Occasionally, when I have photos posing a processing challenge, I resort to using DxO OpticsPro 11. The program is excellent at post-processing photos, but I seldom use it because it is more time consuming than other software I have. In part, this is because DxO is a subtle and sensitive manipulator of RAW images. It’s what makes it such a capable post-processor.
The above is the as-shot RAW file from my July 16th foray into capturing some of the sights and scenes of Saddle Road. Before I talk about Saddle Road, let me point out the difficulty of the above shot. Sunny sky, bright clouds, backlit subject in the shade, and lava.
I typically spot-meter the bright portion but do so close to the darker area. I do that because it’s easier to bring out detail from underexposed areas than coax any details from blown-out highlights. Lighting the underexposed areas usually produces artifacts (noise) that while controllable, degrades the details of the photos. DxO does a great job of bringing out the details and managing the noise. It almost makes me look like a capable photographer.
The following is the end result after processing the original with DxO, adding the frame (dark line) using OnOne, and gently tweaking the final product using lightroom.
All of the photos in this post were processed with DxO before anything else was done to them, like, for instance, stitching them into panoramas using Photoshop. It’s not that all the photos required it, but since I was doing a number of them in DxO, I did them all.
As usual, you can click on individual photos and a larger version will open up in a new tab or window. To see the original size photo, go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE. Be aware that while I usually post photos in the order they were taken, some of these are out of order to fit the narrative and for clarity.
So, here we go . . . Saddle Road.