In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the ways photography has changed due to the transition from film to digital photography. The basic principles of controlling and recording light have not changed, but editing processes have changed dramatically. Like many photographers, I work to get the best possible image in camera but further processing on the computer is essential to my success as a photographer. Thankfully, there are really smart people who have developed great software to make this part of photography easier. I use Adobe’s Photoshop (PS) CC (Creative Cloud – yes, I pay my access fee every month!) and Camera RAW (ACR) as my primary software. I also purchased Corel’s Paint Shop Pro X7 when it was cheap (PSP X8 had just come out) and work it every now and then, but PS and ACR remain my go to software.
As those smart guys at Adobe make their products better and easier to use, and I learn how to use the features I have along with the new stuff, I try to produce better images. Recently, the Adobe CC guys announced a new feature in Lightroom (LR), a sister software to PS. As background, I prefer PS to LR because I can use layers in PS. ACR and LR use similar menus and controls for processing, so I’m not missing out on those features. LR manages files which PS does not do, however, I use Adobe Bridge for my file management.
Back to the cool new tool in LR – Boundary Warp. If I create a panorama in LR, Boundary Warp allows me to adjust the image without having to crop and lose content. Regardless of how well I shoot a series of images to merge into a panorama, there is always inconsistency in the edges requiring cropping and/or filling. Boundary Warp minimizes data loss and is very cool, from my perspective. I processed several panoramas using both PS and LR to determine if one is preferable to the other, but I’ll let you be the judge in the images below.
Oh yeah, LR now has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature in PhotoMerge, but I prefer PhotoMatix Pro for my HDR images.
Today’s images come from the day I spent in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), located in north central Colorado, last month. I entered RMNP from the east side (US Highway 36 from Estes Park CO). After a quick stop in the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center for some shopping and a stamp in my national parks passport book, I proceeded into RMNP and that portion of US 34 known as Trail Ridge Road. Trail Ridge Road is only open in the summer months, as its 12,000 foot (+/-) elevation makes for a very snowy road in the winter months.
I came across a flock of turkeys, but failed to get a decent image of them. I drove by this beautiful vista.
The differences in brightness, contrast, and color are my adjustments and experimentation. I manually cropped the LR version to a standard 5:1 ratio panorama, the same as the PS version. What’s important to note is that there doesn’t appear to be geometric distortion from the Boundary Warp, however, there is more foreground in the PS version (check the tree line) which indicates a larger availability of data in the LR image. Based on my totally non-scientific experiment, I opine that the use of PS versus LR for panoramas is a matter of personal preference at the moment.
Back to pictures.
I have established a page dedicated to Rocky Mountain National Park. Visit the page to see more images from this part of my trip.
Since I got home, I’ve spent some time in the yard with my flowers, so I’ll close with them. Enjoy – PHOTOROGR