post processing

Working with Light.

Photography is all about the light. We all know that without light we would not have photography, or any other visual sensation for that matter. In photography, sometimes we fall short of having enough or the right amount of light. So this is when post processing gives me the opportunity to correct my photo, and give it the light I was envisioning when I took the picture.

Before and After

The photos above are an example of putting my vision into effect. The top photo (original), was taken around mid-day. The sign was on the north side of the building in the shadows. When I saw this sign with the spot light fixture above it, my mind saw this light on at night, and shining on the sign. I knew I could re-create the look without having to go back at night to re-shoot the image. So, in my post processing I sent the image to photoshop and strategically placed the light where I  had envisioned it, (bottom photo).

This is a fairly simple technique, yet can add a little drama to an otherwise plain image. Learning a few simple photoshop techniques can help in giving your images more sparkle and life. Try it. 


The more photos I process, the more I appreciate presets in all my programs. I have come to the point where I have created, or will create presets for most of the processing functions I do. Not only does this speed up the developing process for my photography, but it works as a reminder of things I have tried in the past.

In this Topaz screen capture, you can see the list of presets on the left. Create your own and add to the list.

In this Topaz screen capture, you can see the list of presets on the left. Create your own and add to the list.

Many times, if I have an idea, I look through my presets to see what I have done in the past. I then will choose one of my existing presets, and if need be, I will tweek it to fit my vision for the photo. I, of course, will save the tweek as a new (or altered), preset for future use.

I don't know how many times in the past I did the same moves over and over again, thinking that each picture was different somehow, and that I needed to start from scratch when processing it. I soon realized that 95% of the photos I work on are somewhat similar to those I have done in the past. Creating sets of presets in programs like Lightroom, Photoshop and all the plugin programs I use, like OnOne, Topaz, Silver Efex Pro, etc. help to speed up my work, and give me a broader range of ideas to review while working on a photo.

If you have not created your own presets while working on your photos, I recommend that you start now. For how to create a preset, choose your help file for the program you are working in and type in 'presets'.

Have a great photographic day!... Dan