Re-edit

To recap my last blog post (Paxton’s Tower), I had a shot of Paxton’s Tower which I wasn’t all that fussed about. It was a flat morning and I’d only gotten one usable exposure. I processed it in black and white and darkened the sky as much as I could get away with while trying to extract as much detail as I could. I then put the image up on my blog for posterity and to let people know what I’ve been up to.

Below is the image alongside the original:

Normally I’d put it down to experience and start planning the next shot but something about the image just made me want to tinker with it some more.

First I cropped it to a 1:1 ratio and found that I much preferred it, so I decided to start again from scratch.

Because of the contrast between the sky and the tower there was chromatic aberration prevalent along the outline of the tower in the original file. Darkening the sky and increasing the detail only made it more obvious, as you can see here:

So to alleviate this problem I removed all contrast and sharpening from the original RAW file before starting my new edit.

When I was done I compared the new edit to the previous edit and discovered that I’d lost all definition in the tower, as you can see below (the one on the left is how the edit looked, the one on the right is how it should have looked):

No amount of sharpening was able to bring back the detail, so I was left with a dilemma: either live with the soft image, or live with the obvious white line.

I then tried something new; I made a composite image. Composite images are usually made from different files, but in this case I was making one from the same file, just treated in different ways. I cut out the tower from the edit with the correct amount of sharpening and placed it on top of the edit with the reduced chromatic aberration.

Here is the final image, the one that I’m really happy with: