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Using Adobe Lightroom and DxO Optics Pro 10 to Edit An Almost Deleted Photo (Video)

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I had a few long distance shots of the Short Eared Owl that, due to high ISO, I almost deleted. They had a fair amount of noise and because I had to crop in, the noise was too much to be able to edit it.

However, I thought I’d let DxO OpticsPro 10 have a go at reducing the noise and as always it delivered. I was so impressed how it cleaned up the noise that I thought I’d show a complete workflow of the post editing.

The video maybe useful for any one else editing, but also may be a good watch for any non-photographers to see how a photo evolves through it’s post processing stage from it’s RAW format to it’s final published copy. For more information on RAW files and post processing, please see a post I made quite a while ago – RAW, JPEG and why Lightroom isn’t Cheating.

Here is the image that the camera captured, it’s a conversion to JPEG without any post processing

{Click image for a higher resolution}
Original RAW
Original RAW
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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

TECHNIQUE: Shooting with 2 Eyes Open for More Predictable Tracking

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I’ve had a few people comment on my Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird photos and how well I managed to track them and get them in focus. Hummingbirds move fast, very fast and as they are also so tiny it’s really difficult to track and predict where they are going to be. You could just set up focus on one flower and wait, but that’s not what I did so I thought I’d share how I tracked them.

Of course, having a camera and lens that auto-focuses quickly and accurately is going to help, but that’s only half of it as you still have to follow the bird as it flies around at incredible speed.

In theory, there’s a simple technique that can help, in practice, it takes some getting used to;  KEEP BOTH EYES OPEN!

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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

RAW, JPEG and why Lightroom isn’t Cheating

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(Left to Right) Camera RAW, Camera JPEG, Lightroom Post Edit
(Left to Right) Camera RAW, Camera JPEG, Lightroom Post Edit
Many non-photographers (and indeed some photographers) don’t understand photo editing and assume it’s cheating. The most widely used photo editing tool is Adobe’s Lightroom, not to be confused with Photoshop which is far more powerful and more of a manipulation tool. Do I use both? Yes I do, although Photoshop is not used that often.

{Click on any image to view a higher resolution}

So let’s start at the beginning and look at what a digital camera actually sees. It see’s light, nothing more than that, just light and different levels of light. Our eyes are the same, they see just light that we use our brain to convert into images. Our brains are far more intelligent than any camera can ever be in that we can process a very high dynamic range and effectively edit the image we see in real-time.

No matter how advanced our cameras are, they very rarely capture what we actually remember seeing with our own eyes and this is why we have the option to post edit using a tool such as Lightroom.

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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Temporary Reflection Pool Setup

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Update: Since this post I have now built a large permanent Reflection Pool. Blog post available HERE.

You may remember a post a few days back where I said that I’d bought a Greenhouse Tray. Well it was to build a temporary Reflection Pool in the garden.

I set it up tonight, excuse the photos as it was starting to get dark when I finished (6:30pm and it’s starting to get dark!!! Grrrrr!).

As you can see from the photos the tray is mounted on some DIY A-Frames and I’ve made a shallow area in which I hope the birds will visit. At the back out of sight I’ve put some Suet and Peanuts to try and tempt them. It’s setup near the bird feeders, so hopefully, it’ll be an easy temptation.

The only thing that worries me is that the tray isn’t long enough and either I can’t fit a full reflection in or you’ll see the front edge of the tray in shot.

DIY Reflection Pool
DIY Reflection Pool
Shallow end
Shallow end
Food to tempt the birds
Food to tempt the birds



I’ll leave it for a day or two for the birds to get used to it and then see what I get.

Here’s an idea on what a Reflection Pool gives, again, not great quality as it was really bad light.

Reflection Pool
Reflection Pool
Reflection Pool
Reflection Pool
All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Automatically Back Up Lightroom Catalogues When You Logoff From Windows (Video)

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If like me you have many different catalogues within Lightroom then you might get lazy when it comes to backing up your Lightroom Catalogues. As you may know, the catalogue stores all of the non-destructive editing carried out on your photos. Lose the catalogue and you lose the edits. Catalogues have to be stored locally and therefore is not easy to have them stored on resilent network storage such as a NAS.

I was getting concerned that I didn’t backup my catalogues often enough and decided to fix it once and for all and even turn off the backup notifications in Lightroom. I created a simple method to automatically backup any changes to my catalogues each time I log off or shut down my PC, please note, it doesn’t run if you just sleep or hibernate. As I’ve got an SSD in my PC it boots so quickly that I always shut it down when not using it.

Yes, this is important, I said “my PC”, I’m not a MAC user so this is not relevant to MACs but I suspect there is something similar available. Although I’m using Windows 10, this method should still work for 7 and 8. Please note, you require access to the Group Policy Editor, this is not available in “Home” versions of Windows and requires you are running a “Pro” version of Windows.

I’ve recorded a How To Video complete with written instructions below

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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Mount a lens backwards to make a Macro Lens?

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If you mount a normal lens backwards on a camera body, it becomes a great closeup Macro lens. If you think how a lens works, it’s no real surprise that this is the case.

A lens captures a large scene and projects it onto a small sensor (or film!) inside the camera. Therefore, by mounting it backwards, it does the opposite by projecting something small magnified onto the sensor.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Moving Home - Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) - D810, AF-D 50mm f/1.8 reverse mounted with a Nikon BR-2A Reverse Ring @ 50mm, f/22, ISO1000, 1/6sec - {Flickr Link}
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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

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