The weather conditions certainly were not favorable for outdoor photography so rain coats and rain covers for our gear was well in order.Later that evening I received an email from Will showing my one of his photos. This was certainly a rare shot as it’s showing 3 Strike masters in flight, perhaps not seen over the skies of Auckland for probably 30 years, so a very special moment. Will informed me that the photography conditions shooting skyward was hard going due to overcast skies and glare.
|f6.2 ISO100 1/1250 100mm (Photo By Will Mays)|
I was asked to provide some input on how we could improve the shot and lucky for us we had a good CR2 RAW file to work with.
Using Adobe Bridge with ACR plugin and Photoshop I performed the following.
First clicked on Auto to see what ACR wanted to do, and very little it did. A slight adjustment to pull out the darks but apart from that nothing too assist. So I reset the sliders and resorted to manual.
The first thing to correct was the colour shift around the edges. The image had a strong Magenta and Yellow cast. By reducing this effect I would limit any unforgiving “Halo’s” during colour correcting. To do this I used the ACR lens correction pane.
|Fixing Chromatic Aberration|
Next back to the basic adjustment pane, first I pulled the out the shadows to 100% then reduced the highlights. So as not to lose too much in the highlights I balanced this adjustment using the whites and the darks. The cloud background actually has a lot of detail so I increased the clarity slightly and the contrast to lift the cloud edges, with a slight reduction in the contrast.
|Basic Adjustment pane|
To gain more control over the lights and darks I used the Tone curve to pull back a few mid/high tones.
Then finally back into Detail pane to add a little bit of sharpness so that the plane details was more evident.
From here I then opened the image into Photoshop for further adjustments.
I duplicated the layer so I could isolate the Planes using masks. Then with a few additional tweaks around the colours, I grabbed the dodge and burn brush using the midtones adjustment option and set the brush opacity to 10%. Just a few light strokes here and there added a bit of flavour to the clouds and provided good contrast.
|Digital Tweak done in Photoshop|
Being mindful not to overcook the image in Photoshop I decided to do nothing further to the image.
Just goes to show that a RAW image offers a lot of information to work with, get in and have a good look around your image before you flag it as rubbish and commit it to the digital Dustbin forever.