Monday, 28 May 2012

Exercise: Improvement or interpretation

This exercise was all about making an improvement to an image by selecting parts of it to work with emphasising areas that require more focus.

For this exercise we are to take an image of someone in part shade and selecting them and make an enhancement such as a levels or curves adjustment. For my image I also chose a bright background. Normally you would use a fill flash for this type of photography and I have later shown how the raw conversion 'fill light' has helped.

Here is the original image, as seen the subject is in shade which does not produce a pleasing image.

I then used the lasso tool to select around the subject, then refining it with shift (add) and alt (minus) keys to get as good a selection as possible. I find that a poor selection is obvious when boosting part of a high contrasting image. After saving the selection I then feathered the selection by 20px.

Using the levels adjustment I then brought in the right hand slider to meet the edge of the histogram which has produced the following, this I feel is a good improvement, that is not unrealistic.

Pushing the levels further produces an image that I think has too much manipulation and does not work. Perhaps adding more contrast and saturation may help but that would also darken the selection as well.

Finally, using the raw converter and the fill light slider at 53 produced this image. This is remarkably similar to the first version that has been adjusted with a selection, but the raw conversion has done this with no selection!

We'll take Manhatten

Last night I watched an excellent fact based drama about a young David Bailey on shoot for Vougue with his girlfriend / model Jean Shrimpton in 1962

The programme really showed off Bailey's attitude to rejecting the norm', almost sticking two fingers up at tradition and re-writing the rule book for fashion photography. He saw a more youthful vibrant need for change, with a new post war generation that demanded a new identity and he gave that to them.

The images he captured were not just about fashion, but capturing the time and place, itself giving a context of belonging. Traditional framed images were now a thing of the past.

He even rejected the requirement to use a full frame camera on a tripod, favouring a more agile 35mm Pentax. 'Grainier' was deemed to be more refreshing.

The images that were recreated in the drama were absolutely to die for. If you watch nothing else then just look at the end credits and see the following...... These are Bailey's originals producing fresh vibrant images that are almost timeless. I particularly like the image with the puddle, great foresight, and the 'Twist' image with so much going on but yet in perfect balance. How does he see all of this? The 'Teddy Bear' theme throughout also adds a great connection between images....