Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Photo of the Day

I have always liked this sunset photo that I took in Gokarna in 2006. So when I saw that Imaging Resource has a Photo of the Day contest, this picture the obvious first choice to try my luck.

Canon S2 IS, 106 mm, ISO 200, 1/500s @ f/4.0

Under the entry guidelines, they had mentioned that "The image may be edited, enhanced and modified as you see fit", so I decided to try and post process it to make it better. Since the image was short under low light at higher ISO on a small sensor, the noise levels were quite high. So I used the excellent Neat Image to create an auto noise profile and applied it to remove the digital noise in the picture. The end result is a bit softer picture, but the noise was visibly reduced to acceptable levels.

Next, I used Picasa to crop the disconnected rock on the left side of the picture and tighter around the lady's shadow. I left the right side as such because of the whitish clump of clouds that added detail to the sky. Although the warm red color of the setting sun established a certain mood, the image lacked punch, so I used the "Color Temperature" to see if I can warm it up a bit more. However, instead of the reddish hue, I found that the cool blue suited the picture better and resulted in a much more pleasing image to the eye. I also adjusted the brightness/contrast a bit to bring out the light highlight around the lady more and darken the shadow areas, especially in the waves.

Here is the final picture that I submitted to Imaging Resource site on 4th June, 2008 ...

Canon S2 IS, 106 mm, ISO 200, 1/500s @ f/4.0

This serves as another reminder that in digital photography, like in film photography before it, the photographic process does not end at the press of the shutter - in fact that is just the beginning. However, I have also learned that the key to getting a good photograph lies with the clicking of the shutter - if you do not have a good photograph then, no amount of post processing will make it great.

I am only now learning to appreciate and conceptualize making of a photograph as a work flow that begins with the capture of the photograph. In the future, I will be concentrating more on making a complete picture by paying attention to the entire process from concept to capture and post processing.

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