3 May 2012

Before and After

With introduction of digital photography, we now can easily manipulate an image to make it look better. In this post I would like to show what can be done with Photoshop to enhance an image.

Let me say a bit about my work flow and a bit of my philosophy on post processing. I shoot exclusively in RAW. Of course I always try to do everything right in the camera - this involves looking for a good location (I do watch out for background every time I press the shutter button) looking for good natural light or complicated lighting setups, but raw gives me more flexibility in post processing when things don't go accordingly to plans. I know there are a lot of people who just shoot JPEG and can do absolutely amazing post processing, from minor colour corrections to turning the image into a "fairy tale" painting. :)

I don't do a lot of post processing, because I can't do much and I don't want to overdo. I don't want my images to look totally unreal. My images must have natural tones and good skin colour. I do try to avoid liquify tool as much as possible, but try to do right with camera angle and the choice of lens.  I just do what is necessary to enhance the image or to bring the viewer to the main object better and this might as well involve removing destracting objects or cloning something to cover up distracting stuff in the frame.

Bellow are 2 images I edited. I shot these when walking in a park with my little Olympus EPL1 and Panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens, so no photo session was intended, just a few snaps. The unedited images look OK already with the subject being exposed properly, the focus being sharp and the background being not so distracting. Everything in the original is fine, but they lack some "pop", which is added in the post processing.

(PS: this is my personal view and that is all, please comment bellow if you disagree or have something else to add)