Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Original Stage Shot

Wayne asked about how much "correction" I had to do with the shot of Jeffrey receiving his "diploma" in the previous post. Answer: A lot. Here's what the original looked like:

There's a WHOLE lot more going on here than just adjusting the "brightness" slider. Stuff you can't do if you don't have Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop Elements.

When shooting in such bad light with a telephoto, you've got to have the camera settings just right. And you've got to shoot in RAW so you will have enough data to manipulate when you start correcting for the poor lighting. If you capture in jpeg format, you will not able to recover an image like this. A jpeg file doesn't contain enough "hidden" detail for you to work with. The result will be distorted and very unpleasant to look at.

Now, of course, the result of my "pushing" this image isn't by any stretch of the imagination a great picture. But it's certainly useable and keepable. To get really great results you need an expensive f2.8 lens like the Nikkor 70-200mm VR. Maybe one day.


Mark J. said...

Can you use RAW in photoshop? I just picked up elements for use with my older D50, and havent played around with RAW yet.

Jeff Meyers said...

Yes, you can edit Nikon NEF images in Photoshop Elements. See the tutorial here:

But I like using Nikon's Capture NX to process my raw NEF files. Nikon's software is able to use the in-camera settings better than PS. If I need to do any work in PS, I save my file as a TIFF and open it in PS.

Wayne said...

Thanks for the tip on PSE6. I've been clunking around with PSE4 and never upgraded, so I was ready to switch to Aperture. But if E6 is a significant improvement over E4, then I'd gladly save the money.

You're definitely right about shooting in RAW over JPEG. For me it usually comes down to a time management issue. I know that if I shoot in RAW I'll be spending more time at my computer, if I shoot in JPEG my pictures won't be as good, I've saved time.

Jeff Meyers said...

Wayne: you're right about RAW normally taking more time. But you can also choose to batch process them all quickly. But if you have one that you really like and it needs some work, it's nice to know you have a lot to work with. Not every situation, however, needs RAW format.

Mark J. said...


Gerald said...

Pastor Meyers,

I am much appreciative of your theological and photographical work. Would Photoshop work for a digital beginner?

More of your published sermons is only good for us