Saving a bad shot using three developers..

Bad photo developing test
Original shot taken with Sigma DP2 at ISO50. When I took it I thought, jaij, this is beautiful. Well, back home I wondered why I didn’t pay more attention on what it was that I got. Well, I decided to play with it and make a developer test out of it. So here we go. As you see, the original is badly under exposed and slightly tilted. The first software I tried was Lightroom 2.4.

Bad photo developing test
With Lightroom I used some tricks like painting in order to make it look even better. The paint is a slight orange tone applied to places with direct sunlight. I made a movie that will be on youtube in a while with my exact workflow.. I didn’t use fill light much, instead I used a gradient mask to make half the picture lighter.

The second software I tried was Raw Developer, but because RD don’t have native support for Sigma DP2 I first had to convert my RAW to Adobe DNG format using Lightroom 2.4Bad photo developing test
With Raw Developer 1.84 I used fill light, and shadow lifting in order to both have sky and shadows. I also corrected horizon before saving. This particular shot is actually saved twice as JPEG so don’t pay too much attention to pixel peeping. I realized that a watermark on each picture was a nice touch, but too late. :)

Third software used was Sigma Photo Pro 3.3 for Mac.
Bad photo developing test
With Sigma I normally don’t use X3 Fill light so much but here I decided to give it a try. Result isn’t too bad, but perhaps a bit too artificial result. Normally I save as two pictures. One for highlights and one for shadows and then I bering those two shots together using Photoshop. So I did:

Bad photo developing test
So this is the combined result of two Sigma Photo Pro versions. Also in Photoshop I corrected the horizon which I couldn’t do with the SPP only shot (above this one).

Which one do you prefer?

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
This entry was posted in Adobe Lightroom, Full size, How to, ISO50, Raw Developer, Sigma DP2, Sigma Photo Pro. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Saving a bad shot using three developers..

  1. Martin says:

    I guess I like the second SPP best.

    By the way, don’t you use Aperture no more? Do you like LR better?

  2. Ted Johnson says:

    Carl, I like the second SPP shot first, the LR next, then the RD shot.

  3. fiatlux says:

    I can’t really decide between LR and the combined SPP exposures. I like the LR colours but it looks a tad too light.

  4. Andrew says:

    I prefer the RAW Developer version followed by the second SPP version.

  5. Fab says:

    I vote for the SPP version.

  6. Manu says:

    The last one

  7. Five of six chooses the last picture (SPP combined exposure thingi) – Maan, does this mean I need to work my a** of for each picture to make you guys happy? :D And not to talk about SPACE. Two 16bit shots, photoshop, save and into LR for the little copyright waterthingi..

    Also about Raw Developer. There are other situations when RD has the edge, will try to find them. :) (Oh it has much more to give when dealing with SD14 native files)

  8. Robin says:

    Well, if I had to decide: The RAW Developer version. But this is because of natural contrasts and edges. In all other versions there are halos (especially in the sky and similar effects) and this is important to me. So I think if you don’t use fill light etc. the other converters would have performed a little better.

    But maybe it’s still necessary to develop two versions and combine them, yes. In some cases I do that too. The Sigma SPP 2.5 handles edges and contrast pretty well – SPP 3.5.2 still doesn’t, but improved coloring (Yet I’m using windows -> windows versions). In Photoshop I either use luminance-layer and put the 2.5-pic over the 3.5.2, or I use coloring-layer and put the 3.5.2-pic over the 2.5.

    In general: I think SPP is master of coloring … I always prefered the SPP-results in this point.

    And btw: I’m reading here, because I like that you’re looking closely to pictures. Think, that’s why you’re happy with Sigma. I like you’re tests, and your full resolution-samples. Thanks for that!

  9. jim says:

    Carl, I like the LR one best except for the sky. The water, water plants, reflections, and the strip of bright green grass just look stunning, but real, to me. They have that DP/Carl pop. The sky, though a beautiful blue, looks too filtered to me— perhaps should be made a little brighter and less saturated? …somewhere between it and the RD version’s sky. (So I guess I’m suggesting you need to work harder in lightroom! oh boy.)

    I’m getting too trained to see the effect that the X3 fill provides (thanks to my own fun with the DP1&SPP!) and I agree that it looks artificial, at least to my eyes. So I like the difficult SPP effort much less.

    Thanks for all your great work, and I’m excited to see the video.

  10. Sndr says:

    Definitely the last one: combined SPP exposures

  11. SandyF says:

    From a single version, I like the Lightroom version best as it seems the most natural. Dark area, touches of light, but shadowy trail. The lightest SPP version seems too light to me. I notice how RD changed the sky color.

    • Hi Sandy! I’m happy you like the Lightroom version best as it was easier to make, and more fun as I stayed on one software. Hope for the future! :D I did now realize the power of Aperture while making these new mushroom, nature shots. I love the color control available in Aperture.

  12. Bob van Ooik says:

    Now i have a new addition for you… try captureNX with 16bit Tiffs, like in Aperture. The cool thing about captureNX is tools like in Viveza. And you have local correction brushes, gradients etc… Just driving you slowly Post Processing crazy :D

  13. Carl Rytterfalk says:

    Hi Bob, I just installed and I’m not friend with it just yet. Viveza works much better for me. But perhaps you could show me a few things in a video conference kind of thing like last time? That would be great! :)

  14. Carl Rytterfalk says:

    Jim and Robin, yeah Fill light isn’t really my cup of tea but sometimes a little can help. In the above case I used a lot, waaay more than I ever did on a public picture before. :)

    And Robin, I agree on the coloring. Well, RD can do better, but that’s with SD14 raw.. Btw, thanks for your last sentence.

    Also Jim, I hope to bring you the video, but as for now, I do have some stupid problems with my internet connection. I’m getting a “real” 100mbit fiber connection in a month or so, but until then I’ll have this 3G iphone connection that I currently use. :)

  15. Chris says:

    I find this series absolutely helpful.
    Well done indeed (as ever)
    I think a photographer has to be a painter a bit . . .

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