Most photos, despite the best efforts of the photographer at the point of taking the picture, have defects and problems with them. For this reason, unless you are content with them as they are, it is necessary to carry out some post-processing. Often, this means simple editing functions like manipulating the exposure, contrast or cropping the photo. For the enthusiast, however, the post processing need extends to dealing with flaws such as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lack of sharpness.
Did you know that even if you buy expensive cameras and lenses, and despite the amazing technological advances of modern digital SLR cameras, a number of photo defects arise from the physical limitations of the equipment and are not any reflection on the skills of the photographer. This is why, for example, straight lines can come out as curves and people can end up looking fatter than they really are ?
Here’s an example of a picture I took with a Nikon D7000 DSLR with an 18-200mm Nikon zoom lens (at 60mm focal length):
Notice the leaning building in the foreground. The ‘leaning’ effect is caused because I was taking the photo from ground level looking up and could have been avoided theoretically if I had been taking the photo from a higher point – which of course wasn’t possible as I didn’t have a helicopter to hand! (and if I was in a helicopter it would have blown the tree about and that would have caused another set of problems).
So, I could have just cropped the photo to cut out the building in the foreground which would have made the photo look better but actually there’s similar but less obvious leaning of the building so that’s not really the best solution.
Now there are many options for post processing of photos including use of the photo applications that come with, or you can buy, for your Apple MAC, Windows PC, laptop or tablet computer. However, I use a software application (available on PC and MAC) called DXO Optics Pro to post process all my photos. It’s an amazing piece of software that eliminates the inevitable distortion that any lens has and just makes all my photos (whether RAW or JPEGs) just so much better. It even allows me to straighten up buildings that tend to slope because of the angle at which they’re taken. Even photos from my extra wide Tokina 12-24mm lens end up straight as if they’d been taken ‘face-on’.
Here’s the same picture as above after using DXO Optics Pro:
DxO Optics Modules are created using a calibration process exclusive to DxO Labs, based on close analysis of every supported camera and lens combination under different shooting conditions. This allows DxO Optics Pro to automatically apply optical corrections for such flaws as distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lack of sharpness in a way that is all perfectly suited to each photographer’s equipment. Several thousands of shots, along with the processing and analysis of an enormous amount of data, go into the development of each optics module. DXO support a very large number of camera / lens combinations and the software improves even unsupported combinations.
The DXO application software provides a fantastic complement to using high performance DSLR lenses such as the Nikon 18-200mm F3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX which are prone to complex distortion. It really works like magic and it’s just as if the camera body / lens combination was optically perfect. I can thoroughly recommend DXO Optics Pro.
And by the way, what I’ve shown here is only a simple example of what DXO Optics Pro can do. I use it as the first step in my workflow as it automatically improves my photos as well as allowing me to apply a whole range of different effects and colour corrections. It’s easy to use but also includes a lot of sophisticated features to suit all types of photographers and their different needs.
You can download DXO Optics Pro online so, for example, you could buy it from Amazon.com here (free upgrade from V7 to the latest V8) or from Amazon UK here.