|Quoting BriceJohnson (Reply 2):|
What sort of camera do you use, and what are your processing techniques?
Sorry Brian, what you're asking would require an essay! I've owned/used most of Canon's DSLRs since the original D30, plus a few m4/3 models. Currently using a 5D3 and an OMD-5 (following the death by water of my 7D).
As to processing, again the devil's in the detail, and the key points will differ according to the lighting, ISO, lens used etc.
However I guess the rules start at the point of composition - I always shoot with my experience of what I can do in post-processing in mind. So for instance composition is based on how I may want to crop the image later, exposure based on the noise characteristics of the camera - eg. the 7D is very intolerent of underexposure, so my exposures were always on the generous side. The 5D lets you get away with murder.
I always shoot RAW. More time consuming I know, but gives a lot more flexibility. I use PS
CS5 and ACR 6.7
1- Basic exposure adjustments, noise reduction (if needed) and cropping are all done in RAW. I may adjust the color balance or fine tune particular colours in RAW as well. If lens correction (esp. for WA
) is needed, this is done in RAW.
2 - Import into PS
as a 16bit image (at this point I'm using the ProPhoto color space to keep as much data as possible
3 - Adjust the tone curve. This varies from image to image, but as a general rule I tend to use a bit of an S curve (darken the shadows, brighten highlights) to give the image a little more punch - that's a matter of taste, but I do notice that the mags seem to like this, and will often add a bit more to my images. Note - its always possible for a publisher to add contrast, sharpness etc., but difficult to take it away!
4 - Sharpen. Now my personal view is that A.net images are oversharp, so perhaps not best to listen to me but I get the results I want using smart sharpen. Settings will vary depending on camera and lens, but my starting point is amount 100 radius 1.6
5 - and that's it. Save as sRGB jpg
Now I should stress I stopped shooting for A.net some time ago. The only acceptance criteria I worry about is whether the image is suitable for publication. I'm sure others will have cleverer, more sophisticated methods. Indeed, back in the days of film scanning I got very anal about this sort of thing - even wrote a suites of sharpening scripts for PS
These days, I'm more of a keep it simple, less is more kinda guy. In part, this is because I'm often shooting to deadlines on assignment . This means getting as much right as possible in camera. I shoot a LOT of exposures, bracket exposures, vary the DOF etc. The idea is to get a frame that will take minimal work in post, as that's where the real time and effort comes in.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel