Time of day is most probably thee most important variable when we talk about photography, do it in the shade or on a rainy day and all could be so different. The studio is great and in terms of portrait work most probably the best choice. Many of us prefer natural light, also when doing portrait work. This being all true, what happens when you home and you page through your images? Do they look like you have the scenes still in your mind or memory?
I have been working with plus I tried several software solutions, DxO, Capture One, Bibble, Lightroom, Photoshop and several other image editing and RAW converters. Without a doubt I will only use one today and that is either LR4 and/or CS6. Adobe has managed to provide a platform that just makes Olympus E-M5 images shine. The E-M5 use an extremely advanced sensor, support or peripheral electronics and operating software. The E-M5 JPEG file is open and friendly to almost any good image editing package, the RAW file on the other hand requires something that can really access the hidden data available on the E-M5 sensor. LR4 and CS6 are the best options for that task I believe.
Personally I enjoy working with my images in Photoshop. As is the case with any equipment, best results takes practice and training. Kelby training is a great training website for Photoshop and is highly recommended. Working a image in the field takes time, changing the angle, experimenting with exposure, waiting for the right moment and so many more variables will make or break the image. The same is true for the darkroom, selecting the right software, deciding on a workflow and working the image step by step can take hours. Personally I think only a few things in life are as rewarding as an image developing in the hands of the artist……
What is CS4 and CS5 like? No doubt these are extremely capable image editors. Working with the JPEG images from your E-M5 they are perfectly OK with CS4 & 5. As you most probably know only CS5 offer E-M5 RAW editing, the RAW editor on CS4 is outdated and will not accept E-M5 RAW images. My advice is to go get Lightroom 4 and to use that as your main RAW editor. Personally I own a legal version of CS5 plus I decided to try CS6 in the new Adobe Creative Cloud. I am so excited with CS6 that I am considering subscribing to the new Adobe Creative Cloud service. By far it is one of the best ideas yet, wonder how long it will take for others to follow. Take care that the RAW editor of CS5 is not the same as that in CS6. CS6 use the same image engine LR4 uses and it is therefor as powerful as LR4.
I always enjoyed working with DxO Optics Pro and I still own the V7,5 RAW editing option from DxO. At the time I also took Filmpack 3 which basically goes with the Optics Pro RAW converter. DxO has a very interesting HDR option that helps the user establish a natural look image. In total DxO has a good solution I think. Two things are working against DxO today, the one is the absolute progress Adobe managed with LR4 and CS6 and the other is the DxO own or in-house software key or protection. Each time you do any “free” update the license will count and then expire Its only after lengthy discussions and mails that its activated again. I finally removed it completely from my PC
The new Olympus E-M5 is a powerful camera with a sensor that has much more than what most expect to get from a camera like this. The camera respond to proper inputs, is challenged by artistic inputs and willing to surprise at almost every outing. The data is available on the sensor and ready to be discovered. The camera processor’s are good plus the Olympus developing enjine as good as we came to expect it to be, but it is not a replacement for the artist in you. That part only you can master, to get the best results you need to learn how to edit your image. The rewards are enormous and worth every step of the way….