Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota seniors’

In this post I am going to show you a before and after image and show you how I got there. I photographed a young man last summer for his senior pictures.  This image is exactly what I took, warts and all.  Its a daylight balanced exposure at 400 ISO, the exposure was F 5.6 at 1/250 of a second.  We were in full shade on a sunny day. I shot it raw and I did not use a light meter. I overexposed the image by about one stop. It doesn’t look too bad, but there were a number of things I could have done to make it better in camera; flash, bounced light, tripod, etc. but I didn’t and this is what the result was.  I really like the wall and the young man’s concentrated expression.  We took a few more here and then moved on.

Back at the studio a day later I chose this image as one of the ones I wanted to show him. But I didn’t want to show him a plain vanilla shot. Why? Well I had an exposure problem, but in my talks with him I had learned that the young man liked “cool” magazine photographs, and I wanted to create a few of them. So I went back to the raw data. First I changed the index down 1.25 stops. This is a lot! I kept going because his shirt was very reflective and the light from the sky was pretty hot on his chest. I would have been better off shading him but that didn’t happen.  I dialed in a color temperature of 3200 and a tint of +16. I also did a lens correction of -100. These steps gave me an image that was pretty well exposed for tungsten film which is what we used in the film days for indoor events lit by incandescent lights. This was the result.

Ok. Thats fun, but it needs a few things. It needs to be lightened up in levels, to be retouched, and to have some more happy put back in the photo. Happy? Whats that? Hey,it’s what ever you want. It’s my photo and I get to decide what the end result is going to be! When you work on your own images you need to end up with the results YOU  want.  I wanted it to be lighter and more contrasty, his face retouched for some acne, and the edges to be burned in.  I increased the saturation in the blues. Here is the result.This all took 3 minutes at most.  Was it worth it? Yes, the client loved the image and bought an 8×10 and a 5×7. Is it better? Is it perfect? Well, neither and both. I can take sweet, technically correct photographs all day, and lots of the time that is what I HAVE to do. Here, I took a chance to add some value to my experience as a photographer and to give a possibility to another human being. For me, thats what its all about! Next week I will show you an example of what I did to a woman’s photo. Thanks for watching!

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