PHOTOGRAPHY TIP #26 – JUST A CASUAL SHOT…

•July 18, 2016 • 2 Comments

A few years ago I was shooting an event and happened to capture this image while taking a break from the action.  Believe me, there was no prep or forethought given to this pose, as you can readily see.

dscn02601

However when I was downloading my images later that evening, I stopped because her expression and pose captured my attention.  I had given no instructions, only pointed my camera and asked for a smile.

Of course the question becomes, “What do I do with this image?”  I love the expression, but everything other than that is wrong: background clutter, flat lighting, distracting background color, and a number of other issues that seemed to render this image as unusable for anything other than a casual toss into the photo album pile.  You know, that place where everyone puts all of the family pictures.

But, let’s try a few things and see what we can do.  I began by editing the image as I would any portrait.  Following that, I quickly moved to my “filter” section in Photoshop.  Scanning down through my choices, I landed on lighting effects found in the render folder.  I have used this filter before to create some subtle highlighting, but this time I wanted to do something far more dramatic.  Using the “Omni” setting I increased the intensity level to +28, and adjusted the ambient level to -4.  Next, I adjusted the edited area to cover only the circumference of her face.  This created a somewhat extreme vignette that camouflaged the background clutter.  I also centered the highlight on to her left cheek. This gave the left side of her face a slightly stronger highlight, somewhat compensating for the original flat lighting.

PORTRAIT SALVAGE

While this eliminated most of the issues I had from the original, I still wondered if more could be done.  So for my final step, I simply used a square crop to fully eliminate the background clutter.

Version 2

While this may not be something I would present to a client, it sure is an improvement from the original.

So even with a casual shot, there just may be the possibility for something more.

THE BEST PART OF LAKE TAHOE…

•July 13, 2016 • 2 Comments

FAMILY!

I think the title of this image says it all…

“Leaving the Fishing Hole”

LEAVING THE FISHING HOLE

BACK TO TAHOE

•July 12, 2016 • 2 Comments

Since the marine layer essentially shut me out for my trip up the California coast, I thought I might journey back to Lake Tahoe for a few more images.  This image is taken from the boardwalk at Pope Beach.

LAKE TAHOE 6-2016 6

And of course, my previous captures from Lake Tahoe.

LAKE TAHOE 5 06-2016

LAKE TAHOE 06-2016 3

TAHOE SETTING SUN

CALIFORNIA COAST – DAY 3

•July 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I know this doesn’t seem like coastal scenery, but to be honest we are battling some pretty intense coastal fog.  So since the coast is socked in, we have moved slightly inland.  In doing so, we came across this “Little House on the Prairie” one-room school house.  Located in San Simeon and providing such a nostalgic flashback (not that I am old enough to remember those days – at least not the one-room school house days), I just couldn’t pass it up.

Nestled among trees and field straw, a sure image of a time gone by.

COUNTRY SCHOOL HOUSE 2

CALIFORNIA COAST – DAY 1

•June 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This is not exactly a coastal image, but we came across this patriotic barn on one of our back roads ventures.  That’s where I find so many unexpected shots – on the back roads of California.  This was shot outside of the seaport village of Cambria, California.

CAMBRIA BARN 6-30-16

LAKE TAHOE DAY 2…

•June 20, 2016 • 4 Comments

Day two saw us hiking the Cascade Falls Trail, which is just south of Emerald Bay.  It was a beautiful hike, but I must question the “easy” designation.  Though the hike had only minimal elevation gain,  it was consistently uphill and then back downhill.  It was also extremely rocky and much of the trail was on the side of the mountain.  This is a popular trail and I can see why.  It provides amazing vistas and a close-up of the waterfall.  This view is from the early part of the trail and overlooks Cascade Lake.

LAKE TAHOE 5 06-2016

And, I thought I would include the previous images to give you an idea of the totally of the Lake Tahoe experience.

LAKE TAHOE 06-2016 3

TAHOE SETTING SUN

THIS WAS DAY 3 IN LAKE TAHOE…

•June 16, 2016 • 4 Comments

Or, was it day 2?  All good days just seem to meld into one great time!  This would be an image taken from the east banks of Lake Tahoe, looking toward the northwest.  It always amazes me how deep blue this lake is.  And then, how the color can change as you approach the shore.  Beautiful…

LAKE TAHOE 06-2016 3

This previous image is from South Lake Tahoe, looking west.

TAHOE SETTING SUN

 
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