Winter musings re: post-processing.

Inspiration, Q&A, Teaching point

Yesterday in addition to a new image (here), I posted a few from 2016 (here and here) that I’d never gotten around to sharing (so in a sense they were new too).

This all came about because the winter here has really decreased my photo opportunities lately and in my restlessness to do something creative I decided go back and revisit some old images of mine.  As an aside, this is a good thing to do from time-to-time because it inevitably leads to some form of insight (though I must admit that I haven’t been good about engaging in photographic self-evaluation lately).

Specifically, I was looking at this image from last summer:

↑ Nikon D500 + Nikon 200mm f/2 G ED VR II.

… and realized that, in my haste to post-process it along with 100 other images from that day, I had probably not optimally processed it.

Post-processing has been on my mind lately because a reader of this blog recently shared a photo with me (taken by another photographer) that he considered “over-cooked”.  I have written about such over-zealous post-processing in the past and I heartily agreed with him.

In looking at the photo above, I wondered whether I had shown too much restraint — whether I had, in fact, under-processed it.  I subsequently fired up Lightroom and played with the settings to arrive at this alternate version:

The two versions are not drastically different (remember, I’m still trying to be cautious) but I believe the re-worked version is better than the original.

I will take what I learned from experimenting with this image and most certainly will apply that knowledge to my images this year, and it will probably make a bigger difference to my output than any gear-related change I could potentially make.  I’m therefore glad that the winter weather forced me to pause and reflect.

As a second aside, I can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can use this combination of gear (D500 and 200mm f/2) again; I only had one chance to use the lens before the baseball season ended.

For those interested in a how sharp the Nikon 200mm is @ f/2, I’ve provided a crop:

Did I mention that I can’t wait for spring?



4 thoughts on “Winter musings re: post-processing.

    1. Thanks Karim. Those incremental, “slightly better”, advancements are what I strive for year after year. I’m often tempted to delete everything on this blog that is older than 3 years because I’m not pleased with what I was doing before. And I’m sure I will feel the same about my current images 3 years from now.

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