Thursday, January 22, 2009

Julie - Under the Bridge - Peter's Crop

I gave up trying to express it in words, so here's what I reckon:

Her complexion is quite dark, so in B&W it tones with the background. I deepened the shadows (blacks) and lightened the mid tones just a touch, then I sharpened it, then blurred the background a little more as it was still competing with the subject.

I cropped in landscape because I couldn't find any way of getting that fishing context in either, then I saw the stool and bag in the background.

I often fiddle with other people's photos for practice, and to analyse what I might do in future, it's a shame that it's not so easy when working on one's own pics!

So... is it an improvement?

(I couldn't get this into a comment box!)



bitingmidge said...

Oh! and this crop gets rid of the baseball cap, leaving just a hint of what might be a head scarf, ever so much more Babooshka!

Julie said...

Yes, the bb-cap was a negative.

I am just gob-smacked, Peter. That was the face I saw: all weather-beaten and used! This is such a good tutorial to post. Such a useful way to use this blog.

Now, to sit down and learn to use some photo-editing software properly. Thank you my friend. It will be interesting to see what you think should/could be done with my subject who will post later today - I am changing it to midday to fit with the flow of my working day

But yes - this really is a babooshka.

Joan Elizabeth said...

A masterful job Peter. I have seen your practice at photo editing paying off progressively through your blog. Now I am getting jealous again ... oh dear, last time I got jealous of your work I ended up back in the daily blogosphere what will happen this time.

Ann said...

I would never have thought of this crop but it works so well. I hadn't realised how distracting the cap was, bringing up the dark of the jacket as a focus really lifts it as well.

bitingmidge said...

Thanks... But...

It's not being modest to say that I have only rudimentary editing knowledge, but a lot of practice, which is why I can do this but can't tell properly instruct. It's a bit instinctive for me I'm afraid, but I will occasionally do a little tutorial with a post in future.

I do process every shot to an extent, but as my understanding of photography has improved, the degree of processing has diminished. Usually I sharpen a little, and tweak the saturation and colour balance if needed.

I now shoot only in RAW, which among other things, forces the processing. I made a decision six months or so ago that that was part of the process.

Because of the blurring and range of adjustments needed, the above was done in Photoshop Elements, which I think is far and away the best value and has the most comprehensive range of after market (and internet) tutorials, but as I've said before I use Aperture mostly.

I went through a phase where I saw all those wonderful highly manipulated photos with all that photoshop work on them, and thought I'd really like to be able to do that. The reality is that I still would, but think that it's better to take the picture properly in the first place, and that's firmly the phase in which I operate at the moment!

Practice Practice Practice!