Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the difference post-processing can make

Post-process??? what?  
Though many images may come out of a camera beautifully, so much can be done with these images to improve them afterward.  Some people might think a photographer's job is done when the act of shooting the images is completed, but that is rarely the case.   A good photographer spends considerable time perfecting their images before they are considered "ready."  The editing that happens after the photo session is called post-processing.  In addition to balancing skin tones, removing under-eye circles, brightening eyes, and other general "beautifying," manipulating overall tones can do so much in creating a beautiful photograph.  I took a cute/funny image of my daughter Eva recently and below I will show the progression of how the image was manipulated to enhance it.

I could tell immediately upon seeing it, that it could have potential to be a great image.  For straight-out of the camera, the tones are really nice.  However, the shadowing is harsh on the left side and keeps half of her face dark.  But--it's an incredible goofy kid moment that I was thrilled to document.  Aside from being super cute, it will be incredible blackmail material when she is 13 and easily embarrassed, right?!!  I want it on my wall. 

The first edit cleaned up the over shadowing and sharpened some of the details.  It allows us to actually see all of her. I could have left the image alone and it would be printable as is, but I chose to have a little fun with it.  Photoshop is more than useful in correcting image issues, but is wonderfully fun in completely changing the overall ambiance too.

There is now a creamier tone to the image; her skin is very even and the cooler tint has been removed.  This processing might not work for every image, but I really love how it has enhanced this one.  I also try to work most of my finished images into a version of black and white.  It doesn't always work out, but I like this alternate version of black and white below.  It has a unique vintage effect and is quite different than what one would normally see.

I can't tell which I like more, but both are lovely and unique.  I think I might print the bottom to frame.  A gallery wrap might be a great choice too!  Either way, I'm grateful that this sweet goofy face belongs to me. Off to get my goofy girl ready for bed...