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Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Lesson 2 of 38

Shooting Tips for Ideal Post-Processing

Ben Willmore

Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

2. Shooting Tips for Ideal Post-Processing

Lesson Info

Shooting Tips for Ideal Post-Processing

so let's talk about shooting now I know a lot of the other classes that have been a part of this whole what has it been a week a month a year what is that I can't think how long it's been but the general concentration on travel on and on landscaping outdoor photography has been talking a lot about shooting what I want to do is just talk about certain steps you khun due to make post processing easier by thinking about it when you're in the field and so let's take a look that a few concepts for that take me a second here all right so here's shooting for ideal postproduction just a few ideas he might have been covered by other people but just in case they haven't I want to bring them up they're not things that you absolutely have to do with the more of them you start to think about the better you'll do the first thing is in your camera you can shoot either raw or j peg format and a lot of people know that people say to shoot rob but some people don't know why and so I just want to cover a...

few of the reasons and I'm fine if you shoot j pegs isjust they'll be a few things that you won't be able to due to those images or won't be won't give us good oven end result with j pegs so in general if you shoot in raw format with your camera the processing is done in light room instead of in your camera in your camera if you go into the menu system you will find settings for sharpening like how sharp should your image be how colorful your image should be how much contrast german should be in all those kinds of things are in the menu system for your camera but all of those on ly apply to j peg files because it's only jed peg files that are processed in the camera and so jpeg files they look pretty good when they come out of the key the camera because they've had a lot of processing done in the camera itself all those settings though are ignored when it comes to raw files because raw files capture the raw data that your camera captured and tries not to mess with it therefore you can decide all those kinds of settings things like the sharpening and how colorful and contrast is after the fact where I find it to be much more useful because of that when you originally open a raw file it might look more dull than your j pegs and for that reason a lot of people prefer to shoot j peg because their pictures just look better when they come out of the camera and there were more excited about him and you're like why should I shoot that format where my pictures look dull because that's what your camera captured is your dull picture and we need to process it just like you're j pegs got processed and if you'd like I can show you some settings that will make him look more like your j pegs so that you might not look at him ago I don't like how goalie look s o then even if you're your only reason for shooting j pegs you think they look better when they come out you could make your ross look just is good if not better with you with our new default settings that we can define so that's one thing but the problem with j pegasus since it's been processed in the camera there's some things we just can't get out of it and part of that is if anything in a j peg is white solid white there's no getting detail back into it if there is a highlight if it's the hood of a car and grady eights over to a really bright area and in the j peg it turns solid white and there's a big solid white spot there there's no getting it back we might be able to retouch it photoshopped to put some fake information in there to fill it in and make it look like we fixed it but it's not going actually use any information your camera captured fill it in it's us putting fake infor information in there with light room though if there's any area in your picture that is solid white or solid black your camera actually captured more detail in those areas and we might be able to get it back we might be able to get additional detail that actually came from the camera in those spots that we can't get from a j pick so that I think is special color correction is much more effective on a raw file than it is on a j we can do dramatic changes to the color on our image in the quality it's not going to be degraded when we do it to a j peg quality is going to go down as we try to make a dramatic shifts in color small ships and color they work fine it's when you need a big shift when your image looks really orange and you didn't want it to look orange it all that's going to make your j peg files start to fall apart where is the raw file it will be a piece of cake then the other thing about it you should just be aware of its more of a technical issue but it's a nice thing to know about is all j peg files reduce the amount of information that's in the file to try to make the file size smaller so what happens is your camera captures air certain amount of information in this little slide it mentions tones all I mean by that is the brightest part of your picture assuming you have a full range of brightness in your scene might be rendered us white the darkest part might be rendered is black but in between you can have so many shades in there between black and white with the j peg it's always around two hundred fifty shades you can't go any more than that that's so much enough to make your image look okay on screen in prince okay but it doesn't give you any extra to make to allow you to make dramatic changes to your image where it doesn't harm the image you don't see artifacts the place where you're going to see it the most is usually wherever you have a smooth large area like a blue sky where the blue sky varies a bit maybe on one side is a deep blue and on the other side it's more of a turquoise color and it takes a long way to get over to that other side of the sky like let's say in a panorama and what's gonna happen with the j peg is you're going tohave banding or some people called stair stepping the official name for his poster ization which is where they're simply supposed to be a smooth transition that you don't even notice but instead you can see very distinct stair stepping across it where you could almost take a pen and draw exactly where one shade changes into another it's overly obvious whereas if you work with mohr than two hundred fifty brightness levels you have mohr that allows you to do more with your picture without getting that banding to show up and so just so you know uh jpeg files or what's known as a bit and what a pit means it's just a technical term means around two hundred fifty