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Image Polishing - Before and After
|Fairly frequently I get questions from other photographers asking about image post-processing. So, I'm gonna start occasionally occasionally mixing in a few posts where I describe some of my techniques and/or descriptions about how I lit, shot, and/or edited some images.
Allow me to step on to my soapbox for just a second and say first and foremost that I'm an advocate for getting the best exposure you can in camera above all else. Let's face it, occasionally in an effort to capture a fleeting moment, we don't always get our settings just right in the camera, but if your bread and butter approach to photography is the FLIP method (Fix Later In Photochop), sooner or later someone is going to discover you in a sleep-deprived, editing-induced coma in a chair in front of your monitor... or you'll get burned out and quit. Photochop should not be used as a Band-Aid or crutch in place of getting to know how to use your equipment. I've been there and got the t-shirt, and it's no fun. Okay, I'm stepping off the soap box now.
That being said, I certainly embrace digital tools like Photochop and Lightroom to add emphasis to my images. I heard this referred to today as "polishing images" from Ann Monteith, and I'm gonna shamelessy steal that phrase because I think it's right on the money. And with that in mind, here's my first "Image Polishing" mix:
|The Polishing Mix:
1. Totally Rad Actions Oh Snap (70% opacity)
2. Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, sample blue sky color with color picker and increase saturation 50%
3. Add vignetting (merge adjustments to new layer, change blend mode to multiply, and mask out center to taste)
4. Kevin Kubota's Actions Tea Stain (30% opacity)
5. TRA f/Zero, used gradient tool to create a mirror gradient on the resulting mask layer, then ran f/Zero Super HQ Conversion (gives added illusion of very shallow depth of field)
6. TRA Pool Party (50% opacity)
7. TRA Sparta (50% opacity)
Keep in mind, this look oesn't work for every image. Also, I have many of these steps automated via combined actions to save me time. Total edit time was about 3 minutes.
Until next time...