Thank you everyone for your response to the before and after post yesterday as well as the interest in mentoring. I appreciate it so much. In keeping with the before and after image theme, I thought I would share something quite a bit different. It seems I receive a lot of inquiries about post processing client images… you know, faces, skin, color casts, that sort of thing. But then there are those people that are interested in “stuff”. They are curious about making backgrounds pop, look surreal or semi-HDR. I wanted to feature this image, to demonstrate that you don’t necessarily need a fancy lighting setup to create art. This shot was literally taken from the window of my Yukon, shot mid-day in obvious harsh sun and shade. I wasn’t even really thinking about my camera settings, but rather shooting off the cuff reference photos while scouting for session locations. Hence, the reason that the shutter speed and ISO were jacked up for no apparent reason. 😉
I’m a sucker for weird, random junk. Crazy? Maybe, but this sort of stuff speaks to me as an artist. When I do a shoot, whether it is a session for a client or just shooting for art images, I’ve always got in the back of my mind what I can do with the image in post processing. This location spoke to me as a possible backdrop because of the colorful, dark, highly textured wall. Plus, all the junk strewn about added texture and interest. Doing a deep, rich, moody edit really requires the image to have color and depth to begin with, that can later be intensified and brought out in editing. Same is true of the clothes clients wear. Textured, colorful, layered clothes add visual interest and give the image a starting point for vivid, rich editing. Also, even if there is a hint of color in an image, but I don’t necessarily like the color, it’s certainly changeable in post. I’ll demonstrate this concept in the next before and after.
EXIF: SOOC :: 50mm 1.2 lens • 1/400 • f/5.6 • ISO 320 • spot metering
(not great settings, but it is what it is!)
2nd image is after tweaks in just Lightroom. Exposure down to -1.5, recovery up all the way to 100, fill light up to 65, blacks up to 72, brightness up to 59 from 50, contrast maxed out at 100, basic S curve in tone curve and clarity maxed at 100, vibrance and saturation both brought down a bit, split toning added with a slight yellowish/mustard hue.
3rd image after editing in Photoshop. The details of this edit are too numerous to list, but in general, include tweaks to blending modes, dodging and burning, shadow and highlight tweaks, selective color replacement and massive sharpening.
And voila, it goes from random car window crap shot, to 16×20 canvas hanging on my living room wall.