The pictures that comes out of the camera only rarely resembles the scene being captured
In recent years this is closely related to the ever increasing dynamic range; the amount of tonal information that can be captured between pure black and absolute white. it has got to the point that images need to be processed, either in-camera, or in post-production, to translate that dynamic range into something that can be shown on a regular computer monitor. Adding Auto White Balance and many other auto functions within cameras into the equation and it beomes essential to process images to match your expectation or 'previsualisation' of the scene, as described by Ansel Adams, back in the 1940s.
The original image, as it came out of the camera.
Looking at the image above, captured by a DJI drone, the result is quite dissapointing. It in no-way resembles the scene photographed and without further work, the client may not be happy to commision further photography.
Open the RAW image in Adobe Lightroom however and a couple of minutes work and the image starts to look better:
None of these inital changes are 'false', nothing is being added to the image, information contained in the RAW file is simple being extracted and the image is being 'optimised'.
The sky is still quite bright and details are not fully visible in the clouds, so a slight exposure and highlight on a gradient mask, make the clouds more visible and helps to tonal balance the scene.
The image has also been cropped from the 4:3 the aspect ratio captured by the drone to 16:9 that will suit the intended use of the image.
The sky is a cold blue and has fooled the camera white balance, but autumn light was flooding the scene, so a small mask and a tweak of the colour temperature makes the image look as autumnal as when it was captured.
Finally, the image is resembling the scene that was photographed.
All that remains to be done, and the only 'Photoshop' work needed is to remove some cars that clutter the car park and annoy the owner of the building.
The final image, after post production
Interested in learning more about Post-production?
Nick is a presenter for Adobe in the UK and provides training on Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop for companies and individuals in the UK and Worldwide. He has successfully trained staff for Reuters, Adobe and Apple over recent years.