Although I prefer to use camera-generated jpegs, some photos require or cry out for editing. It’s called post-processing, but as I write this, I’m wondering why. The only thing it comes after is taking the picture, and when you get right down to it, a camera-generated jpeg is an edit done by your camera.
Except for cropping and watermarks, I generally don’t edit jpegs; jpeg uses a lossy compression algorithm, so you have much less data to work with.
I shoot raw only these days. This lets me keep the full Dynamic Range (DR-400 or DR-P Strong) but allows me to change the DR in the jpeg. As I discuss on the landing page for my Fujifilm Recipes, the DR setting in a Fujifilm camera affects the raw. I can often generate my jpeg using a lower DR setting, which helps create more highlights, especially on clouds.
I currently use Lightroom to edit my pictures. I made this decision because it is more cost-effective, and I have desktop and mobile options. It is not, however, my preferred software. I liked CaptureOne and DxO much better; however, the pricing doesn’t work for me. Also, they don’t have a mobile option, or at least not for Android. I don’t have the patience to learn Darktable, and it also doesn’t have a mobile option. Perhaps someday, I’ll get a Windows (blech) tablet and DxO, my favorite overall. Alternatively, I may eventually purchase Dehancer to get a film look out of my LR edits. However, Dehancer still requires Windows or Mac.
This page is going to contain a collection of my favorite edits.
This one is quite possibly my favorite edit of all time. I did it in DxO, and I think it perfectly illustrates why I love that application. This is a color image that I think has shown up on some of my recipe pages. Like my camera, DxO also has film simulations; in this case, I chose a black-and-white sim. I think it is based on the Rollei Retro 80s line of films, but I don’t remember for sure. I didn’t like the native grain on that one, so I used a different grain. I think this is some form of Fuji Neopan (movie film) grain. I believe I have all of the details of this image written down somewhere, but I can remember where that might be.
I could post several from this series, but I wanted to choose a good and somewhat unique example. This is Adam Crack, Guinness World Record holder whip cracker, performing at the Texas Renaissance Festival on October 29, 2022. The fire whip is the main draw of his show; in fact, it’s called the Fire Whip Show. I shot this using the DR-P Strong setting on my camera; between lighting conditions (it was an overcast day, and the clouds were thin enough to really scatter the sunlight, leading to extremely blown highlights in the background and generally dark subjects) and knowing that I would have to edit these images, it was the only reasonable option.
Solar Rain is a group of fire performers who are part of the Texas Renaissance Festival finale every night, weather permitting. This is the same day, October 29, 2022. This particular prop is a new one this year. I’ve never done a good job of capturing them. Sometimes that is because we couldn’t get seats front and center. Often, it’s been my lack of knowledge and skill. Moreover, shooting something as bright as fire at night is difficult. Apparently, I worked out the kinks. I can’t remember if I put the aperture on auto mode or just kept it wide open (probably the latter), but I put my shutter speed on 1/1000 and used a relatively high ISO setting and DR-P Strong. I shot Adam Crack on 1/4000. Nighttime is too dark for that high speed; 1/1000 was a compromise. As expected, most of the images I took weren’t usable, but I got several very good ones, and I think this is the best example.
This has always been a tough image to work with. This is the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon. For some reason, it’s incredibly flat, and I could never figure out why for the life of me. Thankfully, I was able to do something with it in LR.
This is another example of why I like DxO so much. I can’t remember what this film simulation is called, but it is a B&W with a silver tint. I don’t know exactly what this building is; it sits on someone’s property in Independence, Texas.
These images were a good start. I’ll add more in the future.