Dancing Nuthatch (Three Photographs) and more on Post-Processing -Tuning
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Many of the programs I have used to post-process photos have an auto-tuning option for correcting exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows etc. I actually find Lightroom’s auto-tone quite useful as a starting point. After the auto-toning I find it easier to make changes like bringing down the highlights and ensuring a black point and white point. At the start the program takes its best shot at fixing everything. The exposure adjustment basically lightens or darkens your photograph globally. Contrast addresses the definition between pixels and colors, too much darkens the photo while adding detail, and less contrast reduces the detail while lightening the picture. The highlights adjustment works with the brightest areas in your photograph. Lowering the highlights can have a dramatic effect on clouds. Shadow adjustment can help bring out detail and color in the shadows. White and black adjustments determine what is blown out or is perfectly black (you want none of the former and a little of the latter). Finally, several programs have adjustments for saturation and clarity. Saturation effects the intensity of color, none is monochrome, too much is psychedelic. Clarity affects the mid-tones and highlights details. I never use saturation or clarity, because I use third-party software that does similar things if needed. This is not a review of Lightroom, but I will note that Lightroom has modules for curve adjustments (an advanced way of adjusting highlights, mid-tones and shadows), and for adjusting hue, saturation and luminance (HSL) individually. These modules are advanced adjustments and can be excluded in basic editing. Next week: noise reduction, sharpening, detail extraction and a few other basics.