Saturday, 24 September 2011

You shouldn't need to ask

"Does this processing work?" If you're asking, then odds on it doesn't. Then again a lot of people seem to like heavily processed images. It was ever thus. The attraction of effect over content all too frequently triumphs. One effect I've seen a lot of is one I've never been able to reproduce. Not that I've wanted to reproduce it, but I was curious to know how it was achieved. Having recently downloaded the trial of Lightroom I have now found out. Don't ask how I did it because I can#'t remember, but it is certainly something Lightroom can do which GIMP cannot - or not readily. Moving the Lightroom sliders about to see what they did the effect materialised on a B+W conversion. So I maxed it out! Quite why anyone would choose to apply such an effect to a candid, street, portrait I cannot say. But some do.
This second image is what I started with. Just a touch of exposure compensation and some level tweaking. Much more to my taste.
Almost raw
Combing the two, however, gives the original a bit of a lift without looking too outrageous. I'm still not sure I wholeheartedly approve though.
Done to a turn
This whole digital processing lark is something I wish I didn't have to bother with. When I did my own B+W printing all I ever did was use different grades of paper and vary the exposure times. Dead simple. Now there are all sorts of tweaks that can be done. Many variations can be made without having to waste a sheet of paper on each to check the result. I do wonder that having so much flexibility is really a good thing though. It not only makes processing harder, it makes editing fro the options more difficult too. On the positive side it can make images look a whole lot better than they do when they come out of the camera. So I guess I have to keep on playing around and trying to make the final results look like I haven't!

As an aside, and not something consciously done in making the shot, the out of focus chair back serves to nicely separate most of Martin's head from the cluttered background. I should pay more attention to such details when looking through the viewfinder instead of noticing them later.

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