Feb 262013

 Fact #1: Cropping messes with pixels.

Fact #2: Sharpening in post messes with pixels.

Fact #3: Like belly buttons everyone has an opinion about adjustments in post (after taking the photograph).

Fact #4: I can do what ever I want in post.  It’s my world and my photograph.  Just remember the impact of a photograph based on the “RULES”.

So here are my rules;

Rule #1: Do my very best to do little or no adjustments in post.

Rule #2 Do my very, very best to capture as close to the actual scene as possible to avoid any desired adjustments in POST!

I thought I would share one particular photograph I took tonight and a few adjustments I made.  Step by step.

First here is a capture of a bald eagle from tonight.  This shot has NO adjustments in post except a slight crop to obtain more of a panoramic image.  In-camera was a +.3 exposure compensation.


The Bald Eagle photographed over snow with a slight exposure comp is almost as easy as a sunset capture.  Especially in the case of the photograph above when the eagle is flying directly at the light source (the sun).

Can’t always be that lucky when relying on the natural elements for light, shadows, composition, etc.  Tonight my camera was a little tired when I brought it home.  Inside was 0ver 1,100 images.  Swans, Bald eagles, pelicans and the majority of which was a very not very shy Jr. Bald Eagle.  He was still following his parent around still in it’s juvenile color scheme.  The time of day, the feather colors and the angle to the light source made for some interesting challenges.  I ran through all the shots and threw out the ones that I had no interest in.  Usually about 70% of the shots.  I chose the following shot for this exercise.  Funky things happen to photographs when uploaded to the web.  So I hope what I am trying to portray here actually is represented after uploading it.


In the photograph above the juvenile bald eagle, like a lot of wildlife moves fast.  It’s very difficult to always have perfect composition.  The first thing I did in post was crop slightly to make the space around the eagle less annoying to ME.  Emphasis on ME…..remember Fact #4 above.


All my photographs are brought into ACR in photoshop.  I do almost all my adjustments in ACR.  Occasionally I use NIk and TOPAZ filters.  In the following photograph in ACR I added about 10% sharpening, and with the shadow slider brought up shadow details slightly.


For years I had a dark room in my basement.  The one thing I practiced and used was dodging and burning when I thought appropriate.  The digital burn and dodge tool in Photoshop works very good.  There is all kinds of adjustments to assist in the process of burning and dodging.  In this last photograph I dodged the water drops, the white feathers, slightly on the yellow portion of the eye and the top 1/3 of the photograph. I burned in some of the wings, the beak, and the shadow in the water in front of the eagle.  The I added my copyright logo, flattened the image, resized the photo to better fit on the web and saved it to my desktop.


Side by Side;


Bald Eagle Juvenile with camera capture only……..I was tempted to crop about 15% of the top of the photograph.

 Posted by at 10:32 PM

  One Response to “Adjustments in Post…. Good or Bad?”

  1. Looks great a always dad! 🙂

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