Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

Results of RAW Challenge #1

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 12 Comments

Thanks a lot to everybody who took part in the first ‘Let’s all process the same RAW file’ challenge from last week.

Was awesome to see the enthusiasm you all have for taking part, sharing and learning.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

To check out all the images in details and to see how I approached the overexposed RAW file grab a cup of coffee and check out the video below.

I will be posting the next RAW challenge later today so stay tuned.

Oh, and before you go please leave a comment below with your answer to the question of the day!

Thanks again for playing along.  Great fun!

Until next time,


About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at or follow my journey on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter a look forward to changing the way you see the world.  I also host a Wildlife Photography Podcast and I Vlog!


Comments 12

  1. Heinrich Neumeyer

    Hi Gerry!

    Thanks once again for the awesome challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I learned something, which is always the idea behind it 🙂

    Thing I struggle with the most while editing is to get the harsh light in the background more natural.

    With this, I also struggle to capture the scene with the amazing light it was taken in with the camera. When I download some of my images, the light I wanted to capture, being the vibrant yellows, reds, greens and blues, are just not standing out as much and therefor I need to edit them quite extensively to get the required result. But then again, that is on my camera settings, I’m sure.

    Editing wise, let’s say there were some amazing clouds in the background which I tried to get, and yet on the photo it will come out completely white.

    What would you prescribe I need to do in editing to get those clouds back, if it is at all possible?

    Really looking forward to the next RAW challenge!

    Another quick question… What is your take on Vignetting? Does it add or remove quality to a photo? I see some folks use it a lot, and I too have started using it recently. I like the way it darkens the surroundings and hence pops the subject out more. It would be cool to get your opinion on it too.

    Have a great week and safe travels to the next safari destination!

    Kind regards and best wishes


    1. Jacques

      If I can give you my input Heinrich, there is a place for Vignetting. I also use it sometimes but for me, especially on wildlife photography, it should not be overpowering. Just to create enough soft Vignetting to put emphasis on your subject. To much Vignetting can really spoil a photo. It must almost be that you don’t even know it is there until you remove the Vignetting.

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        Gerry van der Walt

        Agree completely Jacques!

        Heinrich, if someone can look at your images and immediately spot that you’ve used a vignette I feel it’s too much. Same goes for any of the special adjustments such as brushes, filters, etc. The adjustments and corrections we make to our images should support the original vision and story and not take over and become the focus. 🙂

  2. Jacques

    Awesome Gerry, enjoyed this. My biggest struggle is also what you mentioned on this clip about my photo. When I processed this photo it did look natural to me but when it was compared with the others mine, as you mentioned, was way too warm. I also like photos to be natural. And that is exactly what my struggle is, is to get the photos to look natural. I think it is my monitor and did some research on this. This biggest factor is ones monitor and second is to calibrate the monitor regularly. There are so many factors that impact on processing like light source, time of day etc etc. I would process photos at home and when I open it on my office computer, it is to dark, too warm and very disappointing. Comparing my processing photos with the others does confirm this. What is your take on monitors and calibrating these monitors?

  3. Peter Connan

    Thanks for that Gerry, I quite enjoyed it even though I never actually submitted. I never thought about using the grad filter, that makes so much difference!

    I think my biggest problem at the moment is with getting a natural white balance. I usually end up going too warm (seems like this might be common reading the posts above). But I think this is mostly a matter of spending more time in the field refreshing my memory of how things should look, something that just isn’t possible at the moment.

    However, something that bothers me a lot more is how you guys (that’s all the good guys) get such rich colors in your images. Mine always look flat and harsh in comparison. I know that part of it is because I tend to have to shoot during the mid-day hours too often (otherwise I just wouldn’t get any shooting in at all), but surely you guys can’t take all your photos during the golden hours?

    I hope you have a great safari!

  4. Jennifer

    Hi Gerry!

    Awesome it was really fun, going to get started on the next image now!

    My biggest problem with post processing is cropping.. I never know what is okay to leave out or keep! Sometimes the image does not necessarily tell a full story but it is still a good image. So do you crop in tight to put emphasis on what it is you think is the focus point or do you crop to lead the eye etc? I never know!


  5. Carol Bell

    Love this and reading the comments……

    I still struggle with saturation.

    When I have finished processing my photo and think it looks good I find when I come back to it there is always something wrong…. usually too dark…. (dont know if the word to use is warm) and when I make it brighter do not like it….. have to go away and come back to the photo.

  6. Craig

    My biggest issue with post processing is knowing when enough is enough and when to walk away from it. I have been guilty of over doing it in the past and really have to resist the urge to put that “one last touch” on the image.

    This was great and really enjoyed it and the feedback, look forward to doing it again.

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  7. Jens

    Thank you for the tips. And I kind of liked your version but it was not a spendid as mine that took 3 minutes to do 😉
    My biggest struggle is do filter out my best photos and just edit them. I always spend to much time on the crappy ones instead of using the time on the best ones.

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      Gerry van der Walt

      Choosing images can always be a tough one and something that a lot of people struggle with! There are a couple of ways in which you can streamline this process so will try put some blogs together! 🙂

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