Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Natural Light Adventures 05: Post Processing.

We're coming to an end of the series' sector, at least the written part. Post processing is finishing touches to images as we all know, but it is as important as the production itself. Depending on your current style or style you're trying to develop into this will dictate how post processing goes. So the following is based on my own style, so take it or leave it.

If you've just jumped into this part of the blog series I highly recommend you read the past parts as this part is spoke with the assumption you've read the past parts, as well you've learned the important part of timing which can be figured out with what gear you have and location you're shooting at. Check the index.

[Click image to Enlarge]

So as you'd see I have 2 stages of post processing, from Straight out of Camera. You'd also see the changes are fairly minimal but its barely noticeable especially viewing on a average size 20-30" computer monitor. But my editing style has and always will be edit to perfection and edit to be publication ready to being published into a magazine. Why I do this? Because this is my own goal, to become published. Which I have... in photojournalism though, not areas like fashion and such which is my goal primarily. So when I get published more and more, with images already in my library being shown, I do not need to go back and re-edit, its all ready for print. If I want I can even print at large print sizes and not worry about tiny issues where on a 20-30" monitor would be very minimal but printing at 30x40 would emphasize the issues.

My editing style is also clean and simple enhancements to have some pop to the images. No special effects (currently, I may venture into alien skin actions and such effects in the future).

Now simply looking at my SOOC to Final you may not notice much of any differences, especially on a monitor. I like subtlety with my edits, nothing extreme. But of course when you zoom into the skin you'd most likely see more differences generally if I do clean up the skin (which I do most of the time, just some its a little, and some its a lot, depends on what I feel is right). These "minor" differences are purely because of looking at the image as a whole, and on a monitor. If you were viewing the image on a 30x40 print you'd see huge differences, or sometimes even on large monitors too.

I have 2 stages of editing...

  1. Lightroom Edit: Making overall light and color adjustments. As well spend some time culling through all of the similar images and picking the best of the scene/environment. Most of the time I'd pick just one best in the scene, as my final selection, sometimes more, depends on what I am trying to convey.
  2. Photoshop Edit: After culling through on Lr and made simple adjustments, I go into photoshop to clean it up to my standards and add some selective pop to the image. 

The "pop" is basically dodge and burn the model's skin, wardrobe, as well the environment at times too.

    1. Specific Techniques I use are: Dodge & Burn, Frequency Separation (on some portrait/fashion based shots where the face is more of the focus of the shot, rarely ever use FS for full body shots), and another technique where I strip the skin's original texture and add on new skin texture instead. I highly recommend PHLEARN youtube channel.

As this sector (shooting natural light portraits on a budget) comes to an end, no worries, video content is in the plans. As well the next sector being shooting natural light portraits with a little more of a budget, like assistants and some natural light modifiers, such as scrims and reflectors. But a reminder to those who appreciate my knowledge I am sharing for free, please share, comment to show your appreciation, it really helps encourage me to continue on.

Like this post? Check the blog series index here!

Keep in mind the posts in the index are in order, so if you're jumping in reading the series at 3 or 5 you should really read from 1 to above to ensure you did not miss anything.

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