Photo editing

It’s cold and blustery this morning.  About  35 degrees with a wind chill of about 25.  So I have been sitting at my computer editing some of my photographs.  At the present I have been using Photoshop Elements as my editing software.  However, I have Photoshop CS4 on order and will have it in a few days.  I just want to emphasize  the importance of photo editing.  You can take what you may think is a badly exposed or badly composed image and make something of them.  I have a couple of examples here. 

First is the Sharp-shinned Hawk I photographed a few days ago, and posted it on my previous post.  When I took the original photo, I was sitting in the blind with my Canon 7D with a 100-400mm tele-zoom.  The hawk flew in and settled in the tree for a minute or two, about 15 yards away.  Because of the tree branches and a bird feeder limiting  my view I used spot focusing.  I had just enough room through the obstructions to get my center focus point on the eyes.  That’s important.  Get the eyes sharp and everything else falls into place.  If you don’t the picture is a bust.  But anyway, the intruding tree branches nearly threw the metered esposure off a bit.  The resulting original shows the hawk almost as a shadow.  But using my editing software I able to brighten it up, increase contrast,  then I cropped it close.  You can see the results below.  The “before and after”.

Sharp-shined hawk un-edited

Sharp-shinned Hawk - cropped and edited

The other photo is of a Black-crowned Night Heron.  I was down town on the River Drive.  Ann and I spotted him across on the other side of the river, about 75 yards away.   I got out of the van with my Canon 7D and my 500mm super telephoto.  In this case the camera done it’s usual great job, and very little editing was needed.  I just cropped it to improve the composition.  You can also see those “before and after pictures here.

Black-crown Night Heron - un-edited

Black-crowned Night Heron - edited

Of course, it is always nice to be close enough so you can compose full frame, and not have to crop, or not have to edit anything.  My Canon 7D comes the closest to getting a perfect exposure more than any camera I have ever owned.  It usually nails the exposure near perfect.  (No, Canon doesn’t pay me anything for pushing there equipment). 🙂

You can click on any photo to see an enlarged image.  Enjoy.

Happy birding and photographing!!

more photos at

3 thoughts on “Photo editing

  1. Bob, you will find that CS4 is a monster of a program. A lot of the things that you are used to will work in much the same way. Many things are going to feel completely un-intuitive for a while…and that’s okay. Once you get a handle on the monster you will be very pleased with the results.

    If you are still shooting RAW, I’d also recommend picking up Lightroom 3 in a couple of months when it comes out of beta. I have a link to the beta somewhere on my blog so you can try it out if you’d like. I find it much more intuitive than Photoshop on many of the common photographic tasks. I do 90-95% of my work these days in Lightroom and then sand down the rough spots with CS3.

  2. Actually Photoshop is probably one of the best photo editing there, at least by reputation. But the full progrram cost around 650.00. Photoshop Elements is an excellent program that incorporate a lot of Photoshop tools at a lesser price of about 100.00. I have used it since it first came out about 8-10 years ago. Having said that, Adobe, the creator of it, recently offered the full Photoshop program to Elements users to upgrade for only about 300.00. I accepted their offer and should have it in a few days,

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