Tip of the Day – Shoot to edit

Tip of the Day – Shoot to edit

Right at the end of Niku’s session, the jetty was just starting to get a little less busy. I had switched to my super wide angle 16-35mm lens and was shooting up close and from a low angle in order to include as much of the sky as possible. The afternoon had so far been seriously grey, but a very welcome splash of pink from the sunset was just starting to creep across the sky.

I ended up underexposing this shot by about one full stop. If instead I had aimed for a perfect exposure (right on the limits of the highlights) I would have needed to increase the ISO to about 5000 – which is possible, but not really desirable given the amount of work I knew would be required to get colour, contrast and life back into the shot. With mostly light tones in the image, I knew that underexposing and then recovering data would not degrade the image too much.

I also wanted to be 100% sure I wasn’t going to lose detail in the brightest parts of the sky – which is a super important aspect of this image.

Before I even started this edit, I came up with a plan to address the different adjustments I’d need to make to the sky versus Niku herself.

Along with the usual edits, my two main goals for this image were:

  1. Make Niku nice and white (white dogs should look white, remember!)
  2. Bring out the colour in the sky

I used both Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve this, with a combination of global adjustments (applied to the whole image) and local adjustments (applied to selected areas of the image).

The full edit is covered in a 36 minute long post-processing tutorial of Episode 6 of RealShoots.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Canon EF 16-35mm ƒ/4L IS @ 16mm, ISO 2000, 1/500 sec, ƒ/4⠀

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