Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Joys of Photoshop

Thanks to Adobe Creative Suite and the oh-so-helpful tool of Photoshop, my images look pretty amazing. But let me spill a little secret - they don't always start out that way...
Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not advocating reliance on Photoshop. There is, of course, a great skill to getting your photos to look great during your shoot so that what you see in your RAW flies is beautiful.
All I'm saying is that Photoshop is a wonderful tool to enhance your photos. Sometimes it's as simple as changing the color temperature so that blacks are true black and whites are true white.
And other times is a little more dramatic, removing background or foreground elements to give the photo a specific feeling.
So here are some Before/After shots of a couple pictures, to show what I mean...

In this photo, the main focus was color correction, warming up the whole scene and taking all the blue hues out of that black dress. With a little bit of cloning in the background to smooth everything out.

Here the main focus was still the color correction, as well as the model's hair and skin.
It's amazing how much brighter the After picture looks.

In this image, there were a few distracting elements (the light stand on the left behind the couch, the sunken in pillow, some dirt on the couch, and some funky shadows on the left side of the wall). Once those elements were removed, and the images was toned, it made the image so much nicer. Not much was altered as far as the subjects go.

Lastly, this image required a major overhaul. the background was wrinkled and it was not long enough to go all the way to the edge of the frame where I would have liked it to be. Plus the back lighting required to light to be in a visible spot, which meant the light had to be removed. Lastly I added a vignette around the edge of the image to enhance the lighting technique.

Photoshop may look challenging or hard to use, but once you get used to all the tricks, you'll learn to love it like I do!
I recommend watching tutorials on different editing tools like Spot Healing, Cloning, Dodging & Burning, and Curves.
I also HIGHLY recommend that you find a tonal style that you like and stick to it to give all your photos a unified look (I usually go for bright, warm and a slight increase in contrast).
Good Luck with all your photographic and Photoshop endeavors!

All images ©Andrea Garvin Photography

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