Three Ways of Seeing

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

SOOC or “straight out of the camera” is an acronym that identifies an image with no processing, even minimal tweaks. In Lightroom it is easy to move the sliders for contrast, exposure and saturation to enhance RAW images, and just as easy to click a preset that’s included with LIghtroom to create different versions of the same scene, whether in color or in black and white. Photo editing can dramatically alter a photo, and presets can instantly do the job for you. You can tweak and modify their effects as well.

Then there is photo editing software such as the Google Nik Collection and Alien Skin Exposure. (See Joe’s take on the new X3 version on our sister blog.) These tools, along with plug-ins for Lightroom and Photoshop, can also produce varying results. Whether one image is better than another, an improvement over SOOC, is a matter of preference, but it is fun to see different effects.

A case in point is three treatments of the same image, taken on a Sunday morning outside a pastry shop where people chatted, worked on laptops, and greeted one another at setup tables. The image was made with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro at 14mm with an exposure of 1/200 at f/8, -2/3EV, ISO 2500

First, I converted the original image into monochrome by clicking the “black and white” link next to Treatment in Lightroom. Next I used a LightRoom preset “Aged Photo.” Last, I opened up the photo editing tool Alien Skin Exposure and selected “Fuji Provia,” a simulation of the daylight colored film. In comparing the three processed images, the storefront murals stand out dramatically in the Fuji Provia color vibrant selection. There is old world charm in the faded “aged” photo. As for the black and white image, it appears that the facial expressions stand out to a greater degree. There is no end to image processing until weariness sets in.


Mildred’s books Winter Garden and Seedhead and St. Agnes Public Library Exhibit are available from MagCloud in print or digital form at most affordable prices.