Lens profile correction added in Lightroom
Lens profile correction not added

Are lens profile corrections always necessary? Take a look at the two photos above. You tell me which one looks better.

If you are like me, when I edit a photo I automatically add a lens profile correction to the image when it is imported.

When it comes to post-processing your photos, I don’t think it’s always necessary to correct for the lens and as a matter of fact, sometimes you can improve the image quality by not correcting for lens distortions and vignetting.

What you talking about Gary?

First, I think it’s always a good idea to remove visible chromatic aberrations from the image. You know, those red, blue or green lines on the edges of objects in the photo. Some lenses are better than others when it comes to this; however, all lenses are not the same and some of my lenses introduce no noticeable CA. If CA is not visible, there is really no reason to remove it. When you click that remove CA button, the editing software will shuffle pixels to make it look cleaner. Every time you shuffle pixels in your image, you reduce the effective resolution of the lens. No way around it.

Lens distortions can be obvious in some images. Buildings or objects geometry can be obvious but it can also not be noticeable. You may want those trees to align vertically on the edges of the frame, fair enough. Go ahead and correct it. But, sometimes your image will have no obvious distortion due to the subject matter and content of the composition. Every time you click the correct lens geometry the image is re-sampled and those pixels get shuffled. Every time you reshuffle the pixels in your photograph, you lose resolution. If there is no obvious geometric distortion in your photograph, why shuffle the pixels to correct it? You’ll be hard pressed to see a difference. If you examine your shot up close, that small loss of image clarity can be noticeable though. If you can’t obviously discern a problem with distortion, why correct for it?

How about vignetting/shading? Some lenses will produce a visual drop-off in brightness as you move towards the corners of the frame. There are several things at work here, but vignetting is the most obviously visible artifact. If it bothers you, remove the vignetting. Keep in mind though, further editing to reintroduce that vignetting is going to shuffle pixels. When you shuffle pixels in the image, you lose resolution. No way around it. Plus, adding vignetting back to an image that has been corrected is making two corrections for something just to get back to where you started. Why correct it to begin with? You can manually shade the corners if you like but you don’t need to reshuffle pixels to do it.

I add vignetting to a lot of my images. It draws the eye into the frame. It’s an age-old photographic technique. You really need to decide for yourself if you need it or not, but if you do want it, don’t correct for it. Let the lens do the talking and reduce the number of steps in your workflow.

Read any lens review and they will tell you how easy it is to correct for CA and distortion in post processing.

It’s even easier to not make the corrections, and the visual results can be exactly what you where hoping for to begin with.

Think outside the box.

Mallard Drake and Hen Wading in a Stream Near a Rock

I’m back to my normal office routine for a few days. This time of year, I typically wait for shifting weather patterns before planning a photography outing. I like to get out before or after a snow storm as the clouds and general environment tend to add to the esthetics of wildlife photography.

While I wait, I sift through my catalogs for stock photos. I have enough material to keep me busy for a couple of years.

What I normally look for is nicely lit, sharp images of animals and such that I’ve skipped over on my first reviews. I tend to take my photo editing in stages. Find the standout photos first, develop them and then move them out into circulation as soon as possible. When one has catalogs that contain 10,000 or more photographs, it’s quite easy to glide on by good shots so for me, re-examining these catalogs is like going through the couch cushions looking for loose change. I have lots of loose change in those couch cushions too. These little hidden gems are plentiful and it’s a great way for an old guy like me to turn them into coffee cans full of quarters.

Here’s a shot from 2013. I was working along Clear Creek near the Coors brewery in Golden, Colorado for a few days. Lots of waterfowl along the creek, I managed quite a few usable photos of ducks and other birds.

Mallards are probably the most common waterfowl to find in these parts and as such they tend to be a little less exciting to photograph. But, one thing I’ve learned is that any nice photo of wildlife is a potential earner as buyers aren’t interested in my subject selection bias, they are simply looking for a good photo of something they need.

Before I kick the bucket, this photo could earn me a hundred bucks or so.

I uploaded this image and several others to the Stock agencies this morning.

It’s pending approval.

A short while back I began posting small collections of wildlife photos of the different species of animals found in Colorado.

Photography trips and personal life caused me to pause briefly but today I’m picking up where I left off. I’m thinking perhaps once a month as the Winter settles in, I’ll resume the practice.

I’ve been working on deer photos this past week. I’ve got a ton of them and they do sell so here’s a collection I’ve spooned from the bowl. Some of these shots have been published in the past but a few I’ve never shared before.

Colorado has two species of deer, white-tailed and mule deer. The mule deer are the most common that I encounter but the white-tailed can be found almost as easily. One of the great things about Colorado is the variety of wildlife that live within shouting distance of my home.

So, today you get some deer action for your viewing pleasure.

 

Mule deer doe on a forest road in the rugged Colorado back country.
Mule deer buck on a frosty morning at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Young mule deer doe near Turkey Creek, Colorado
A group of white-tailed deer doe moving through a frosty field at sunrise
Mule Deer Buck, moving through the woods of Northern Colorado
Mule deer fawns nursing their mother
Two mule deer bucks sparing for mating rights
Herd of mule deer having breakfast on a cold, foggy morning.
Mule deer doe watching the sun rise on Mt. Falcon
Deer waking up on a cold winter morning in Colorado
White-tailed buck watching the sunrise
Two young mule deer bucks on a cold, snowy morning