mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Practice at Practicing

Some day I'll have to take a photography course, but it will have to be directed at those of us with digital point-and-shoots because, despite the near-geek that I am, if the camera doesn't fit in my pocket, the photos don't get taken.

1-original 2-color cast adjust 3-light & dark 4-lights

 

This week I treated myself to the book "Welcome to Oz: a Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop" by Vincent Versace. It's very advanced, which is what I need for a challenge. His mantra is to create a "believable probability" in editing photos. He recommends using Photoshop as an emory board, not a jackhammer. In other words, start out with a well composed, decently lit photo.

The idea of the first exercise was to take a snapshot and "light" it better.

"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. You first have to practice at practicing." Vince Lombardi

I used a 1978 Christmas party photo of my dad (photographer unknown). First I had to remove the head of my Uncle Pat's guitar from the left side of my dad's face — no problem.

The 4 photos above represent the following:

1. Retouched original, cropped.

2. Removing the color cast, adding a little color warmth.

3. Establishing light-dark areas: making the face brightest, then the torso; darkening the background.

4. Adding lights, as if we were in a studio or on a film set. Key light on the face (and glass top), with some fill light. Here's where I definitely need practice — first, to "see" what adding lights can do and, second, to master the use of Photoshop's Lighting Effects filter, which is both complex and cantankerous.

Onward...

4.24.07

Thumbs Up if you liked this entry.

 

...