Well this is my first foray into Stacy Fischer’s After/Before Fridays where we show our best photo first then the original and show the process in between to map how we got there.
I don’t ever write things down I just push buttons until I feel its just right, its all through the eye more so than anything else. I will have to go back and have a look and see what I did. To me its like a chef that doesn’t use a recipe, frustrating for others to follow but easy for the chef!!
My dandelion started out in colour but with my dining room wall (an aqua blue) behind it dulling it down I thought it would look better in black and white. I don’t mind the colour one but the mood I was after was best served in black and white.
I used my Canon 70D camera and 18-200 kit lens. I also added on two macro extension tubes to get a more detailed photo (31mm + 13mm).
Macro extension tubes, for those that do not know, are tubes that you put between your camera and lens to enable the lens to focus closer than its normal settings. It is a cheaper way of doing macros than spending a lot on a macro lens. Of course I am sure it has its limitations but for me its a perfect go between as I do not do a lot of macro photography.
I then took three separate exposures in RAW, one as meted by the camera, then one two stops up, then two stops down and blended them together in Photomatix Essentials – did it need that, well I felt it did as the light shining through the window on one side of the dandelion was quite bright and then there was a shadow on the other side so blending them together I thought may give a better lighting effect all around. Its worth experimenting and very useful for landscapes more over than a still life photographed inside.
I then transferred the photo into Lightroom 5.2 to continue the processing.
My lens is quite dirty no matter how much I clean it so a bit of time was spent doing spot removal (worse than cleaning the house!).
I then switched the photo to black and white, bumped the exposure up by 1.12 and pushed up the contrast to +62. Usually in black and white I tend to push the contrast up more to bring out the detail.
Then highlights was set at 38, shadows -5, whites up a tad at +7 and blacks +1. All this was done with my eye and I would experiment pushing dials up further and less just to see the effects.
Clarity was +17… I tend to do this a lot with my photos, its one of the first things I usually do is push the clarity up to at least +15 or more depending on the photo.
I wanted to zoom in a bit to show more detail in the dandelion but to do that I had to crop the image so it was a bit of trial and error to know where I wanted to do this. I felt this photo had more mood cropped in as well, I wanted it to have the feeling like “I’m telling a story, come in closer to hear….”
So that’s my first AB Friday. For more AB photos please go to Stacy Fischer’s blog – Visual Venturing.