“How do you get the most out of the D4 file?” This is a very common question right now and rightly so. To be honest with you, I’ve been trying to answer that question for my own images. I’ve tried everything out there like Lightroom 4 and ACR 6.7 and some others you don’t know about yet and I’ve found the program bringing out the most and best from the D4 file right now is NX2. Now I’d not used NX2 in over 3yrs so had to go and get it to test and was quite surprised it looked exactly like how it did 3yrs ago. Yeah, there are a couple new sliders and it’s a bit faster, but otherwise, it’s still the same. The main thing though is NX2 has the secret sauce pulling out the small nuances of color and exposure that other programs simply weren’t. It adds to my workflow processing time but the additional look to the images is worth it to me.
Now before the call for side by side comparisons come flying into my inbox, lemme just say I’m not going to post any and here’s why. First and I’m still surprised how many don’t realize this, but images posted on the web are sRGB color space. Those I’m looking at and comparing are in the ProPhoto color space. There is a BIG difference between those two when it comes to subtle details that you’re not going to see on the web. Second, just because I like NX2 better doesn’t mean you will. How do you find out one over the other? You process the same file in other programs and do your own side by side. That’s why I’ve not posted them here.
While I was comparing, I checked out HDR processing and I found the Nik’s HDR Efex Pro did a better job with D4 files over the other options on my computer.
The top image is of the Texas Flying Legends Museum Aleutian Tiger P-40 and “Dakota Kid” P-51D that I shot air to air this past week from the tail of the B-25J “Panchito.” It was processed in NX2 by simply launching NX2, opening the file and doing a Save As. That’s it, nothing else. The bottom image was processed in CS5 using HDR Efex Pro with all its defaults except I move the Structure slider up a couple of points. The D4 just keeps me hopping as I learn more and my photography grows just a tad more with age.
The Intuos 5 reached my office and it was love at first…stroke! Already handed down the Intuos 4s and fully adopted the 5s, they simply speed up the workflow and even better yet, they speed up everything. Watch the video, you’ll understand how.
One of the ways I try to push my photography forward is to look at previous images. I routinely do this when I’m about to head out for a shoot. Be it wildlife, landscapes, people, aviation, I find ways I can improve by looking at images I’ve already taken. Just gotta push constantly, I don’t know any other way. Right now, I’m getting my presentations for the next two months prepped and created so I’m looking at my files for teaching images. Looking for images that are before and afters, showing the ying and the yang as it were. It never fails that when I do that, I see a couple of images that didn’t catch my imagination at the time but do now. Ever do that, ever wonder why?
I know for myself, this typically happens simply because of emotions. There are always images that represent for me that moment of shooting which, after the emotional high calms down, other images with subtle impact can be seen. One issue I have is a shoot so much all the time, I don’t afford myself the luxury of time to always go back and look for those images. That’s why I always look forward to and allow extra time when looking for teaching images. I always find those images missed before.
These are just three of the images I came across yesterday pulling images for presentations that fit this category. While what you see is what I saw in the viewfinder when I went click, they didn’t have the finishing polish yet. Looking at “older” images, I tend to look at them with my current digital darkroom finishing eyes. That makes a huge difference because more and better ways to pull out subtle detail (lots of subtle detail adds up to being drama) is becoming available to us like this:
Along with that, Nik’s Color Efex 4 has vast improvements which I like. These three images were all finished using CEP4′s Detail Enhancer & Pro Contrast. Those two filters brought out the subtle detail I was looking for to make them pop. One of the best things about photography is the knowledge that tomorrow, we will be better photographers. The trick is to recognize those little things that do make us better and to keep working on learning from yesterday. Well, I’ve gotta get back to pulling images for new lessons to teach…
I just got this in…thought I would share it with you. The video below tell you how I use this product.
I run a photography deals site called PhotoWhoa and we just partnered with Tal Ninio at PSKiss for a really large discount on their software until the end of the week – basically, $59 for a $130 product for a few more days. Since you did previously recommend their software, I thought it might be good to let you know about this. The deal page is here:
Moose Peterson Video Productions
Color Cast Removal is as old as digital but we have very modern ways to quickly deal with it. Here's my favorite way in ACR.