While I am sad at the passing of summer, autumn does bring its compensations, especially for a photographer. I have siezed every opportunity to go out with my camera to try to capture the autumn colours in the soft light.
But I find that I am increasingly less fanatical about getting exactly the right camera settings in terms of shutter speed, aperture and ISO, preferring to concentrate on observing the subject, and compensating or honing the results later in Adobe Photoshop.
The three most common ‘mistakes’ I make are over-exposure, wrong colour balance and tilted horizons. The first two tend to occur after I have been photographing indoors, using a high ISO setting and forgetting to lower it when I go outside, or setting the colour balance to tungsten light, and forgetting to set it back to daylight.
All three ‘mistakes’ can be corrected in Photoshop. But even the very best photographs can still be improved: lightening shadows, increasing or decreasing the contrast, adjusting the colour saturation, increasing the clarity, sharpening the detail, reducing digital noise.
I have recently been going through old rejected photographs, and after improvement, some of them were real gems! And it suddenly occurred to me, perhaps this is a service I could offer my readers.
So, for a limited period, you can send me your digital photographs, and I will improve them for you absolutely free! The only limitation is that it is not possible to improve the focus. Out of focus will remain so no matter what.
- Attach up to 10 photos and mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- RAW format work best (.cr2 Canon, .nef Nikon), but .jpg can also be improved
- Pictures taken on smartphones are also eligible
- If possible, say which make of camera was used (Canon, Nikon, Apple etc)
- If you want the photo cropping, then give a brief description
- I will try to mail the improved versions back within 24 hours of receipt
If you would like to see some examples of what is possible, below I proudly present my Rogue’s Gallery of incompetent photographs that I have subsequently improved.
Lightening shadows to reveal details:
Improve sharpness and clarity:
Softening the background:
Remove unwanted detail:
Improve the sky:
Mobile phone example: