The First of Many

black-chinned hummingbird

A black-chinned hummingbird, I believe »Buy This Photo!«

I hope people like hummingbird photos. Like I said, a) feeders hanging just outside the windows, b) Pentax K-x at the ready, and c) use that telephoto lens! There will be a ton of these before long. Also, believe it or not, I only just started shooting in RAW mode. For years I’ve never bothered. Well, that was silly. In just a few minutes, I figured out how to tweak this sucker much more easily than I would normally do with a high-quality JPEG. Big duh, huh. Anyway, I’m clued in now.

And by the way, there’s a nice hummingbird photo of mine (“Hummingbird Soul”) available at Redbubble as a T-shirt, fine art print, tote bag, pillow, greeting cards, and iPhone cases, of all things. (Those and more at the Store link above.)

»Buy This Photo!«

  • rick May 7, 2015, 1:39 PM

    Glad you found out how well RAW file editing pays off to produce really good images from otherwise blah photos.
    My favorite editor is Lightroom. There is a learning curve, but there are a great many free tutorials online.

    • JHF May 7, 2015, 2:31 PM

      My eyes are opened now! I tend to be fixed in my ways much of the time, or maybe I’m just lazy. People gave me articles to read, websites to visit, various templates and such, and it all seemed like so much bother. But I just opened the RAW file in Photoshop CC (2014) and jumped right in. I have Lightroom, too, but have never tried it.

  • christian ienni May 7, 2015, 2:07 PM

    “I hope people like hummingbird photos…”

    *ahem*…

    YES!!! 😀

  • judyinboston May 7, 2015, 3:30 PM

    Love all your bird photos. We only get the ruby-throat, so I’m always eager to see some other hummers. Ours arrived a couple weeks ago and I was “buzzed” in the garden yesterday.

    • JHF May 7, 2015, 3:59 PM

      Thanks! Yes, I remember them from MD’s Eastern Shore. We saw fewer and fewer of them over the years, however, and the orioles in our neck of the woods virtually disappeared. I don’t know if that was due to pollution or habitat loss or what.

  • Bob May 7, 2015, 5:46 PM

    Way to go John!! RAW rocks! There is now a RAW filter in PSCC which I find to be really handy for going back and tweaking an image after the fact. Much easier than saving as a TIFF and then reopening in RAW or reopening a smart image.
    Always enjoy your pictures. Anxiously awaiting more bummers.

    • JHF May 7, 2015, 9:38 PM

      I’m not doing it “right,” I’m certain. Have no idea of the proper workflow. You’d be surprised (or maybe not!) at how little I really understand about PS, never mind RAW. But I’m on it now.

  • CK Sandberg May 8, 2015, 10:37 AM

    Speaking as a fellow Pentaxian (645Z as of yesterday, looking to sell my 645D), welcome to the fantastic world of raw files – you’ll never want to go back to jpegs!

    • JHF May 8, 2015, 11:01 AM

      I still don’t know what I’m doing. Should I just shoot RAW and not RAW+? But it was a hoot to see how quickly I could manipulate the image. I need a primer on how to approach this. But it’s fun!

  • Katy May 9, 2015, 6:24 AM

    At the photography studio where I work the photographer shoots all pics in RAW format, then I load them, cull out the bad ones in Bridge, load them into Lightroom for color processing and cropping using certain pre-sets for sharpening, contrast, detail. Finally I open each one in Photoshop, adjust the crop if needed, adjust the levels, take care of minor retouching, and otherwise tweak – sometimes with third party actions – until I get the desired result. That’s our work flow. Want to meet me after work one night and I’ll show you? 🙂

    • JHF May 9, 2015, 8:03 AM

      Hi Katy! Those were the days, eh? 🙂 That would be so cool, to have personal instruction once again. I still haven’t learned all that much about Photoshop. I pay the subscription fee for CC, so I get PS and Lightroom for ten bucks a month and always have the latest versions. But you can see how I just stayed with JPEGs all these years for Web photos. So lazy! Plus the instant gratification.

      Thanks for the workflow example. I think I understand. Don’t know dink about Lightroom, though. Embarrassing to be so ignorant. I used Adobe Camera Raw for the above image, really popped it out compared to what I’d tried with the usual JPEG.

  • Bob May 9, 2015, 4:13 PM

    John I wouldn’t give much thought to what you don’t know. I’ve been photographing for forty years and still learn things that are useful to me. I made a guy really upset one time (not just one time but one time in particular). He was was responding to a post from a novice photographer and was very derisive. I commented that I hoped to God that I never became so well informed that I couldn’t learn something from a beginner. I still stand by that philosophy and I’ve learned things that I might otherwise have missed.
    P.S. – don’t discount the auto correct function in PS. It sounds like taking the easy route but sometimes it gives me a really good starting point.

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