If you get the ba­sic right in-cam­era, edit­ing your pat­tern im­ages is the fi­nal step to suc­cess

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

As with most forms of pho­tog­ra­phy, it can be very ben­e­fi­cial to take your en­vi­ron­men­tal im­ages into Light­room or Pho­to­shop and re­fine them. Con­trast ad­just­ments can of­ten be par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial, but ton­ing, crop­ping and black and white con­ver­sions are of­ten worth con­sid­er­ing, too. With this type of photo, these ad­just­ments can all help to make the dif­fer­ence be­tween a de­cent snap­shot and a very strong im­age that could po­ten­tially win awards. It’s worth con­sid­er­ing cre­at­ing presets as you go in or­der to recre­ate cer­tain looks with sub­se­quent im­ages, es­pe­cially if you are work­ing with a se­ries of shots and want to achieve a con­sis­tency in the fi­nal look and feel.


OPEN IN ADOBE CAM­ERA RAW The his­togram looks okay, the im­age is sharp and there’s def­i­nitely the mak­ings of a strong pat­tern im­age. How­ever, as is al­ways the case with RAW files, a few tweaks won’t go amiss.


MAKE INI­TIAL TWEAKS Ap­ply Lens Corrections and check the Auto tab. This lat­ter step doesn’t make much dif­fer­ence other than in­creas­ing Clar­ity a lit­tle, but the im­age is al­ready look­ing a lit­tle stronger.


EN­HANCE THE PAT­TERN Se­lect the Tone Curve in ACR and make ad­just­ments to the High­lights, Lights and Darks to boost con­trast more and em­pha­sise the pat­tern. The re­flec­tions are now more prom­i­nent.


AL­TER PAT­TERN The di­ag­o­nal slope of the frames look odd, so the im­age is se­lected (Se­lect>All), then Edit>Trans­form>Dis­tort, and the top and bot­tom are pulled up/down.


CON­VERT Al­ways re­mem­ber that many im­ages like this work in black and white. Copy the orig­i­nal, open in Sil­ver Efex Pro and se­lect the High Struc­ture Smooth pre­set.


FI­NAL ED­ITS En­large the im­age on-screen and re­move any un­wanted blem­ishes us­ing the Heal­ing Brush Tool in Pho­to­shop. Colour and mono ver­sions com­plete!

“Al­ways re­mem­ber that many im­ages like this work well in black and white”

Left and above AF­TER EDIT­ING Whether you pre­fer the colour or B&W ver­sion is down to per­sonal pref­er­ence, as both work well. Lev­el­ling the hor­i­zon­tal bars of the win­dow frames def­i­nitely im­proves the pat­tern ef­fect

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