This particular post isn't strickly a wildlife photo tip, but it is a push for those individuals who have hesitations about using post processing software on their images. I have not generated this post for an argument, but I think it deserves a thought for those who are afraid of trying software editing programs.
The two images I have attached illustrate how I was able to clean a photo I really thought had potential, but included many difficult exposure issues. In the first image, the fact that the sun was so low caused a huge solar flare - even with sun shade intact. My hand didn't improve the issue either, and the scene was of extremely high contrast and flat in the shadows as witness by the first image.
I pulled the image into the ON1 Photo Suite to see if I could salvage anything from the wreckage. I think I came out with a pleasing image that many can enjoy that would otherwise would not have posted(see below).
This second image was taken from a vehicle with the window rolled down. I spotted the Whooping crane and watch it for a while until the action happened. The lighting was dull and the two birds were much too far away to use the full framed image - even with the 400mm lens it was shot with (see below).
I adjusted the color balance and lightened the image. I also cropped the framing to intesify the excitement of the action (see below).
So if you are an individual who is a bit apprehensive about playing with the various software packages out there, don't be. There are quite a few products out there to choose from, and many of them are a free download.
I use LR5 for my primary edits, and finish in ON1 Photo Suite. If you have a program that you enjoy and might be something the novice could learn quickly, you are welcome to post any suggestions in my thread.
I don't use any of the other programs other than Photoshop, but that is if I am forced to. It is not a beginner's program, and also is very counter intuitive to learn. But it is a great program if you want to pay for it.
Take it from an advanced amateur. It is fun to edit your images once you learn some of the basics of these software programs.
Here is one I thought I would add as an additional image set. Those of you returning will notice the two new images (see below).
The first images shows displays the actual shot from the camera. The deer were a few hundred yards away and I missed the sharp focus due to the low light and long lens I was using, but I chose to run with it instead of tossing the image. It turned out to be a wonderful greeting card when softening was the desired effect.
After cropping the undersireable bits and adding a glow, this image decided to come together rather well and made a delightful greeting card cover.