The most important thing in photography I think is light. I have many old photos that are simply ruined because the camera setting was not right. As a result the photo was so dark – it was almost a lost case. Or is it?
The past few days, I had been experimenting and digging up pictures that were thought to be a lost case. I am glad I did not throw them away because some of the photos can still be salvaged.
Take a look at this photo. It was bright sunshine when this photo was taken.
The reflection of light on the bluish-green water was captivating. Well, I read up some advice on the internet that suggested that if the light was shining brightly or there wasn’t much light, then exposure setting should be the opposite of what the manual said. Maybe I didn’t read probably or there was some typo there. In any case, I should had done some bracketing there, +2.0 EV all the way to -2.0 EV. As a result of that foolhardy moment, the photo was far from pleasing. Looking at the stats, this was recorded at - Shutter : 1/572sec, Exposure : -2.0EV, F8.0, Focal Length : 8.9mm, ISO : 50. Camera : Nikon E8700.
For these past few days, I remembered that photo and managed to track it. This is the result after some tweaking.
In photo imaging software, the lightness and brightness features are photo savers. Changing the color filters also make a difference. Increasing hue and saturation bring out more color and depth to a picture. While I have always thought using the contrast feature is fabulous in adding more vibrancy to a picture, it is not always the best thing to do. This is because doing so result in more noise. Noise is those grainy little things on a photo that may not look obvious on screen unless you zoom further to say 200% or use the highlight or shadow features in your photo editing softwares.
One way to solve this is to use the blur function. Once done, improve the photo further by reducing noise in the picture. Use these two functions sparingly as the end result may ruin some fine details. For this edited picture, I actually max out the noise and blur levels as I wanted the end result to have that romantic atmosphere. This picture may never pass the requirement for print media but I am happy with the result because the original picture can still be salvaged.
Another thing to remember is that Jpeg files lost quality after many viewing. So it is good to shoot pictures using Raw format and covert it later to Jpeg after editing.
Getting back to disastrous photos, have a go at photo imaging or editing softwares. Check your camera box if there is any CD included for photo editing. If not, search the internet for free softwares. I am currently using Olympus Studio 2 which is user friendly but it does not have any erasing or stamping features which comes in handy when you want to remove unwanted signboards. Many people have recommended using Photoshop but I find it rather hard to learn.
I’m off to do more editing. Have fun!