brightness levels most your cameras though can capture twelve bitter higher an old cannon five d right now we're on cannon five d mark threes you know much meaning of quite a bit older camera captures for thousand plus brightness levels between black and white and if you shoot j peg you only keep two hundred fifty of those even though your camera captured four thousand if you shoot raw you get all the data your camera captured we can use it all when we process our image is just gonna look better so I personally shoot raw ninety eight percent of the time on occasion ah card filled up and I can't fit any more ross I might click over to j peg you were on occasion I need to give these pictures to somebody else right after this and I'm just doing it as a favor I'm not going to spend a lot of time processing them I'll say fine click it over to j peg hand on the images right when I came off the camera and also sometimes that's necessary for news related things weddings other things where you just need to get the images done so quick and hand him to somebody else that you don't have time to think about the quality so anyway she raw if you have a chance if you find you need some additional highlighter shadow detail or if you find you need to make radical changes to the color of brightness of your picture it will really help watch for under exposure I'm not saying not tow ever under exposure pictures all I'm saying is if you capture a picture and you glanced down you go this was kind of dark I try not to think in my head and fix it in post the problem is in the dark party your picture is where your camera captures the least amount of information it captures mohr and mohr information as it gets towards the bright part of your image and as he gets into the dark area captures less and less and less info also it captures mohr and mohr and mohr noise in the dark part of our picture so if I under expose a picture and I decide to fix it later it's not gonna look good compared to me just shooting it with a proper exposure where it's not overly dark so I'm not saying that never under exposed all I'm saying is if you have the time and if whatever it is you're shooting is not moving it's not like a a leopard that you just went click click click and got it going down a tree or something there's no way you're going to sit there and look at camera setting but if you're shooting a landscape you're on a tripod or whatever and you have the time if you notice something looks overly underexposed sure go ahead and keep that one but take one more that's a little brighter that might be more properly exposed because fixing under exposure you have to deal with noise and it's not going to look a smooth as it could don't stress over those stress over anything this shoot we'll try to fix as much as we can when shooting if the colors in the scene are ones where you're not sure if you'll be able to remember what they should look like I'm in a slot canyon if your slot canyons look like but they're canyons where the walls of the king's heir so close together that you might have to go in sideways to fit the colors of the sandstone walls that make up the sides if I want them to look the way that my eyes see them they're hard to remember when you're sitting there because you have no reference of blue sky green grass skin tones and other things where you can notice if they're off if the colors don't look right instead you could have those wildly different colors and you're like I don't remember I don't can't think of what it looked like all you need to dio is I have this little gray card this little gray card comes with a little clip and I usually have it clipped either to my camera bag or I actually used a belt based system to hold my gear and this is just clipped to my belt my wife loves this she takes pictures of me all day because she kisses really trying to get this oh what this is is this is a little gray card it's called a y bow it's w h I b a l that's just like an abbreviation for white balance w w h I b a l and it's a great card that's been measured to make sure it's perfectly gray it's not greenish bluish yellowish it's neutral no hint of color what I'm going to do is put this in the scene in make it so whatever light is falling on the most important part of the photograph is also falling on this and what it does is it makes it so this ends up making it easy to figure out what color that light wass because if it was red light it'll make this look reddish if it was yellowish light it'll make this look yellow and this since it has no color in it whatsoever will take on the color of the light source it's there why would we want to do that because our eyes automatically adjust for the color of light that's in a room if you walk into a room at night let's say at your home and you have the little incandescent bulbs that air in your lamps and things they're not white light it puts off this yellowish orange kind of bite that it's in there your eyes get used to it it adjust the color everywhere and it looks that way but your camera doesn't automatically adjust to it it has auto white balance but it can mess up putting this in your scene though makes it so we have a reference where weaken color corrected image very easily I don't use this in every area that I shoot I'm very lazy a lot of the time so I just want to keep moving but if I ever run into something where the colors and the image are important and I want them to look like what my eyes saw there then I'm gonna put this in there and just make sure that whatever light is falling on the subject falls on this and then we can easily color correct for it make it look like what our eyes saw just so you know this is the brand I happen to like it's called a y bow but all sorts of companies make things designed to do the same thing is this you don't need a y bow you need a white balance reference that anybody makes might be in I have a different name might be in a different form what I like about why balances these are r indestructible whereas a lot of other ones are made out of paper and things so if it gets rained on its roomed and this is the same size as those little things you already have on your key chain for your gas station and for grocery store and all that so you can have it sitting there they make one the same size is a business cards examine your wallet I just find it to be convenient all right then if we want to work and not deal with noise if you're ever on a tripod on a canon camera at least I also one hundred will give you the lowest noise usually it's the lowest I s o setting in your camera where you don't have to turn on a special feature to go lower like there is a setting on my camera called eso expansion I think it's called if I turned that on I could go even lower than the lowest normal setting that doesn't help