ADAPT FOR THE SCENE

Edit for sub­ject con­tent and luminosity

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

The pho­tog­ra­pher should es­sen­tially have one of two aims when de­cid­ing how to edit an im­age: to ei­ther cor­rect or cre­ate. Some im­ages have a very sim­ple func­tion – to pro­vide a pho­to­graphic record for ex­am­ple, and in these cases tech­ni­cal pre­ci­sion is the pri­mary value. For shots like these, a neu­tral colour bal­ance and cen­tred ex­po­sure would be the goal. When a pho­tog­ra­pher is at­tempt­ing to cre­ate a dis­cernible style how­ever, push­ing im­age pa­ram­e­ters to their ex­tremes is usu­ally the best strat­egy for iden­ti­fy­ing their artis­tic likes and dis­likes, from which they can build a repli­ca­ble pro­cess­ing recipe.

Rep­e­ti­tion is a key char­ac­ter­is­tic of a suc­cess­ful edit­ing style, as only when a sim­i­lar look can be ap­plied to mul­ti­ple im­ages can a com­mon theme be recog­nis­able across a port­fo­lio. How­ever, it is also im­por­tant to es­tab­lish how best to in­tro­duce these char­ac­ter­is­tics to each scene, on an im­age­spe­cific ba­sis. Ap­ply­ing a blan­ket process to ev­ery im­age is not ad­vis­able, since the range of high­lights and shad­ows and the am­bi­ent colour bal­ance will dif­fer from lo­ca­tion to lo­ca­tion, mean­ing that some files may ap­pear over-pro­cessed while oth­ers will be lack­ing in ef­fect strength. Al­though the ba­sic ac­tions will remain the same, cus­tomi­sa­tion will help to en­sure that your style fits with any sub­ject or light­ing con­di­tion.

Some­times this in it­self can help a pho­tog­ra­pher find the core struc­ture for their edit­ing regime. It is a com­mon prac­tice to adopt cer­tain colours and ex­po­sure work for dif­fer­ent types of scene – sub­ject con­text, en­vi­ron­ment and age all have styles that view­ers have be­come ac­cus­tomed to see­ing. Mod­ern ar­chi­tec­tural shots of­ten re­ceive greater con­trast for ex­am­ple, while it has be­come pop­u­lar for golden-hour land­scapes to fea­ture ex­panded dy­namic range. There­fore, it is use­ful to try in­vert­ing set­tings in or­der to yield novel re­sults.

Pair­ing con­tem­po­rary sub­jects with clas­sic ef­fects could be the cat­a­lyst for a more sur­real method, as would us­ing cross-pro­cessed ton­ing for nat­u­ral land­scapes. Em­ploy­ing com­mon tech­niques in new con­texts can re­veal ex­tra­or­di­nary and un­ex­pected im­pact to which your au­di­ence is drawn, purely be­cause they are un­able to iden­tify why your im­ages look dif­fer­ent to the mul­ti­tude of sim­i­lar pho­to­graphs they may have re­cently ob­served.

Far right BROAD EX­PO­SURE For im­ages with a wide range of bright­ness, you must con­sider how this will di­lute or con­cen­trateyour cho­sen edit­ing ef­fects Right CON­SIDERCON­TENT If your style in­volvesboosts to cer­tain colour chan­nels, beaware that some scenes may have a bias to­wards thosecolours al­ready

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