How I Post Process my Wildlife - Nature Photographs Part 1

February 18, 2016  •  4 Comments

I am sitting on the bank of a river in the middle of Dartmoor in Devon all camouflaged up with my camera waiting for Dippers or Grey Wagtails to appear. I walked, without my camera doh!, this stretch of river a week or so ago and spotted eight dippers. I have been waiting now for over four hours in beautiful light and I’ve not seen one, in fact I have seen no wildlife at all apart from a few Dartmoor ponies if you can call them wildlife. The joys of being a wildlife photographer!
 

 

Is it just me or do others have a similar problem? I have 3 days off each weekend as I work 4 X 10 hours so I plan my days off, computer work half a day, home jobs the other half, photography one day and going out, or home jobs, with my wife on the other. Recently every photography day I planned has been wet with dark grey light. Then when I get back to work on Monday the weather is great, really frustrating.
 

 

I call post processingcomputer work” and it is an evil necessity to know and understand this process in today's digital photography world if you want to show off your photos to the highest standard. In the days of yore, I remember them well; to process your film you had to have a darkroom with all the equipment that entailed, enlarger, tanks, water, chemicals etc. I still had all mine until recently but the only things I've kept are a few items that I could use for something else. Today's “darkroom” is a computer and some software used in any old room, not the attic which is where I, like a lot of other people, had their darkroom freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. The computer can be a desktop or a laptop either a PC or a Mac. There is a lot of post processing software around but I, like most people, use Lightroom and Photoshop. In actual fact I use about 40% of what Lightroom can do and about 10% of Photoshop. Lightroom was developed for photographers whereas Photoshop was mainly developed for digital artists but photographers can use it to process their images. I find both easy to use but I don't need or use everything they are capable of doing. I use Lightroom to process my RAW images and as a database. Some people think the database is a bit old in the tooth and should be updated but it does what I want it to do so I’m happy. Yes I shoot in RAW because I want to process my photos and not let my camera’s computer do it and also because I want to start with as much information as possible rather than letting my camera throw away most of it and turn my photo into a jpg. I then use Photoshop to adjust the image to how I want it and to print the image if I wanted it printed.
 

 

PART OF THIS BLOG HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FOR UPDATING - PLEASE SEE A FUTURE BLOG FOR THE UPDATE.
 

 

That's the Lightroom part of my post processing done so I then transfer the image to Photoshop to complete the works and this will be covered in next week’s Blog.

 

This Blog has taken me nearly two hours to write and in that time I still have not seen any wildlife. The light is still good but it has turned very cold as the sun will set in about another hour. No wildlife today but there is always tomorrow.
 


Comments

carolyn ford(non-registered)
Nice article. Gives me a lot to think about.
Liz Moat(non-registered)
Have just read through all your blog and have found it informative, funny and enjoyable! I won't take any photos of Robins or at least not mention them anymore!
azpackrat(non-registered)
Hello from Arizona. Can't wait to read more. Can you expand on your comment "I expand the view to one to one and then adjust the Clarity"? I'm always confused about exactly what clarity does to the image, and more importantly how much is enough and how do I know when I've gone "over the line" with it?
Malcolm Hupman(non-registered)
Waiting with baited breath for Part 2. More comments on FB.
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