Monday, March 3, 2008

Digiscoping: Post-processing - Software

Now what? – It’s Post-Processing Time! Cameras do a wonderful job adjusting white balance, sharpness, etc. However, I've seen many a disappointed digiscoper when the image that looked great through their viewfinder looked dull, dark and not-handsome when transferred to the web. This is because the camera processes the image data when its played back in review-mode, so you are not seeing the real image data. So, the next step in the digiscoping process is to post-process the image to do for the digital negative what the lab does for film.

What’s wrong with this picture? This image suffers from a blue cast, soft focus, and shadows along the edge from vignetting. We can adjust and remove some of these defects using a good image-processing software package.

Photo-editing Software A good photo-editing software package will allow you to open various file types, make adjustments such as brightness, contrast, color balance, sharpen, soften, and allow you to export your finished product to various devices such as printers, files, and the web. Check out Top Ten Reviews, Inc. It is a great site that shows you what’s available in 2014 for photo-editing software, how much it costs, what each package has to offer, and what to look for in your investment.

My choice? – Adobe Photoshop CS6 Adobe Photoshop is the standard by which all photo-editing software is judged. I use it because its available to me through my workplace. It is expensive, but it does everything! That said, what I do with my post-processing workflow can be accomplished with most any software package available, probably even freeware. I therefore only need a package that suits my workflow: adjust brightness/contrast, color balance, cropping, and selective sharpening/noise removal. Photoshop Elements is significantly cheaper (~$100) and will provide 95% of your image processing needs. Don't discount the software that came w/ your camera, either, as it may provide you with everything you need.

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