N. lowii X truncata "wide peristome", from EP:
My N. spectabilis Sibuatan
Every tendril makes a pitcher
Every pitcher tells a story
Lowii x Truncata
I really like the purple mottling on the N. spectabilis species plants. Of course spectabilis means 'showy'. They got that one right!
A cold one that is not cold is scarcely a one at all. - SB
that spectabilis is a great looking plant paul,
The following is a followup to the photos I posted earlier today, of the N. lowii X truncata. I was asked on another forum:
"Why is your photo so crisp? What camera are you using?"
Its not so much the camera....most DSLRs have excellent optics and sensors these days.....but the post-processing software makes a huge difference, if you take the time to learn how to use it. I use Lightroom 4 almost exclusively for image editing, as its processing engine is (possibly) the best in the industry.
So, why is the image so "crisp"? a few things: i develop for the shadows first (usually, but not always), to make sure the details are represented the way I want them. A good example here would be the details in the black plastic bench tops (grid) you see in the lower left, and the plastic pot in the upper right. Both had a lot of information available in the RAW file, but it had to be adjusted using the shadows adjustment engine in order to retain the sense of "black", but plenty of visible detail remains. If you see a photo that has black objects in it, but you can't see any of the textural details in the black areas, it creates a flat, dead area and the illusion of depth suffers. The open-air square holes in the bench top were allowed to go black (without detail) because there was almost no detail in the RAW file, and it wouldn't have been particularly meaningful to try to include that detail, since it would have been at the expense of lighter values.
Once the dark areas have the detail I want, I adjust the exposure levels as needed to render the image "accurate": a truthful depiction of the scene and the objects in it. I will adjust highlights and/or whites as needed in order to avoid loss of texture details in the brightest areas. Detail-less whites are just as bad as "blocked up" blacks in a photo, and they can ruin the textural richness of a photo. I also apply an amount of vignetting to most of my images, when applicable, to keep attention on the subject matter. (Vignetting is a darkening of the outer edges of the photo, used to draw focus more towards the important content of the picture.)
I also use some of Lightroom's "clarity" processing in my work: essentially that is a tool that increases local area contrast (LAC), giving the effect of more "punch" or as you put it, crispness. The clarity filter increases edge contrast in a very localized way; its similar to sharpening in a sense. Of course, some adjustment of color balance is often needed, and generally, the "auto adjust" for color balance does a decent job. I sometimes tweak the hue/color cast slightly from there. Occasionally, individual hues may need adjustment as well. Case in point: the photo above needed a slight decrease in the red luminance (make reds a bit darker) and then a very light increase in saturation to compensate.
Finally, I do use the noise reduction tool in Lightroom when applicable. I used it for the photos above, since I shot the images at 800 ISO so that I could use F22 as the lens aperture. (I was in the mood for lots of sharpness this time.)
Image post-processing can be a complex process if you want to really delve into the technology, or you can simply rely on tools like Picasa and similar "one button correction" tools. (I have used iPhoto for iOS and found it very capable for basic adjustments; well worth looking into if you are an iPad user!) Generally, I prefer to get more involved in image processing; it can mean the difference between a hot dog bun and a hand-made authentic French Croissant!
This is the same photo, before the processing in LR4:
and AFTER processing in Lightroom:
Last edited by Whimgrinder; 01-24-2013 at 05:03 PM.