings. I find the final image much more satisfactory, though in the first instance I would always prefer to do as LITTLE as possible with a RAW image. Thus my aim (and yours too) really, should be to capture the ideal image in the camera so no time-consuming retouching work and tweaking become the necessary enhancements in the post process.

Hope you like my image(s).

Nature Photography

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