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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Vision continues...

Vision... A vision has a beginning, middle and end. With digital photography the PS process is the middle. My son asked me recently what I did all day? When I told him I'd been in front of the computer all day editing pictures, he asked did I enjoy it? An emphatic yes was my answer. I won't bore you with every detail of what I do to an image, just the basics.

You start with a great image (a creatively and well exposed image). I take that image and open it in bridge; the first step in my developing process for RAW images. The very first thing I do is set the white balance. White balance does not have to be tricky or difficult to adjust. There's a sliding scale for goodness sake! Knowing the Kelvin temperatures is key. What value do you want the image to possess? A portrait has to have realistic skin tones. Did you know warmer photos make better black and white conversions? Ideally, all the adjustments to your image could and should be made in bridge.... but I'm not always a rule follower either. SO after tweaking a few more things, shadows, lights, saturation (always under btw), and hue maybe, I take the image into PS.

PS is the digital darkroom. If you've ever developed your own film, you remember the long and tedious process to get a photograph ready. You had to pay attention to so many things. Chemicals, time, paper, light etc... But you also had a fair amount of control over that image as well. You could dodge and burn parts of them image. That is basically what you are doing in PS. Maybe opening up a shadow to see more detail or burning an area you'd like a bit darker. And because it's photoshop, you can achieve your desired results in so many different ways. There's always more than one way to skin a cat!

In this particular image, I wanted to get as much out of the wood as I possibly could. So I did some adjustments there. Curve layers for darks and curve layers for lights. I did similar adjustments to the jeans Kelly was wearing but used the dodge tool instead. Next I took out a distracting tree element in the background. It was not huge, but enough to bother me.

Finally I added a grungy frame. You can make your own grungy frame or buy/snag one off the internet. I have made several over the years. When I get tired of one, I just pop a different one on.
enjoy :)

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