to go into the lower that you have to get into special features to get teo on some nikon cameras the setting is to hunt I'm not sure which models though it's just the lower the so the less noise there is and so if you're not shooting action because that's when you might need it hi I I s o you're not shooting at night where your handheld and you might need to bring it up to keep a nimit chris if there's no real reason to have it up I'd stay down it s oh one hundred to reduce noise then also I look at is the sun catching the front element of my camera lens if you're ever pointing your camera towards the sun even if the sun's not in the shot if the light from the sun is actually falling on the glass element in the front of your lens you're not going to have is good a contrast so the image on the left if you look at the contrast in apparent to the image on the right the on ly difference between the two is what I'm doing in the middle what I'm doing is putting my hand up which is creating a shadow and I'm moving my hand until the shadow falls on the front element of the lens and by doing so I got the contrast you see on the right a lot of times you don't notice this when you're out shooting but just if you get the chance whenever you're pointed it where the sun would either be in the frame or well you're not gonna be ableto shade it if the sun's right in the frame but if the sons in the coming from the direction you're pointing just glance at the front element air lens and see if the sun's actually falling on it if it is try putting your hand out there and create a shadow that goes over the front of your lens you're going to get much better contrast and it's going to be much easier to adjust that picture in light rumor photo shop also that'll get rid of any lens flares if you ever see a little greenish or other colored blob in your image that's also caused by the sun falling on the front element your lens and if you shaved your lens like that you will get rid of the lens flare then finally um it's much easier to remember where you shot things if some device automatically keeps track of it for you and so I have that thing that shown here uh it's lied tio into where the hot shoe is on my camera we usually put a flash and it automatically tags every single image that I shoot with its exact location then I don't have to do anything in light room I can click on the map module and I can see every picture I've shot is long as that thing was turned on now that though is relatively expensive just so you know it's the cannon gps receiver model number g p dash e to why they don't call it the cannon gps thingy but they have to have a number but anyway that's what I used to take my images but it's relatively expensive somebody will have to look up what it costs guessing it's two hundred some bucks but we can also use our iphones if you have an iphone or an android device you can use it to keep track of where you are and what it does it just creates a text while and what it will do is let's say you have it set to create this text fallon update it once a minute all that means is your iphone is going to write down what time it is in where it's located once a minute and then later on we can feed that file that your phone would make just a text file to light room in light woman would look at what your clock was set to in your camera and it would say hey here's where you're this picture I took a two o'clock on tuesday and here's where your phone was at two o'clock on tuesday and it can associate the two in tag it for you so we'll talk about that later on but think about it when you're in the field either getting one of these gps devices or using your phone keep t track of where you are the problem with using your phone is if you never change the clock on your camera your clock could be off and if the two can't sync up on know that you took this photo at this particular time the location will be off so take a picture of a clock when you're out shooting I do that anyway because I often forget to change the time zone on my camera I don't remember where the heck I was what time's on it was and I don't know if the times listed on my photos are correct because I just might have never changed the time zone so just take a picture of a clock whenever you see it you're out shooting and then you can compare the time on the clock to the time it tells you your picture was taken and if they're off we can adjust it but we'll get into the little bit more of that later on I'll show you how with some of it is done then finally shoot reference information that is not a usable photograph but is useful when you're taking your images I take pictures of the signs for everything I shoot if at all possible I'm not gonna remember where everything is called and if you're in iceland forget it look at that that's literally name of either a road or a town a heck if I know in iceland and I'm never goingto remember that also the next road probably has the first same twelve letters and so it's I always try to take a cz many pictures of the signs in if I ever I'm shooting a model where I get a location release where I have somebody signed something I take a picture of the actual file that they signed if it was a piece of paper because then it could never get separated from the pictures themselves and that's it for shooting s o I know that's a lot of little ideas you don't have to do the mall is just be nice to think about him so you incorporate the ones that might help you

Class Description

It’s time to make the images you capture as you travel or explore the great outdoors even more jaw-dropping. Join photographer and image editing expert Ben Willmore to explore the Lightroom and Photoshop tools that will optimize your images to really make them shine while keeping them easy to find and organized.

In this course, you’ll master the post-production process every travel and outdoor photographer needs to know. From panorama stitching to HDR to fixing distortion in architectural images, you’ll dive deep into the editing tasks best performed in Photoshop. You’ll adjust and optimize your images – even if they’re overexposed, underexposed, or have color or contrast issues. You’ll also learn how to organize your images with Lightroom make them easy to find by location taken, subject, or date. Ben will cover specific tips on uploading and organizing while you are still on the road that will save you time and make things easy when it is time to edit. You’ll also develop an editing workflow that helps you retouch quickly and efficiently.

If you’re ready to spend more time outdoors taking stunning photos and less time stuck indoors processing (or finding!) them, this is the course for you.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2



After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!