Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Digital Outback Photo Contest #007

Raw Conversion Contest #4 using a Canon 1Ds Photo


Terminated with 6 entries (Thanks to all participants)

Overview over all images

  There will be no prize this time.


This contest is about sharing experience and there are hardly wrong results. Of course we all have different opinions on how to see a scene and how to present. Feel free to discuss the merits of the different entries in our news group.

In case of some outstanding result we might ask our sponsors for a special prize, but do not count on it.


See also our other contests



To share experience it is not enough just to show the results. We need precise step-by-step descriptions of all image editing operations that had been performed. That is why we need to limit the used tools to the ones that are available at Digital Outback Photo (and they have to be available for PC or Mac):

  • Photoshop (this is the standard image editor we use)
  • Capture One DSLR Pro, Adobe Camera Raw or Canon SDK based converter
  • Other tools (if the tool author provides a free full working copy to Digital Outback Photo)

This photo was taken with the Canon 1Ds and the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens + Canon 1.4x tele converter.

Note: because Adobe RGB is not a good choice to display images on the web we use now sRGB for this contest!


  • Image should not be cropped
  • All preparation should be done for a normal inkjet print and not for web presentation
  • Color Space: sRGB
  • You load the full raw image (copyright Bettina & Uwe Steinmueller) from here (10MB ZIP)
  • You make the best out of it and fully document all steps (try not to be too complex as this makes our life difficult)
  • You then resize the resulting file to 500 pixels wide at JPG 8 compression in Photoshop
  • Note: Do not send the full sized image!
  • Also send us the same crops (500x300) at 100% pixel level as shown below in the sample entry
  • Do not forget to include the full instructions
  • We need be able to perform all steps ourselves following your instructions
  • We may reject entries without any further notice if they get to complex, the tools are not at hand or we see major quality issues.
  • Send images and instructions to:
  Note: As all photos should be in the sRGB color space it is recommended to download interesting samples and view them in Photoshop on a profiled monitor.
  Sample Entry (by Uwe Steinmueller)

  #1 Axel McBuster

  • In Capture One DSLR v1.2
    • Reduce exposure by -.35
    • Increase Saturation by 15%
    • Develope the image to 100% Tif 8 bit
  • In PS 7.01
    • Sharpen the image using the UnSharp Mask 100% 0.8 3
    • Use My Vignette (see below) method, Vignette the upper arc of shoreline
    • Burn in the vegetation across the top left at Midtones, 10%, 300pxls
      3-4 swipes across - only the vegetation
    • Dodge the lower light rock - Only the lighter areas Midtones, 10%, 300pxls
      20-25 swipes, very careful, even up each area to match the others
      (This is a subjective thing, just breathe some life into them rocks - and then STOP.)
    • Dodge the strip of rock in the upper portion. Only that rock that has some color Midtones, 10%, 200 pxls
    • Carefully, burn in the rocks at the shoreline of the upper area and carefully the few wisps of rocks jutting out from the shoreline along the upper area - this adds a bit of life into them as well (Same Burn settings as above)
    • Use the Sponge tool to gain some color in the strip of rocks along the top Saturate 10% 100pxls
    • Use the Healing brush to get rid of the 8-10 floating chunks in the foreground
    • Use the Healing brush to get rid of the little white streak of water in the left center and the two wisps of floating weeds to the right of that 50 pxls Borrow material from a matching piece of water
    • Use the Healing brush to get rid of the dark water in the lower left third left edge 100 pxls Borrow material from a matching piece of water
    • Use the Healing brush to get rid of the tiny speck on the upper left edge 35 pxls Borrow material from a matching piece of water
    • Bump the contrast to 18%


  • MyVignette
    • Layer Duplicate
      • Layer New
      • Swap these Layers (New Layer in Middle of two color layers)
      • Color the New Layer to 96 96 96
    • With the Ellipse Tool Radious 250 pxls
      • Select the Vignette area
    • With Duplicate Layer
      • Delete
      • Set to Multiply
      • Opacity 35%
    • With New Layer
      • Delete
      • Set to Multiply
      • Opacity 35%
    • Flatten all three layers
    • Repeat as necessary
  #2 Peter Burian

  • In Capture One DSLR
    • Auto Grey Balance
    • Color Cast Compensation slightly toward yellow
    • Levels adjusted: to 25 for Shadows and 250 for highlights
    • Contrast +7
    • Sharpen: Amount 75, Threshold 1
  • In PS 7.0 (layers):
    • Curves: Auto
    • Saturation: Green +10; yellow +20
    • Unsharp Mask: 25/0.8/1 - applied twice.
  #3 Antonio Dias

  • RAW Converter: Capture One DSLR Pro (V1.2 RC1)
    • Gray Balance: Auto Gray Balance
    • Low Noise Reduction
    • Sharpening - Soft Look: 50, 3
    • Destination space: AdobeRGB
    • 16-bit TIFF
  • Photo Editor: Photoshop V.7.01
    • Corrective curve

    • Clarify: USM 20,30,4
    • Convert to 8-bit
    • Sharpening: USM 350,0.3,2. Fade: Luminosity 85%

  #4 Jonathan Wienke

  • Opened the file twice with Camera Raw, using the eyedropper on the waves
    splashing on the rocks in upper left corner to define white point (5500K -7 tint), 16 bits/channel, sRGB color space.
  • Adjusted contrast and saturation in first copy for rocks and grass in foreground (lower right) using Camera RAW settings only.
  • Adjusted contrast and saturation in second copy for remainder of photo
    using Camera RAW settings and a levels adjustment (16-227:0-255 gamma 1).
  • Ran Midtone Sharpen 16 LAB action in attached file on both copies 300%, radius 1.5 pixels, threshold 0.
  • Converted both copies to 8 bit, then pasted first copy over top of
  • Added layer mask to first copy (optimized for foreground rocks and grass), then airbrushed layer mask so that only foreground rocks and grass are visible, the remainder of photo is the second copy (optimized for water/background rocks & grass).
  #5 Gary Yelland

  • Canon File viewer utility
    • White balance cloudy
    • Sharpness, Colour (Shot Settings)
    • Sharpening Target (Shot Settings)
    • Convert to 16bit tiff
  • Load into Photoshop convert to Adobe RGB
    • Convert to Lab s-curve in (a) channel Input -57 output -68 Input 55 output 51
    • s-curve in (b) channel Input -61 output -71 Input 58 output 69
    • Unsharp Mask on luminostiy A138% R0.5 T5
    • Convert to RGB
    • Auto Contrast
    • Color Balance 0 +6 0
    • Midtones
    • Convert to sRGB color space
    • Convert to 8bit
  #6 Wai-Shan Lam

  • CaptureOne 1.2 Pro Beta 5 (Noise Supression to low)
    • WB - Shade
    • Profile - 1Ds Daylight
    • Black Point - 48
    • Mid Point - 0.88
    • White Point - 255
    • Sharpening in C1 - Std, 80, 0
    • Convert to full size JPG.
  • Open in PS7.01
    • Crop and Resize then USM 75, 0.6, 0

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