Before and After Post Processing of Last Night’s Blue Heron Pictures

It’s really amazing what a little bit of post processing can do with pictures, especially when you are shooting in raw. These are the before and after shots of the blue heron I shot last night.

All were shot hand held  on a Canon T5i with a Tokina AT-X 400AF 400mm using manual focus.

Nothing major in the post processing but huge differences.

I cropped just a bit to improve the framing since I was shooting a moving animal and didn’t always have the time to do it in the camera even if it was moving slow.

In Lightroom, on most I increased the clarity +26, vibrance and saturation +17, contrast +2 and exposure +0.24. The other one was fairly close to that.

In Photoshop, I duplicated the background layer and converted the new layer to a smart object and used a high pass filter with a radius in the 3 – 5 range. Then I set that layer’s blending mode to either a soft light or hard light depending on what I thought looked better. Helps with bringing out the detail quite a bit.

And that’s it but the differences are amazing.

Before:

Blue Heron straight out of the camera
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 125

After:

Blue Heron Post Processed
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 125

Before:

Blue Heron straight out of the camera
1/800 sec f/6.3 ISO 160

After:

Blue Heron Post Processed
1/800 sec f/6.3 ISO 160

Before:

Blue Heron straight out of the camera
1/800 sec f/6.3 ISO 160

After:

Blue Heron Post Processed
1/800 sec f/6.3 ISO 160

Before:

Blue Heron straight out of the camera
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 160

After:

Blue Heron Post Processed
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 160

Before:

Blue Heron straight out of the camera
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 160

After:

Blue Heron Post Processed
1/800 sec f/5.6 ISO 160

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