Digital Darkroom – The Lizard and the upgrade

I said I was going to process one photo each evening this week from our trip to the zoo last weekend.  Tonight it has been a challenge.  At 7PM, I got to my computer and decided that I was going to purchase and download the newest version of my photo editing software, Paint Shop Pro.  The upgrade was available online for $69.99, so I fired up the Vaio and settled in, but first I plugged in my iPod so that it could recharge and sync up.  Mistake.  I got a notification that a new version of iTunes had been released, so I thought, “Why not?  Let’s just upgrade everything.”

Three hours later, I finally completed all the downloads and installations.  I have a new version of iTunes, new version of the software on my iPod Touch, Corel’s Paintshop Photo Pro X3, and the bonus software from Corel called Painter Photo Essentials 4 (which I’ll probably never use).  Since it was already so late, I decided “what the heck, I’ll just stay up and play with the new PSP!”

I selected another photo from our trip to Wildlife World Zoo last Saturday. This one was shot through the glass in the reptile exhibit.  Here’s the original JPG:

For this shot, I didn’t want to use flash since it would have reflected off the glass.  I used the aperture-priority setting, ISO 200, using my telephoto zoom set to 70mm, F/5.0, giving me a shutter speed of 1/60s.

I pulled the photo into my newly upgraded version of PaintShop Pro (I see that they’ve now combined “Paint Shop” into one word), and I immediately fell in love with the new user interface in this version.  The Organizer feature is much faster and provides a filmstrip view of the photos that was missing in X2.  The options in the editing menu are also richer, and even include some Tone Mapping.  I played with several of the options just to get a feel for them, and came up with this:

I think it looks much better.  I was able to reveal more of the fine details in the photo, and adjust the color balance which was a little off in the original, due to the type of lighting they were using in the exhibit.  I didn’t spend too much time on this, since it was so late, but already I can tell I’m going to like the X3 version of PSP!

Let me know what you think!



  1. Looks great! It corrected the lighting issues due the type of lighting they had in the exhibit and it also brought a lot more of the detail in the sand. I like it! 🙂

  2. I too am in the process of learning how to take better pictures and use my photo editing software to its max potential… It’s really fun to get a photo tweaked just right, then flip back and forth between the original and the snazzed-up or even just cleaned-up version!

    You really did this picture a lot of good – cheers!

    I found your blog when it was on the wordpress homepage, and I’ve been checking back ever since. It’s fun to watch someone else experiment with photography who obviously enjoys it so much. There’s just something wonderful about learning how to capture a still frame from our lives and trying to make it look as vivid as we felt at that moment.

    Sounds cheesy, but I mean it. Thanks for sharing your photographic adventures. 🙂

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