16 August 2018

Photos

A momentous occasion this week: I finally finished my photo processing project, for now.

I have scanned every negative and slide, processed every RAW file, and put all of the results into Apple Photos, arranged into albums. I’ve set up Photos to sync to the cloud, to my Mac, to my phone and to my tablet. I can carry all 9,000+ of my photos around with me, search them, share them, and so on. During the project I also bundled up processed photos and sent them to some of the people featured in them.

The RAW reprocessing was because I got DxO PhotoLab. You may not have heard of it, but it’s the best software for reducing noise and other undesirable visual artifacts on digital photos. DxO run cameras and lenses through a test lab, and then produce calibration for each lens. This means once the software works out what lens you used (sometimes it needs a hint, like which precise model of Canon 50mm lens), it can automatically remove lens distortion and purple fringing. Using the EXIF data about the camera, it also knows the right settings to use for the noise reduction. This is fantastic for the Canon PowerShot S100, which has a good zoom range for a tiny camera but some serious lens distortion at wide angle before correction. Here’s a before-and-after example:

Before

After

You can also add some subtle HDR, tweak the exposure and white balance, and perform all the usual fixes popular in software like Lightroom, including with JPEGs as source material.

Before

After

Sure, you might be able to do better with Adobe software and a lot of work, but with DxO you can get the job done in a lot less time. Still, multiply a minute or two of tweaking by hundreds of photos, and it was a major effort. But I’m done!

© mathew 2017