What I know about processing.

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Brad Hardy, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Brad Hardy

    Brad Hardy TPF Noob!

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    There are several members on this site that have asked me how I process some of my images. There are some, I'm sure that hate my work, some that believe that the way I process my images perverts the art of photography.
    These things may all be true. I really don't know.

    What I do know is that I love to process images, and here are some tips to consider.

    Photoshop is full of things we all overlook. It's one of the few applications where you've got a million different ways to do one thing, but in the end only one of those methods will achieve what your really looking for. Far too often we settle for something thats "close enough". I very much include myself in that "we". I urge you to stay up late one night this week, until just clicking and tweaking. Stay up until your eyes are bloodshot, your fresh out of coffee, and your significant other will forever cringe at mention of the words "photo shop", because somehow while your using it, you simply can't find your way to bed. Find a tool in photoshop that you never really use and play with it until you can make it do something that you find interesting.

    Play with blending modes.
    You'll be glad you did. The more you play with them the sooner you find and familiarize yourself with not only what they do, but when to use them. I'm not going to get into details here, but go ahead and open a photo with a pretty sky in it. Go ahead and duplicate your background layer. Now, with the top layer selected cycle through the blending modes. Pay attention to the sky in the photo. You'll likely be glad you did. Of course, while the sky is effected, as is the rest of the image. Figure out how to correct that and PM your results if you don't already know how to do that. An exercise like this is whats going to improve your post skills. Constantly challenge yourself. Whenever you've got free time, open a photo in PS, create a problem and figure out how to fix it. Amazingly enough, you'll usually find a solution, and so grows your ability to process.

    The most common post related problem seems to be color correction. I too very often struggle with this. I won't measure my WB before shooting and I'm left with a series of orange or blue images. Luckily I shoot in RAW and this is easily corrected. But I remember a time where that correction was not so simple. Without getting to involved in methods I simply say, curves baby, get to know em.

    Before you process anything,
    take a good lonnnng look at your image.
    Ask yourself what colors am I looking at? Do I even like the colors I'm looking at? Do I want to make them more vibrant? Do I want to ease up on them?
    Look at the texture of your image. Do you want to pop that out? Do you want to push it back in? Do you want sharp edges, or soft edges?
    And finally, "What would make this image outstanding?"
    If you've got an answer, you've got your work cut out for you.

    Finally, I've seen a ton of work that blows my stuff out of the water on this site. In fact, most of what I see does. It's so awesome to be amongst such talented people that I can share a passion with. I'm fighting an inner war with myself over whether or not I want to do an instructional dvd. I will admit that I'm not too quick to reveal my processing techniques. For me to explain why would take way too long. Bottom line, if you've got a question private message me, I'm much more likely to share some stuff with you through private messages.
     

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