We had a chat to James Tyrrell, friend of Iconic Africa, ranger at Londolozi and budding wildlife photographer who took us through 10 quick tips on editing wildlife pictures.
Leopard at Londolozi. Photo by James Tyrrell
Let’s not over complicate things… the objective here is simple! You want to recreate exactly what was in front of you at the time you pressed the shutter button so here are some helpful tips on how to do this:
- Lightroom is great for photo editing and is generally quicker and simpler than Photoshop
- When post-processing wildlife photographs the key is to keep as natural a look to the picture as possible.
- The best photos always tell a good story (this is ultimately what you want your photos to do!)
- Increasing vibrance and saturation a touch are generally a must when editing RAW images, but one has to be careful not to overdo it.
- With elephant or rhino, the detail in their skin is a wonderful thing to try and emphasize in a photo, so it’s often good to up the sharpness and clarity a little.
- Try to get your subject (animal) to pop a little more, which you can do by sharpening or lightening the subject slightly.
- When taking a full-body image of an animal try not to cut off the feet, tail, the horns or any other part of the body!
- In photos of big cats, whiskers are generally where you want to check if the image is sharp enough or not.
- With action photos, let the action speak for itself as any over-editing will detract from what’s happening.
- With evening pictures you want to keep colours as natural as possible while still emphasizing the warm glow of the sunset.