Post-Processing — The Before And After

Through the generous financial support of a forward-thinking Quiet Time Ministries donor, I am in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, once again privileged to be on a sponsored myPhotoWalk photo shoot with Nikon legend Bill Fortney and his team from His Light Workshops. And I am having the opportunity to meet and shoot photography with one of my heroes of the faith, Dr. Charles Stanley, not only a beloved pastor and author, but also an accomplished photographer. I am very excited to be on this photographic journey with some of the best photographers in the world. And I am further humbled to be shooting God’s great creation for images that will be used in myPhotoWalk Devotional Photography hard copy and electronic publications.

Logan Pass — Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Logan Pass (elevation 6,646 ft (2,026 m)) is located along the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, in the U.S. state of Montana. It is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Just east of the pass, an area known as Big Drift often records over 100 feet (30 m) of snowfall, much of which has been pushed over the continental divide by the prevailing westerly winds during the winter.

We are staying at rustic and iconic St. Mary Lodge, less than a mile from the St. Mary entrance to Glacier National Park, with Divide Peak rising high overhead, and Divide Creek streaming along the property. You should see the views out of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows from the restaurant!. We have taken day trips to amazing and incredible photo shoot locations throughout the expansive Glacier National Park, hand selected by Bill Fortney himself.

One late afternoon we traveled to Logan Pass to shoot the sunset facing Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain. It was rapidly closing in on sunset! And it became quite a challenge capturing the light because although the clouds in the sky were initially lit up in an array of colors, darkness was quickly approaching. All the landscape details were becoming harder and harder to see with the naked eye. As it so often happens with me, on this particular evening I soon found myself walking out among the rugged terrain, by myself, exploring a new shooting area while everyone else was shooting in the opposite direction. So what else is new! So there I am with my tripod and my Nikon D7000 camera and suddenly I appreciated this amazing beauty of the mountain pass so I chose my wide-angle lens 12-24mm and used the 24mm focal length. It was bitter cold; a heavy snowstorm was predicted in a few days. St. Mary’s Lodge was to close for the season at the end of the week. So perhaps I had a brain cramp. Anyway, for some reason I didn’t shoot 3 bracketed exposures on this particular composition but in my defense I was indeed stable on a tripod. Normally I would bracket the exposures and process in Photomatix Pro allowing me to bring out all the details that might get lost because of the low light conditions.

But I didn’t — so what to do? How do I get the most out of this photo?

  • Step 1 — Make a duplicate of the RAW NEF in Adobe Bridge
  • Step 2 — Open the duplicate in Adobe Camera RAW — this photo is dark, dark, dark — but that is no problem for ACR. I brought up the highlights and shadows and immediately it brightened everything. I added a bit of Clarity and tweaked some of the other settings. Then, I sharpened a bit and did a bit of noise reduction.
  • Step 3 — Open the processed RAW image in Adobe Photoshop
  • Step 4 — Open Nik Color Efex Pro — Tonal Contrast with very slight adjustments. Pro Contrast with very slight adjustment to Dynamic Contrast.
  • Step 5 — Save the final image in various sizes and convert the color profile for specific uses including my SmugMug Portfolio, blog uploads, and hard copy print.

This three image gallery shows the composite and the before and after images.

Ok, so there it is — my quick fix post-processing technique to get the most out of a photo that should have had bracketed exposures.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!

Bill Fortney, a world renowned professional photographer and Nikon legend, founded His Light Ministries upon John 8:12 (NKJV), “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” He conducts His Light Workshops in spectacular photography locations such as Monument Valley, Utah, Glacier National Park, Montana, and The Great Oregon Coast.
Bill Fortney, His Light Ministries

myPhotoWalk Devotional

… Gaze on the beauty of the Lord.
Psalm 27:4

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: The Beauty Of The Lord
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: Challenging sunset capture near Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 09/16/13
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, 12-24mm — FL 24.0, ISO 100, f/11.0, 1/8sec exposure.
  • Photoshoot: Bill Fortney’s His Light Workshops PhotoShoot, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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