Monday, June 9, 2008

Manipulation Example

This post was sparked by a conversation I had recently about post capture manipulation. Transformations in Photoshop and other tools open an infinite range of possibility, but I'm most confortable with limiting myself for the most part to the digital versions of film darkroom printing control. Several people have asked me about how much manipulation I'm doing, so I thought I'd share the process for a few posts.

The image is straight out of the camera. The light was very flat and combined with water spraying on a waxy surface, the colors look pale and washed out. I also found the background very distracting.

To "save" the picture, I used Lightroom to lower the color temp, bring up the black and improve the contrast and color saturation. Then I used the clone tool in Photoshop to kill the background. Finally, back in Lightroom, I used the lens vignette control to burn the edges by about 40%.

All of these changes could easily have been done in a film darkroom - but not as easily as with the digital tools. I can't say that I miss the smell of Cibachrome bleach at 2:00 AM :)

The first shot is straight out of the camera,

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