Before and After: Cana Island

While my main darkroom laptop is awaiting repairs, I felt another entry in the Before and After Series was in order. The image from this post is an aerial shot I took while doing a photo shoot over the Door County peninsula in Wisconsin last October.

After two incredible helicopter tours over Maui, this shot was from my first aerial shoot from a two-seater airplane. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement, and if you’d like to read more, checkout my Above Door County post.

Now, onto the photos!

The Before Image

Cana Island Lighthouse

Not the most technically sound image I’ve captured from the air, but given the conditions, I was happy with it. I really liked the composition, so I felt it was worth saving.

The After Image

Cana Island

Not too drastically different at this size, but there are more subtle things to discover when viewing them at the next size up – which you can do by clicking each photo to view on Flickr.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the color is different, which I took care of by altering the White Balance. My original intent of the entire flight was to capture the autumn colors from the air, but the first pass was just too yellowish/orange for my taste. I decided to tone it down.

The other main difference in the after shot is the additional detail I recovered using Topaz Detail. That’s another plug-in I’m still learning my way around, but I’ve been happy with my first few experiments.  In this case, I used the Micro Contrast Enhancement preset with a few minor tweaks around the detail levels.

When looking at the larger version of the image, you’ll see more definition in the lighthouse itself and the trees behind it. I tried to suppress the additional noise the best I could, but given the rewards I saw in the main subject of the photo, it was worth it.


As always, let me know what you think about this latest entry in the series. Also, if you’ve played around with Topaz Detail or similar tools before, please share your experiences there as well.

– Kris

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