An Introduction to Post Processing Surf Photos

Raw Transcript

one of the most subjective areas of surf photography is in post-processing and if you handed the same file of a surf photo to three different surfer talk refers you might well get back three completely different looking images it’s one of those things where you you’re you can put your own stamp on it and certainly a lot of surf photographers have their style that you can recognize fairly easily and a lot of that might well be down to the post-processing because it’s hard to replicate the light the waves everything in nature that came about to create that moment hard to replicate that over and over but what’s a lot easier to replicate is that look in a piece of software so it’s a tool that surfed up was there any photographer really has in order to create a unique look and obviously there’s nothing stopping you from trying a different look for each photo or even the same photo so I I use a piece of software called Adobe Lightroom you might be familiar with it you might never have heard of anything like that before Lightroom is basically it organizes images and it gives you a non-destructive editing environment so that means the original RAW files that came out of your camera go into Lightroom you set it up so that they go into the right folders and they get backed up and they do whatever else you need to do they get tagged and you can search for them based on lenses and time and date and shutter speed and various other things so it makes it easy to find your photos easier 20-footers so it does all that and those RAW files are saved and they don’t get touched but inside that software you can then basically apply different edits and tweaks and lots of very very powerful changes to that file but it doesn’t save a new file each time it just it just saves the instructions on how to create that version of the file plus the original so as long as you’ve got the original somewhere you can apply the same instructions to that file to create what you’re seeing on the screen and this is hugely valuable for any type of photography but especially surf photography because it means you can do one edit and you can apply just those changes to 500 photos that you’ve taken that day and it’s an incredible shortcut to getting a lot of images processed and in a pretty good state and ready to show to people because a raw file from a camera is not usually in as any state and not in the final state that you want to see it it requires some of this processing a JPEG on the other hand might well be fine to just show people straight away which is one of the reasons I shooting raw plus JPEG and transfer JPEGs to my phone because I can then post them do a bit of editing on my phone and get them out there but the raw file is what you really want to be dealing with if you’re doing it on a laptop or a desktop or anything like that so there’s other software that can do the same exactly the same thing as Lightroom but Adobe Lightroom seems to be a very popular one among Sur photographers and in general so I’m going to do a few screen casts of the way I use Adobe Lightroom and one of the benefits of having this system where you have the changes you make to the file independent from the file itself is I can bundle up those changes and give them to you as a file and then you can take them and plug them into your file and if you’ve got a similar or even similar it could be any type of file you can then apply the changes that I’ve made in this screencast to your file see what it looks like and it’s not going to change it permanently you can then tweak little bits of it if you think I will the color balance is a bit off of what I’m looking for I’ll just change the white balance here or I will reduce the contrast increase the contrast a million other things so um lions are hugely powerful tool I’ll talk you through a few individual examples of waves and surf photos that I have edited and I’ll provide the presets so that you can then apply that to your own photos and I the benefits of that kind of non-destructive editing is really obvious and I you I wouldn’t go down any other road I’d always go for a software like Lightroom to to edit your photos and there’s a certain certain edits which Lightroom can’t do so that’s things like composites where say you’ve got a sequence of someone doing an air and you want to put the surfer from each shot in the sequence into one image and make that image a composite of the whole sequence in one you can’t redo it in Lightroom so you do something like Adobe Photoshop or one of the other pieces of software that does a similar job and that allows you to create layers and to move things around so the other thing that I use Adobe Photoshop for rather than a daily Lightroom is for processing circular fisheye images that I get from my maker 6.5 mil secular fisheye and and I use a plugin that’s available for Photoshop I think it is available for Lightroom as well but it’s only on export or something and I need to look into because maybe it’s it’s new and improved and I can use in Lightroom now in which case I would because I prefer Lightroom but at the moment my workflow goes get the image in Lightroom do a little bit of processing if I have to save it bring it into Photoshop do the apply this plugin in a specific way to remove the circular distortion of this shot or remove the fisheye distortion of the shot then I save that and then I bring that into Lightroom and then I do my edits on that shot so it’s there both Adobe software so they do make that work round-trip workflow pretty hassle-free you just import the file that you save in Photoshop into Lightroom but yeah that it’s only in those very special occasions where I have to do some heavy lifting composite composite images or really kind of strange distortion removal which Lightroom can do pretty good job of doing that itself but it’s this specific tool that I really like using for this circular fisheye to make it into a print a rectangle so I can print it basically so you might want to learn a little bit of photoshop but I think 99% of your surf photography can be handled in Lightroom it can do things like cloning out people from the foreground I’ll show you an example of that it can work wonders on the light if it looks quite dull you can really make it make it bright you can do an awful lot of stuff in Lightroom it’s super powerful and you can do as much or as little as you like and you just save the results and you create a new you can create a new virtual copy of something if you’re like I’m not sure if it this is the right look you can try another one you can compare them side-by-side you can organize your photos it’s it’s a great piece of software so I’ll put a link below to it’s more detail on that but I’ll run you through some specific examples and that’s going to be the best way to learn about this we’ll learn about the way I do it so when you’re you’re editing your photos on desktop or laptop that’s what I use I do as I said shoot in raw plus JPEG and I transfer the JPEGs to my phone my edit on my phone as well if it’s to essentially get them to friends as quickly as possible I can get you know I can shoot in and then by the time they’ve paddled in got to their phones in their car or on the beach whatever I can have already you know sent them a message or whatsapp with the three best photos of the session and everyone’s happy when you do that because otherwise it sits on your memory card you have to take it home and you have to back it up and so let’s just you can get it to them that’s why I do the raw plus JPEG so the tools I use on my phone are an app called snap seed and I’m pretty sure you can get that on iPhone and Android I don’t know about any other platform so let’s stick to our Aleph and Android there’s Instagram but I don’t tend to use any of the filters or anything in Instagram itself I do everything in Snapseed and then I just move it to Instagram and post it if I’m going to I reckon I reckon snaps he’s pretty much where you need it’s it does everything I could ever want to do to a to a JPEG in order to make it ready to send someone and I imagine you can probably do some I don’t even do raw editing in Snapseed itself but there are apps on your phone Lightroom has a mobile app which is actually pretty good and that can edit RAW files but again I’m not I don’t want a huge raw file clogging up my phone I just want a small JPEG because there’s only gonna be looked at on a phone if I’m going to print it out or if I’m going to look at it on a TV screen or anything like that then I’m going to use the raw file and I’m going to process it on my desktop or laptop so that’s a quick intro to post-processing and are like I said I’ll run you through some some specific examples of different types of surf photo or try and cover a lot of different things I do all the main things I do at least but if you have any suggestions on what you’d like covered what type of post-processing you’d like me to show then do get in touch and I’m like I say I really want to build on this course and I want to improve it and I want to make sure that it is covering the things the main things that you want it to see covered so yeah let me know and I will do some more screencasts and show you that





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