Editing rationale

A quick before and after with text caption to explain some of the reasoning behind selective editing. Mostly done with layer masks and blend if sliders.

It’s sometimes useful to ask “what do I want to achieve with this picture?” before delving into post processing. So here’s a personal Q&A I ran through during various stages of the post processing.

  1. Clearing Clutter : I thought some of the leaves at the bottom blurred by motion and the top left branch were a little too cluttery as was the sharp foilage in the background. I will probably clone the third remaining leaf out from bottom right but for some reason, I don’t mind that one as much
  2. Depth through lighting : I wanted to enhance the natural brights while leaving shadowed areas darker to maintain a sense of depth rather than lighten the whole image
  3. Depth through detail : Even though everything is in focus in the original shot, I sometimes like to sharpen different elements of the scene to exaggerate depth. In this case the foreground rocks and the immediate ferns in the backdrop while softening the light from the background.
  4. Care with contrast adjustment. In ‘normal’ mode, any contrast adjustment not only boosts contrast of lighting but contrast of colour. The browns really lit up in the foreground and the main branch in the background with contrast adjustment necessitating a dial back.
  5. Overall saturation. The final image is oversaturated beyond what I would print for myself at home as is the blurring. The 16 bit base edited file at home is a version I keep for myself to present in different forums differently depending on what I want to show.

purakaunui editing


Posted on June 4, 2014, in How we..., New Zealand, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Ian Brewster

    Great and successful attention to detail, Dylan. Drawing the eye in with some central enhancement and lightening nearly always seems to work.

  2. Dylan, this was an interesting BTS view of the end result; would love to see more examples like this in the future.

  3. Dylan, would you mind sharing how you “enhanced the natural glow” Thanks

    • Greg, I would direct you to the master of this Ryan Dyar (painting with light tutorial) – to try something basic though, try duplicating your layer, introducing a heaving gaussian blur and set it to screen mode, then brush in areas of the image you would like the glow to apply to.

  4. Love this Dylan – thank you for sharing your through process on your approach to edits. I’ve always admired your nature work and it’s nice to see some BTS of your mind! Cheers! Ray

  5. Wow this awesome. Would love to see how you did some of these effects!

  6. Wow! That’s great work. You made this photography stunning with natural way.!

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