As I have been working through a number of images this past week, trying to get everything updated before another season of images start pouring in from airshows, I was thinking about the process that I go through and the comments made by a few other people. There are some that feel that it is still best not to finish images and the image that comes out of the camera is how it should remain. Your skill is consequently reflected by that images. I would have to agree that what comes out of the camera does reflect ones own skill, but finishing an image also shows ones own skill. Take this image for example.
This is the same shot, the top is the jpeg out of the camera, the bottom is finished through ACR and CS5.5. This shoot took place on a cloudy morning with grey skies, I was shooting vivid to bring out the vibrance in the Arizona rocks at f/6.7 1/125. The best way to get the props to blur with the plane staying sharp is too shoot in shutter priority with a low shutter speed. As you can see there is a clear difference in the two images after the one went through post.
Some of you might be wondering how much I did in order to get this result, well it really wasn’t much. The biggest change that got the most dramatic result was just getting rid of the color cast from the grey skies. Lighting in ACR and a little sharpening on the plane, to bring out the details in the metal, makes a huge difference in making that plane just pop. It’s little changes like these in your images that make a huge difference and that sets the bar higher for anyone else. The subject matter never changed throughout this process and nor does the accuracy of the plane. It is still the B-17G Sentimental Journey.