When to Hold’em and When to Fold’em?

While discussing image storage and management the other day with a past safari client, I mentioned that I am tossing fewer and fewer images into the electronic abyss these days.   If fact, I frequently find myself returning to Lightroom (LR)  to process some of those shots that dropped out on the first cut.  With the ability of LR to often effectively recover overexposed images with ease, I am often surprised what I can pull out of the trash can (you can also do this recovery in Photoshop however, LR seems just a little more intuitive to me).  The image below is a screen shot of the develop module showing the results of before and after processing.  Normally I would have simply made a terminal pass of this image due to an accidental setting in my camera.  With LR I can recover images such as these with ease.  Even more powerful is LR3; with impressive improvements from LR2, it is my mainstay for processing my digital images.  Setting the white and black points with a brightness correction results in a totally usable image.  Additional enhancements included a gentle “S” curve and other minor tweaks.  Total processing time on this image was less than 2 minutes.  Once I am happy with the final image, I export to PS CS5 for sharpening and  final print preparation.

The finished image ready for web is below.  BTW, I have never seen skies as blue as those in Namibia (no enhancement to the skies).

May 2009, Nikon D300, 17-55mm @ 55mm, ISO 200, f/10 at 1/160 sec

Cheers and happy photo’ing