NEW COURSE: Wildlife Photo Editing Secrets Now On Sale


Yesterday I posted about a photo I’d seen recently in which I absolutely fell in love with. I mentioned how my wife had the most opposite reaction to the photo that I could have ever predicted and the crazy reason why. So if you haven’t read the post, go back and read it before reading this. It’s short and I think you’ll find it really interesting. Anyway, I thought I’d post some follow-up thoughts on yesterday’s topic.

First, Some Unscientific Stats From Yesterday’s Comments (I posted this on Google+ too so I’m counting those comments)
• Only about 1% of people saw the face right away, before it was pointed out.
• About 90% of you saw the face once I pointed it out but there’s still 10% that didn’t.
• Generally (and I mean generally), it seemed to be women that caught the face right away. In fact, I showed this to Scott, RC, Pete, and two ladies here at the office from our video team (Nicole and Meredith). Pete, who’s just weird, saw it right away 🙂 Nicole and Meredith saw it right away.
• Going on the previous point, just so you know – Scott actually had to have the face and exact contours of the face pointed out to him. His initial reaction was like mine – WOW! I also had to have the face pointed out to me at first, and every time I look at it, I still don’t always see it.
• Most of you said the presence of the face didn’t impact your overall feeling of liking the photo.
• Maybe 2 people said that now that they saw the face, they couldn’t get over it.
• 80-90% of you thought the photo was stunning as well.
• A small percentage of you thought the photo was overprocessed and didn’t care for it.

“Over-processed” or “It’s Not Real”?
Before I go on, the overwhelming majority thought this photo was beautiful as well. I think the photographer, Tobias Richter, captured an incredible image. But it’s that last bullet point that surprised me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised right? Because the whole point of the post was how people see things differently. But of all the comments I expected, I never expected some one to say it looked too HDR’d or over-processed. Me personally, I barely use HDR software anymore these days. When I say barely, I mean maybe 1 out of every 25 photos sees Photomatix (my HDR software of choice).

I totally didn’t see an over-processed look. People commented on the saturated greens, the shadows (or seemingly lack of them), too much sharpness. To me, those are exactly the things I love about this photo. I don’t think he over-processed it. In fact, I think he processed it to perfection. He made me want to be there. The sun just coming up with the star-shaped burst around it… the beautiful greens with the warmth of the sunrise just touching them. The sky with the clouds and the subtle color and contrast in the clouds. Seriously, I see 10 places that he “could have” over-processed this photo but he didn’t. There’s still plenty of dark areas on the mountain and the photo has many layers in the background that you just can’t see, but know are there. Honestly, I rarely say perfect, but to me at least, this is damn close.

But That’s the Point Right?
But that’s the point here. I went into this thinking you’d either see the face or not see the face? But, to see that some people saw too much processing, took it in a whole different direction. Personally, I disagree. I think he masterfully accounted for the lack of range a camera can see compared to what our eye can see, and used post-processing to bring those areas back and give us a true representation of the scene. But I guess that’s where personal taste comes in. Who’s right, and who’s wrong (well, I’m right of course 😉 ).

Anyway, thanks for the comments yesterday. They were all interesting to read and definitely kept me thinking throughout the day. Have a good one!

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