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fun with photoshop…

February 13, 2009

I had a lot of response to this post from last year and often have people ask me questions about how I edit my photos.  I can’t exactly give photoshop lessons here on my blog because it has taken me THREE years of much practice, trial and error to gain the knowledge that I have of photoshop to date.  However, I can throw up a fun post from time to time for all of you to see just what a difference photo-editing can make when trying to achieve different looks and feels for an image.  As always, the first step to getting a beautiful final result is to get your image right IN CAMERA.  Gaining proper focus and exposure (shooting in manual not in automatic) is a science that I will not get into today because like photoshop, it takes A LOT of practice and studying to achieve on a consistent basis.  The second step is to use creative composition to draw the eye into your image in a way that makes your subject really pop.  There are many other factors to getting a great shot SOOC (straight out of camera), like finding the most beautiful lighting, catchlights, posing, clothing choices, location, etc., etc., etc., but proper exposure and creative composition are the two biggies.  Finally, after the planets have come into alignment and before you sits this perfect image just waiting to be “played with”, you can sit down with photoshop (or in a darkroom for those who shoot with film) and let your imagination go to work on creating a unique piece of artwork from your digital file.  NOTE:  I generally like to keep my processing simple and true to life.  BUT, sometimes I’ve just got to cut loose and let my artistic side have some fun.  She gets cranky if I don’t…

As I was going through some of my older files today, I ran across this gem and just had to play.  This is a shot of my BFF’s little girl that I took over a year and a half ago.  I didn’t include the sooc shot for this example, but rather 4 very different options for post-processing that all give a very different feel.  The first image (upper left) has kind of a 70’s look to it.  If  you review some old photos from the 70’s you will notice that a lot of them have a yellowish/cyan cast to them with a lot of brownish tone in the contrasty areas.  I love this look on this particular image because it really makes her eyes and lips pop.  The understated tones combined with the yellow/cyan tint and contrast really work for this image.

On the second image (upper right) I processed with a vintage method.  This method gives a more washed-out and old feel to the photo and evokes the “days gone by” feeling.

The third image (lower left) is a black and white conversion that produces the antique photo look that you will see in the images that were taken back when you had to sit for like 30 minutes just to have your picture taken.  You know, the ones where none of the people are smiling and the women are wearing frumpy dresses and the men hold some type of gun…  I think you can get your own shot like this at Silver Dollar City  or pretty much any “olden days” type theme park.  🙂

On the last image, I created a sun-glow affect that gives it that warm, setting sun look.  I think, because it is February and I am so ready to see the green grass and feel the warmth of the sun on my face, this is the most appealing of the four methods I used on this shot.  What do you think?  Which one speaks to you?

pspost-1

 

And here is another example of the magic of photoshop:

The first image (upper left) is straight out of camera with ZERO editing.  I wanted to include the original for this one so that you can see the transformation that an image can go through during my editing process.

On the second image (upper right), I did the 70’s processing to give that retro-hip feel that you see in so many magazines and on cd covers.  Seniors and teens LOVE this look, so I really like to present them with several proofs like this for them to choose from.  

The third image (lower left) is another black and white conversion that produces the antique photo look.  This one, however, has faded edges and makes the image look more worn.  I really like this affect on this particular photo.  

The last image (lower right) is a combination of the two previous methods.  I really like the understated tones with the slightly faded haze that I get when combining these two methods.

pspost-2

 

So there you have it.  Just another behind the scenes peek at what I do.  Peace out.

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