#PP1 – A Bad Monitor!

This is my first post about Post-Processing. I have been resisting on posting anything on post-processing because I feel that this is a topic that would be better suited to the video format of blogs and hopefully I will soon come up with a new video-series about post-processing in wildlife photography. Having said that, there was this incident last week that forces me to post this one.

A few days back one of my friends posted an image of a very rare bird, the Hume’s Ground-pecker. For those of you who are into birds, you would know how rare and valued that bird is. It is found in some of the highest regions in our world and is a very unique one. So when I heard that he got the bird in some really awesome settings (From a photography perspective) i was excited and eager to see the images. I need to tell it here right away that I am super jealous of both Saravanan J and Samyukth S for having made the trip without me 😉 …. Well getting back to the topic at hand, here is what came to me as the first image of the beautiful groundpeckerOverexposed Groundpecker

The Settings for a photograph were awesome, a lush green carpet and a neat clean and tac sharp bird. I trusted my friends photography skills to know that he would’nt have overexposed the bird. So, I asked him if he could send me the RAW files for this one. Here is a screenshot of what I saw in the RAW fileGroundpecker

The exposure looks absolutely spot on here. It is obvious that something went wrong in processing but I know him to be good at processing images, so what went wrong.
In this case, I knew the culprit. It was his monitor. A monitor that should not have been used for post-processing. So how do I decide whether it was the monitor that showed him something wrong?
Well Take a look at the histogram and levels graph of the image that he sent to me.
Levels and Histogam
Now if his monitor has an issue with the display brightness/contrast etc he might not notice the overexposed parts but the Histogram is not lying. It is very specifically telling me that the brightest areas of the image are over-exposed.
So here is a piece of advise.
Before finalizing on the Brightness/Tonality of an image, take a look at the Levels graph and/or the Histogram of an image. Chances are that you would realize if your monitor has been fooling you, or if you have the monitor setup incorrectly. If your Monitor and your Histogram do not agree with each other, its time either to try and re-calibrate your monitor or buy a new one if it isn’t suited for post-processing. Here is a slightly differently processed image with its Levels and Histogram.
Level and Histogram Humes Groundpecker
Keep reading and keep sending me your comments and suggestions.


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