Do you aspire to get the photo as close to perfect in the camera or do you wonder how that photo might look if you continued processing it in software? It is an interesting dilemma and one that can never be truly answered for everyone. Many people state, “I’m a purist. What I see in front of me is what I strive to represent in the camera.” Others will say, “I’m an artist and the end product is more important than what I see in front of me.”
Regardless of your feelings on this matter, I want to encourage you to “think in Photoshop.” What I mean by this is that I want you to imagine what your photo might look like after some additional work in Photoshop or Lightroom or Nikon Capture NX2. Might it look better in black and white? How about a sepia tone? What if you simply improved the color balance just a little bit and added some contrast?
Look through the images below to see what I mean. Each photo is a different rendition of the same image. The first one is what the image looked like directly out of my camera.
My point is that you can often arrive at a much better or more interesting image after working on the file in Photoshop or Nikon Capture NX2. The simple act of playing with your images in software can open up whole new worlds of creativity for you. Don’t hesitate to think in Photoshop.
I love the sky in Tanzania. The daily afternoon thunderstorms almost alway guarantee some type of dynamic light that begs to be captured by your camera. It is easy to point your camera towards the heavens, but the challenge is to find a way to juxtapose wildlife or an austere landscape underneath those dramatic skies. This combination of amazing sky and wildlife/landscape is one of my reoccurring photo goals each time I travel to Tanzania.
Here are some attempts from our last photo safari with the Nikonians Academy.
Mt. Kilimanjaro above the town of Moshi, Tanzania. November, 2010. I took the image with my Nikon D700 and 24-70mm f2.8 lens during one of my African Safari trips. In the computer, I processed it Photoshop CS5 using ACR, Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 Polarizer and Nik Silver Efex Pro Sepia conversion.
I love Nik Software products and Nik Silver Efex Pro has always been one of my favorite ways to create black and white images. Now, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 has been released with a bunch of new tools such as color point technology, new algorithms and new visual presets. Their new software allows you to add regional adjustments as well as local adjustements. One of the neatest elements of the software is the border module that allows you to create very professional looking vignettes and burned edges.
The new software works as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. It can also be operated in stand-alone mode using TIFFs and JPGs.
I love it.