raw – how much post processing?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how much post-processing is “right”, whatever right means. I originally was a hard-core non-processor, ie I restricted myself to minimal sharpening, WB and maybe exposure correction. Growing with my photography (or not…) I slowly come to realise that a RAW is a negative and it NEEDS some processing, like in the old days the path from negative to a paper copy.

So I gradually make the transition towards a moderate PP, I still cannot stand over-processed pictures, especially over-cooked HDRs, but de gustibus non est disputandum.

The three pictures are from L to R (hahahaha the LightRoom acronym), an almost unprocessed raw to jpeg, then simple processing (sharpening and exposure comp) and the one on the right used the “clarity” slider in LR5 a lot. I have to admit this thing does magic…

BTW: Im a total “sucker” for Martin Bailey’s podcast http://www.martinbaileyphotography.com/podcasts. Take your time to listen whilst you have a quiet 20 minutes, this is photography ZEN in its purest form.

too much unbalanced exercise … difficult to believe

several month of a slightly swollen ankle, a little discomfort, every once in a while some pain… an MRI and a few doctor’s visits later (and a few hundred $$$$ poorer), seems the final conclusion is that walking and biking “only” doesn’t properly utilise the ankle….

so……..physiotherapy, off the bike and of off the hiking path and hopefully in a few month all is back to normal…


inured left ankleinured left ankle inured left ankle

light-painting in the park


we joined a workshop hosted by Nikon (well hosted @ SGD 60..) to learn about light painting.

AngMoKio Park, Singapore, after dark.

what to bring

  1. sturdy tripod (those freebee give-away thingies WONT do the job if you have a DSRL)
  2. remote trigger
  3. wide angle lens, I used a Nikkor 18-35 mm G
  4. all kinds of light sources  such as light sabre, bicycle lights, standard torch lights, let your creativity go wild here
  5. a camera would be helpful 🙂
  6. good things take time
  7. some die-hard, hard core fanatics would bring an umbrella just in case, but I have no intention to spend a night in a park in the rain playing with a light sabre and my camera….

getting started

  1. ISO at lowest setting (L1 on my Df), manual mode, aperture f8 for a start, bulb mode for the shutter
  2. pre-focus with a flashlight then switch to manual or use manual focus right away, AF unlikely to work in the dark
  3. use a strong torch light to paint a background, for example a statue or a sculpture, use slow, regular movements, don’t point the light towards the camera or your own face. A flashlight with colour gels mounted works as well, though I find that rather fiddly.
  4. with the camera settings indicated above we needed to ‘paint’ app 20 seconds to get the sculpture lightened up

Nikon school, light painting

then move on to the foreground

if you have a partner in crime he/she can do the foreground simultaneously, if you are on your own, go and fetch a different light source, being careful not to point the light towards the camera and get into the flow…

 the pictures below were exposed 60-85 seconds

Nikon school, light painting Nikon school, light painting Nikon school, light painting Nikon school, light painting

all pictures (c) jrbc 2014, made with Nikon, Benro tripods and all kinds of light sources made in China