Sunday, July 3, 2011

Image Dissection

Occasionally, I'll post images which have particular stories attached to them. Usually these stories involve exerting too much effort on my part for a very unremarkable result, but that seems to be the nature of photography.

This image took at least 12 hours in Photoshop. This is mainly because of my incompetence in Photoshop. I have always been a Lightroom person. My last job as a high school yearbook photographer required such fast turnaround times I never had time to really edit pictures, and I was not expected to. I shot as a photojournalist, meaning I couldn't exactly edit the hell out of stuff anyway. Now with my new portrait photog hat, people need to actually "look good", and this means no random stuff sticking out of people's heads.

After many hours of begging and trawling forums, I found the answer from a far more competent friend. Many more hours of clone stamping, edge refining, and exposure adjustment later and I had a good enough rough image to apply some final touches in Lightroom. The picture doesn't quite stand up to inspection at 200%, but at anything up to 11x14, it should look natural. It would have been better if I had adjusted one slider differently during the edge refining stage, and if I had the patience to figure out how to get rid of a pesky halo around the hair, it would have been perfect. Alas, my patience was worn extremely thin by the literal 11th hour, and I needed to deliver it to the client some time, so that was that. I'd like to believe she was satisfied with it, but I will do better next time. Mainly, I'd just avoid the problem in the first place, though I put them there to avoid a very busy thoroughfare in the Inner Harbour. Still, I think inconveniencing a few people for a few seconds would have been a lot better than inconveniencing myself for half a day. Well, I was bound to learn eventually...

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