Does your “editing” change over the years?

Just having a look for some shots and came upon a sunset at Semerwater – which I photographed in January 2008…. 6.5 years ago. 

2008 Workflow

Back then my workflow was a little different :-

  • Shoot RAW files
  • Copy files onto hard drive after a shoot
  • Import RAW files into Capture One – Version 3 I think
  • Make minor and “global” tweaks there
  • Export as TIFF
  • Edit and sharpen etc. in Photoshop CS (2/3/4)
  • Use action to resize and water mark if going to use it online

All in Lightroom in 2014

These days a huge amount, if not all, is done in Lightroom 5 – it’s more for speed and convenience than anything. The newer versions of Capture One produce fantastic results, but the interface isn’t so great, the workflow is slower and the program is full of bugs.

So I thought I’d import the CR2 files from 2008 into Lightroom and edit them as I do now, then compare to what I did in 2008.

Here we go…

The Gate in the Water

This was my favourite from the water’s edge – the RAW file is pretty blue, I was using Cokin P ND grads back then and they did give you a slight blue cast sometimes.

The first shot is a 2014 edit.

Looks like I preferred the blue hues today, though i did make the orange slither in the backgroud more pronounced. Also, the magical clarity slider helped with the cloud shapes, making them more textured,

_MG_2542 _MG_2542

 

Silhouetted Sign and Gate

So with this, I edited the wrong shot – though it’s pretty much the same scene shot from different sides of the gate.

Pretty much the same edits in both eras.

 

_MG_2548 _MG_2549

 

The Mobile Jetty

So this is a platform they put in the water in the summer for boaters to use. Loved the worn textures and bolted washers, so got up close with the wide lens and made that a huge foreground.

So in 2014, I’ve warmed the scene up and hugely increased the impact of the wood. Using mainly the brush tool in Lighroom I added clarity, highlights and sharpness. Looking back at the more restrained 2008 version… did I overcook the new one? Does the ease of adding clarity etc. risk pushing byond the boundary of realism? Borderline here….

 

 

_MG_2537 _MG_2537

 

The Farewell Shot

And finally, the parting shot, taken from the car, looking back over the wider scene of Semerwater

I’ve definitely gone for a different crop here, and also using teh Shadows slider, the foreground grass has a bit more texture than 2008. There seems to be a lot more going on in the new edit.

_MG_2554 _MG_2553

Conclusion

So if you’ve stuck with this very self indulgent blog, you’ll see that despite 6 years passing and a load of new tools in the photographer’s virtual tool case, I’ve been reasonably consistant.

Lightroom has made things easier and quicker,though not always better. Clarity looks great when zoomed out to full screen, but at 100% it can look a mess. It creates halos, adds noise and ruins fine details.

In Capture One 5 there was a Structure slider which did a better job.

I’d certainly recommend editing a couple of shots you edited a few years ago – see how different the results are. Especially if you’re relatively new – you should see some big leaps forward!

 

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