03 – postprocessing workflow

My postprocessing workflow is pretty time-consuming and usually, I’ll just focus on a couple of pictures to actually work on. For all of my postprocessing, I use Adobe Lightroom 5 to convert and edit the Sony *.ARW raw files. This is the original exposure.

050-2 (Medium)

I took the above shot with my Sony NEX-3N and the Rokinon 8/2.8 fisheye. I shot aperture-priority and kept the lens at f/8 with focus manually set to 3 feet (optimum hyperfocal distance at f/8 to get 1.2 ft to infinity in focus). Since it was a sunny day, ISO was automatically selected to be at base ISO (200) and shutter speed was 1/3200. Like I said, it was sunny. Anyway, it looks a bit bland and underexposed with some highlight clipping since the sun was in the center of the frame. Initial processing to push the exposure to the right and recover some shadows led to the picture below.

050-3 (Medium)

Looks better. Still not as clear as I’d like it to be. So, I adjust the sliders in LR5 – I’m a big fan of the ‘clarity’ and ‘vibrance’ sliders. I almost never mess with levels. Anyway, adjusting sliders results in the picture below.

050-4 (Medium)

It’s definitely got more ‘pop’ and the highlight clipping is minimized. Now, to de-fish slightly using the lens profile for the Rokinon 7.5/3.5 fisheye (almost identical to the Rokinon 8/2.8 fisheye). I’m using the stereoscopic profile.

050-5 (Medium)

This makes the picture a little less ‘fishy’ but still gives a pretty good sense of depth. Now, to crop.

050-6 (Medium)

I used a custom 20:8 ratio since I’m enamored with Wide-Lux photography. Jeff Bridges has a great photo album using a Wide-Lux. I’m totally jelly. I’d get a Wide-Lux if I had the means and the time… Anyway, the 20:8 crop puts my daughter in the middle – aligning her to be the central focal point while still providing sufficient context to the scene. The crop also helps with rule-of-thirds since she’s in the middle third of the picture.

Once I’m satisfied with the crop, I’ll then add some vignette to provide even more emphasis on the central subject.

050-7 (Medium)

I probably could have edited out the lens flare, but I didn’t feel like it. Small imperfections like lens flare are nice, in my opinion. There are a lot of things I could have done with the picture and that’s the beauty of working with raw files – I can always start again.

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