For this week’s Image of the Week we decided to share some before and after photographs. The raw files straight from the camera and the editing process we used to achieve the end result and why we worked that way.
This is something I get asked quite a lot, “Can you do something different for us?” This year though it’s mostly about me and my family. As a photographer we’re usually the last ones to get the prints on the wall but I’ve already sorted the family albums (the ones that lived on the hard drive for 14 years!) and now it’s about putting some art on the walls. I love colour and I love Pop Art type prints so this is my interpretation of the style using the first born and myself. Get in touch is you want them doing for your family too, Vix@trulymadlykids.co.uk
Kids are on holidays this week, and husband has been in New York on business, so busy times here! However, we are being a green fingered this year, and make the garden as bee friendly as we can (in our urban yard). So, in all good beginnings, I bought this lovely small scabious. Now come bees, and buzz in my garden!
I’ve choosen an image of a beautiful bride. Shot in window light, at a 45 degree angle, I wanted to create a moment of calm amidst the madness and happy chaos that is the typical scene on a wedding morning. The image is tightly cropped on the bride’s face but leaves a little editorial or negative space to the left of frame. It’s how I prefer to shoot. I like a subject to have breathing space. The unedited image is, I think, lovely but it lacks the quiet I was seeking. So I have converted to black and white to lose the distraction of colour (I often shoot in black and white as I find it enhances the awareness of tone and light and shade) and to increase the depth and tranquility of the image. I have slightly increased the exposure and gently decreased the sharpness of the image to waft a little softness over the skin, while punching up the blacks a little to emphasis those beautiful lashes. Editing, or developing as it was when I started in photography, should be balanced and measured and subtle when creating natural striking portraits. OR when creating some POP art like Vix did above- just as mad as you like but with a great understanding of colour.
More than anything I love to shoot images of children at play. I took this yesterday in the woods, where we found a magical wooden swing. I loved the composition of this image, and although Lily isn’t tack sharp in terms of focus, I think it works as the slight blur adds motion to the shot. I immediately felt that converting to black & white would give a timeless feel and that adding a little grain would help the deliberate focus issue work better too. I’m happy with the end result. It almost feels like it could have been taken 100 years ago.
I create a lot of black and white portraits, but I always take them in colour first so that I have the option for either. As long as the lighting pattern is correct I then will crop the image, take out any obvious flaws such as spots and maybe soften the face a little to even skin tone. For an extra special touch I will then work on the eyes to make them ‘pop’ a little, a bit like makeup but on the computer! I don’t believe in changing people, just making them look their realistic best.
I’ve been doing some work for a friend in Singapore who makes the most amazing bags. She wanted to set up a home studio using natural light to make sure the textures in her suede and leather fabrics were very rich and true to real life. So here is a little before and after to show you a bit of the processing which goes on in the digital darkroom. I generally try to keep my processing quite minimal but I think it’s clear to see the difference to the original and that it has simply enhanced what was already captured in camera.