April 14, 2008
I received an email a few days ago from a photographer in San Francisco. He wrote:
Great food coverage. Always fun to read. Just some feedback. I think the images would have more punch with some white balancing. Both Lightroom and Aperture have amazing RAW WB control. Just a thought.
I have generally avoided tweaking photos as I figured I could spend endless time doing so, and it often takes a long time to write a blog entry anyway. Do I really want to spend three times longer just so the pictures on a “music blog” can look a little better? I mean, how much difference could it make?
So I got Aperture 2 and played around a little with it. Below are some examples of the differences a little post-processing can make, and with less than a minute per image. The images are quite small, but you can see larger versions by clicking on an image.
And after processing in Aperture. Compare the whiteness of the foam on top of the liquid, and the greater detail of the bubbles in the green.
And after Aperture processing:
The above shots didn’t originate as RAW images. (RAW is a minimally-processed image file format. The files are several times larger than a standard JPEG, but they allow for more post-processing in software, as that processing hasn’t already been applied to the image by the camera. Whereas a JPEG from my camera is around 4 MB, a RAW file is around 13 MB.) If an image is shot RAW, you can correct a lot more errors that may have been set-in-stone during JPEG creation — things like overexposure, underexposure, etc.
Here’s one last comparison. First, an image shot RAW.
It’s a cute shot (how could it not be? It’s Loki!), and it looks okay. But with just a little automatic level adjustment in Aperture, you get this:
I always thought Photoshop was a little intimidating, but Aperture 2 is great, powerful enough for what I want to do, it’s a lot cheaper than Photoshop, and it’s pretty easy to use. Me likey.