Post-Processing RAW Surfing Images

December 10, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

My RAW surfing images always lack contrast, and generally appear lifeless. I'm not sure if all telephoto lenses have this problem when shooting surf images, but I always have to make major adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW to the "Blacks" and "Constrast" slider.

I have used three different lenses over the years when shooting surf: Minolta 200mm f/2.8, Tamron 200-400mm f/5.6 (useable at f/8), and currently with a Tokina 300mm F/4. The Minolta 200mm f/2.8 is a lens in a league of its own, but I needed more reach when I upgraded to a full-frame camera. Each of these lenses left much to be desired in the contrast department.

Below I've posted before and after screen shots from ACR. All images were taken on overcast days. The biggest adjustment is to the "blacks" slider, but its amazing how huge an affect it has on the image.

 

Minolta 200mm f/2.8

Before:

After:

 

Tamron 200mm-400mm

Before:

After:

Tokina 300mm f/4

Before:

After:


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