Guide to photography in the operating room – Part II (Editing)

The editing phase is almost as important as taking the photos themselves. A camera is only a tool and as such, cannot replicate the images that we see with our own eyes. If the photos turn out too dark, too bright, too blue or too red – as they tend to – this can often be corrected. In Part I, I made a few recommendations to make the editing phase easier. That includes shooting in RAW format and using a white balance card.

Software – Adobe Creative Cloud offers a photography package with Photoshop and Lightroom for a discounted price ($9.99 USD/month). Photoshop is handy for touching up my drawings but I use Lightroom exclusively for photographs. If you are looking for free software, here’s a useful link.

Tutorial –  Colin Smith has a fantastic 15-minute Lightroom tutorial that will teach you everything you need to get started.

My workflow (in 5 easy steps):

  1. From my SD card, I import the photos into Lightroom for editing.
  2. In Develop mode, I select one image to white balance (either the one with the white balance card or one with a clean white gauze in the image). Click on the dropper and apply it on to the white area. I took this image with our point-and-shoot camera at the local botanical garden:Lightroom Screenshot WB
  3. Select all images > Sync > Synchronize.
  4. There is probably a faster way to do this but with each image, I click on the Auto button in the Tone menu to correct exposure and contrast. I used to do this by manually adjusting the exposure and eyeballing the histogram (ensuring the grey curve falls in the middle) but this takes the guesswork out of it. Lightroom Screenshot Auto
  5. In Library mode, export all edited images to a secure drive and delete the images from the SD card + Lightroom.

Hope this was helpful!

-LCTL

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