I went to a wedding back in May, and I'm sure my friends are wondering what happened to all of the images I took?
Yesterday I decided to begin tackling at least one that I was particularly happy with. I'm still new to editing people and it makes me incredibly nervous to do so. People, I've found, are so very judgemental of themselves and the camera is absolutely unforgiving. If you shoot at the wrong angle no matter how skinny a person actually is, they will still look like they weigh 50 lbs more than they actually do. Unfortunately, people take that to heart. They see images of themselves and think "dang! I need to lose 50 lbs!" when losing 50bs could very well result in someone who is anorexic. So in the end, it is the photographer's responsibility to take photos that truly emphasize the beauty of an individual.
… But who likes to have their photo taken?
I know one person who actually likes it. Justin just puts up with me taking his photo because he's married to me. In essence, I don't get much practice shooting people, and I get extremely frustrated with myself when I struggle at editing the images I've taken. If I don't get the image right, the prospect of taking said person's photo ever again dramatically decreases.
When I took the above image(s), I was trying to channel a bit of Julie Paisley Photography with the flowers in the foreground. The image above is actually 2 images. I took a full shot of the couple including the flowers, but the couple was moving or something when I did that, so they were a bit blurry. After deciding (quickly, within moments of the first shot) that the flower bit wasn't working, I zoomed in on just the couple and shot again.
Pulling the images up on the computer, it was obvious to me that my image needed to include the dandelions. Think about the added depth of meaning: the idea of wishes, dreams, imagination and childhood on your wedding day? *sigh* Very romantic. :)
Of course my dad saw the image and said something negative and confidence reducing that I will not repeat here. *sigh* There are definitely things that could be improved upon, but … DANDELIONS!!!!! Love! Seriously?!?!
To get my final image I…
- learned frequency separation!!! YAY!! –– This is where you separate the skin color from the skin texture in photoshop. It makes it easier to even out skin tone without losing the gorgeous texture you need to give the image a classy look.
- upped the saturation. –– When I tried to get rid of the red skin tones, their skin looked amazingly flat which is not something anyone desires. Ever.
- used a gradient mask to brighten the left side of the image to give his face the extra light it needed.
- ran OnOne software to give the image more blue. –– I seriously didn't know it needed it until I tried it.
- Contrast and the High Pass filter combined with a gradient mask allowed me to bring out even more texture in their face while a Gaussian filter blurred the background.
I just sent the image to my local Costco to be printed so that I can "see" the colors and make even more judgements regarding the continuation of editing that will probably happen later this weekend since I am always seeing one more thing I missed… You see, there is never any definite end to editing, you just keep going until you are happy. Unfortunately, I'm never happy. ;)
After going through this process with you, the thing I want to be most clear about is that photography is more about vision and imagination than truth telling. My goal is to give the image a feeling, an emotion…and make it pretty. On your wedding day you look vibrant and beautiful to those who love you most, so who really cares what the camera captures anyway? :)
** I'm participating in August Break! Join me! Share a link to your blog in the comments below, so I can see what you are up to!