Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo of the Day

                                   Busch Stadium, St. Louis MO.

This is a note on why you want to learn to do post processing work on your photographs. I see so many people buying and using really good quality cameras these days, but they really never learn how to use the camera properly to get the most out of it. The cameras now are getting really good and do turn out some very good photos right out of the camera. But, the photo can always be improved in some type of post processing software. I personally use Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, but there are numerous programs that will do a good job for you. For people that are just getting into photography and want to really learn to edit and enhance their work I have been recommending Adobe Lightroom. Designed for the photographer in mind, it does a great job editing and cataloging your photos. And it is cheaper and easier to learn than Photoshop.

This photo was 6 images shot handheld in the vertical orientation. I knew this would be very difficult due to the deep shaded areas of the stands and the very bright skies. I took the 6 photos allowing about a 50% overlap on each photo to give Photoshop plenty of image to align with. I metered the brightest area in the middle of the scene and then shot manual exposure to avoid allowing the camera to change any settings and make the exposures off to compensate for the darker areas to the sides. there was about 4 stops of light difference from the shadows to bright sun, so I figured I would be able to keep much of the shadow detail and bring it up in post processing. Photoshop does an amazing job stitching photos together. Normally I would use a tripod and do a better job, but I was forced to do this quickly as I had to walk down the aisle to the front row of the upper deck and shoot between batters so I did not bother any of the fans.

Photoshop can align and compensate for you not being able to be as precise as if you were on a tripod. The are no seams in this and it turned out better than I expected for doing it in about 20 seconds. I was able to bring up the darker areas of the stadium, and also tone down the bright sky in post processing. The compression to size it down darkens it quite a bit, but on my 25 inch calibrated monitor it looks pretty good.

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