One of the most important things I have been teaching photography workshop participants over the last 15 years is to make sure they ‘Get It Right In Camera’. Sure, there are lots of great post-processing programs out there that you can use to develop images, but it’s important to make sure you have a decent image to start with in the first place.
Sharpening Blurry Images Is Impossible
If an image is blurry due to a low shutter, the chances of correcting that image are near-impossible in post-processing. Images can be sharpened but no amount of computer work can ‘fix’ an image that’s blurry from the start. Learning the correct settings and techniques from the start is an important part of photography.
Over- exposure is difficult to correct in post-processing. A small amount of over or under exposure can be adjusted in Photoshop or Lightroom (especially when shooting in RAW), but no amount of manipulating will improve an over-exposed image. When an area is over-blown, it’s difficult fixing the problem when post-processing. Learn to use the appropriate exposure settings, then once you are comfortable with those settings, the number of properly-exposed images will increase.
Natural Lighting Versus HDR Merging
In landscape photography, there is a technique that some photographers use that blends over and under-exposed areas in the one shot. This is known as merging using HDR (High Dynamic Range), where you take a number of images at different exposures and then blend them on the computer, using one of the numerous HDR programs on the market. The issue I have with this method is that so often the images are over-processed by photographers, giving them a ‘fake’ look. I don’t have an issue with photographers using HDR merging techniques, but it’s imperative to process carefully to achieve optimum image results. Personally, I don’t use HDR and work to ‘get it right in camera’. I prefer to scout the best locations, look at weather forecasts, then head on out to photograph at the best times of the day. This is often at sunrise or sunset, or on a cloudy day if photographing in a rainforest, where diffused light is always best.
At the end of my photography workshops and tours, I often make this comment:
“I always prefer to ‘get it right in camera’ and spend quality time outdoors, than to sit behind a computer post-processing images that were shot poorly in the first place”.
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.