April 18th, 2011
I’ve been working on finding better ways to post-process photos done in bright sunlight. I think I’m beginning to improve the results. I talked with my old friend, Tim Black, about my problems and he suggested I try the Nikon software to process the RAW files. I’ve had bad experiences with Nikon’s software in the past, so I generally have a rule not to even load it on my computers. Nikon makes great cameras and really shitty software. That’s my opinion and the opinion of many reviewers.
In the past when I did load Nikon software I found it very difficult to use, very buggy, very slow, just really crappy. But at Tim’s suggestion I went ahead and loaded the ViewNX2 software that came with my D7000. I have to report that I still don’t find it to be a very good program. It’s hard to use and really stupid in some of the ways it operates. But it does seem to do a pretty good job of processing the RAW files once you struggle through the shitty interface.
So I started over with these two photos and I’m a lot happier with the final result than I was before just processing them in Camera Raw and PhotoShop. For these files I first opened them in NX2 and worked with the tools there, including Nikon’s D-lighting control, which works very well. Then I saved them as TIFF files and opened them in PhotoShop to work with them some more, using layers to make more localized adjustments.
I’m reasonably satisfied with the results. Not the best photos I’ve ever taken, by a long shot, but fairly acceptable quality given the difficult lighting situation.
Of course, Angie is her usual beautiful self here. She did a great job. I wish the light would have been more cooperative, but that’s the luck of the draw when you work outdoors. As I like to say, there isn’t good light and bad light, only easy light and challenging light. This was challenging light and I’m afraid I wasn’t quite up to the challenge that day. But I’m learning skills to help with this kind of light and maybe I’ll be able to make something better in this kind of light one of these days. Thanks Angie for helping me work on this and for being the first frozen naked model of the spring.
By the way, the photo below was taken with my 8mm fisheye lens. I like that it doesn’t look all that “fisheye-like.” It’s straight out of the camera with no distortion adjustments.