Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Color Isolation in Lightroom


There are times when I will take a photo without any clear idea of what I am going to do with it. It could be that something in the subject doesn't spark my creativity or I may have hurried through the process. Whatever the case, I will often take a photo just to document a location or event. We all do this.

Such was the case with Motif No.1 located at Bradley Wharf in the harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts earlier this year. You can see my version of the location here. Diane and I had gone there with a bunch of friends from a local camera group to photograph the various points of interest. Motif No.1 is a fairly famous attraction having been made famous by local artists including Lester Hornby and John Buckley.

In this tutorial I am going to show you one process to take a ho-hum image and add a little pizzas to it. Several techniques are utilized that can be adapted and applied to your own work and I'll point those out. Overall, this is a very simple process to achieve in Lightroom. In the interim, I will share my decisions for the choices I made to get this look. Remember, I did not have this look in mind when I first started.

I want you to compare the after product above to the before shot showing here. If you analyse it enough you can probably point out a lot of things that are wrong with this image. To save you some time I'll list some of the major ones here;
  • Crooked verticals (hence crooked horizon)
  • Very busy background on the left (those yellow lobster cages bother me)
  • Bland sky (lousy weather)
  • Lacks impact (colors are washed out)
The saving grace to this is the sky was heavily overcast creating a beautiful light on everything. As a rule of thumb, if you don't like your sky, don't photograph it, or at the very least, minimize it. However, there are times when the subject doesn't allow it.

The busy background at left was another problem I could do little about from this angle. Typically a change in shooting angle or a shift left or right can correct minor flaws. I was on the edge of a pier so my movement was limited. There is also the occasional, "that looks ugly back there, let me just move it out of the shot." There is no moving those houses. The photo is what it is.

So off to Lightroom to see what can be done with it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pro Studio Photo Shoot


It all started with a grand idea.

Set up a large scale photo shoot with multiple stations, multiple models and a variety of lights for members to use and experience. Invite qualified members to showcase their talents manning the stations and, heavy sigh, hope for the best.

It took months of planning, hours of late nights and the coordination of many people but, I have to admit, it was all well worth the planning. Everyone who put in their effort helped to make this first big event a roaring success. All the stops were pulled and everyone came through far beyond expectations. Far beyond expectations.