Sunday, 12 August 2012

Digiscoping and Post-production

The last two weeks have been difficult and challenging. When I should have been doing a lot of birding I have in fact been either too worn out or sick. We have had two consecutive long weekends. Last weekend exhaustion took hold of me and we scrubbed our scheduled trip to the wilds of Kanchanaburi province. It was the right thing to do as I needed the rest. This week I have been laid low by a severe case of the trots and it is only in the last 24 hours that I am getting back to normal. In the great scheme of things, fairly high class problems!

Long-toed Stint - unprocessed

Long-toed Stint - processed by Peter Ericsson

A week or so ago I was talking to Peter Ericsson about my images. Peter needs no real introduction as he is one of the best bird photographers in these parts. He told me he thought I should definitely be getting sharper images and he took one of my images and put it through Photoshop and in effect proved his point that "no image is done until it has been processed in PS". Peter's produced a tutorial which includes a basic PS treatment: it can be found here. Well the difference is very striking if you take a cursory look at the above two images.

So it's perhaps just as well that I have been out of sorts as it has enabled me to start learning how to harness the power of Photoshop. I have managed to get some instructional material and I am working leisurely through this. The Painted Storks below are in fact the same file but the first one has been processed using PS. I have also cropped it so it is not quite like for like but post-production has really transformed the image.

I am also very pleased with this picture of a Great Knot dating back to February at Pak Thale. The PS processed image, with some cropping, comes first and the original follows. It really is a no brainer!

So it's good to get started finally on post-production and Photoshop. Up to now I have done most of my post-production in Aperture. It's pretty simple and offers a very effective solution for image management. Photoshop is very different however and I am very aware of really just dipping my toe into the water, so to speak.

My indisposition also lead to me purchasing a 2 TB external drive and I am going to try and archive my images. Good as this may sound, I reckon I am going to be deleting an enormous number of image files. However I am going to try to get through them because there are some images which I can improve with some post-production.

On reflection I think I have been lazy. I should have made more of an effort with Photoshop. However it is not a load it up and play it sort of programme. It needs effort. I think I have also been guilty of accepting inferior results. Digiscoping allows for many mitigating factors!

So let me thank Peter for pointing me in this direction and I hope to get out birding in the very near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment