Can these shots be salvaged -- helicopter canopy glare

Started Apr 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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CuriousMark
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Can these shots be salvaged -- helicopter canopy glare
Apr 17, 2012

I was given an opportunity to take a grand canyon helicopter tour with my then brand new D5000 and 18-55mm kit lens. I was new to the camera, helicopters and aerial photography, so I put the camera in auto mode with the landscape preset and took about a hundred snapshots. I got a couple of keepers, but the vast majority of shots were ruined due to glare off of the helicopter canopy. Here are two examples. They are not the worst, but are images I previously wrote off as not being salvageable. I have since learned a lot about my camera. If I ever get another chance I will use a polarizing filter, for example. Also, based on my reading here, I have purchased Lightroom 3 at a good discount. I also have access to a copy of Photoshop Elements version 10 that I can use if needed. I am a novice with both of those programs, but recently purchased books to help me up the learning curve. One thing I hope to do with one or the other of those programs is see if I can retouch some of the less badly glared photos and make them usable. For me usable means being able to post them to facebook and if one or more turn out really well, printing at Costco to frame and hang in my home office.

I have learned a lot reading here and thought I would ask for some guidance. First, is it even worth trying to recover shots like these? Especially considering my current lack of facility with the software. Second, which tool is better for this, PSE10 or LR3? Perhaps a combination of the two might be best.

For the few photos that I was able to recover on my own, here is what I did. I found ones that had no structure to the glare. With no recognizable reflections to contend with the images just appeared washed out. For them I reduced the exposure and upped the contrast and saturation. When done they looked about like what I expected them to look like. Of course I only had two or three of those due to lucking into pointing the camera out the correct window when the bird was oriented best or under a cloud.

If it turns out these are too bad to save, I would love to know so U don't drive myself crazy trying to do the impossible.

What prescription should I follow to save these if they can be saved? I want to do the work myself, but need mentoring.

I thank you in advance.

 CuriousMark's gear list:CuriousMark's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 +4 more
Nikon D5000
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