Typical Post Processing in the Making of a YLF Photo

Several people have asked me about my approach with the photos, so I'm going to use my lookfab blog to document aspects of the workflow. I'm kicking off with the simple post processing that I did for one of the photos in today's post on Angie's outfit for the Tokyo wedding.

My primary goal with outfit shots is to accurately capture how the scene looked to me when I took the photos. So I do want to faithfully represent the colors, but I will also use post processing to get the right "feel" into the picture.

  1. Original Photo: I always shoot in aperture priority mode (more on that in the future). I let the camera choose the exposure. "Exposure" is the amount of time the camera needs to keep the shutter open to get enough light to make the picture. For dark scenes, the camera needs more time. For bright scenes, it needs less.
  2. Adjust Exposure: The camera under-exposed Angie because the bright trench made it think there was more light in the scene than there actually was. I can easily correct that in the first step of post processing on my Mac, raising the exposure a little, effectively brightening the image.
  3. Rotate & Crop: First, a small rotation to correct the horizon because I have an aversion to slightly rotated scenes (intentionally rotated shots can be quite nice). Second, a slight crop to frame Angie a little better.
  4. Add Drama: Finally, a subtle filter that adds a touch of drama to the shot. In this case I am just overlaying 10% of a black and white version of the image with the original.

I chose this as the first example because these steps are very typical of what I do for photos on YLF. There are other examples where the processing is much more extreme (for example, when I have to deal with white balance issues).

(By the way, if you are reading this post in the YLF forum, try viewing it in my lookfab blog to get a better side-by-side look at the different stages. The differences are quite subtle.)


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Photo Upload Bug Fixed

I noticed several occasions where one or more of the photos that people uploaded were "broken". After a little investigation I found the bug. Hopefully it is fixed, but if you do see any strange things happening with photo uploads, I would appreciate it if you sent me a private message to let me know about it. Please include a link to the thread where it happened.

I'm testing with two photos (taken by me and Morgan respectively) while we were taking a break in Palm Springs last week. A big thank you to Angie and Inge for covering for us while we were away.

UPDATE: Had to add a photo of Derek, the 3rd musketeer.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Photo Uploads Updated

A few minutes ago I updated the component of the site that handles photo uploads. The changes are mostly improvements to reliability, but I have also increased the size of the photos once uploaded. So in some cases when you zoom in you will be able to see a larger version if you increase the size of your web browser window.

For those who are interested in the details, all photos that have width or height larger than 1024 pixels will be resized to 1024 pixels (this value was previously 640).

Things should also be just a tiny bit faster.

Please let me know if you see any strangeness.

UPDATE: There is now also a new viewer so that the larger images will scale down if you are using a smaller browser window.