- In-camera settings: RAW+JPEG; ISO/Limit Set (100/400); White Balance (Auto); AF Mode (1-area-focusing); Metering Mode (Spot); “Forced flash ON”
- Shutter Priority AE Mode: Use a fast shutter speed, equal to or greater than the reciprocal of lens focal length (actual focal length for full-frame sensor cameras or 35mm equivalent for crop sensor cameras), in my case, usually no less than 1/800 s for a 600mm equivalent telephoto lens.
- Use either built-in flash or external flash unit for fill flash: “… the real secret of wildlife photography is fill flash. Fill flash is one of the key techniques for easily improving wildlife images. Electronic flash improves the color balance of the image, improves color saturation, fills in dark shadows with detail, adds a catch light to an animal’s eye, and may help increase sharpness.” Source Credit: Wildlife Fill Flash. Note: Burst Mode cannot be used with flash.
- Exposure compensation: -1 or more stops, as necessary. In Shutter Priority mode with a fixed ISO, EV adjusts aperture; minus-EV decreases aperture by one- or more stops (f-stop number gets larger), resulting in greater depth of field.
Part 2: Image post-processing using Apple Aperture – “recipe” for typical workflow (Make adjustments in order listed; use values shown in the following screen captures as a starting point.)
- [Basic adjustments] Crop and Straighten, as necessary; White Balance (Auto); Exposure (Auto); Curves (Auto RGB); Highlights & Shadows (adjust as necessary); Exposure/Recovery (see screen captures, shown below)
- [Add “secret sauce”] Enhance: Contrast; Definition (enhances mid-tones)
- [Add finishing touches] Noise Reduction; Sharpen (Radius 1.5); Vignette
The following gallery shows screen captures of Apple Aperture: typical “Adjustments” are shown in the left sidebar; after/before images are shown in the “Viewer” (larger window pane).
Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.