Have you ever wondered how much work photographers do in photoshop?
I thought i'd give you some examples. Like all photographers I try to get all my photos as close to how I want them, In camera. Having this mindset pushes me to use all my knowledge and skills and also reduces editing time which is mighty important! Given that I work with fast moving subjects in a small space (when indoor) or in an environment where the weather and subsequent light is constantly changing I do have images that need adjusting, but on the whole there isn't a huge amount to do on most of them.
Some images take a little more time than others though. Here is an overview of the main tasks I face outside of the norm.
Big edits usually come for one or two reasons.
1) A great capture but incorrectly lit (flash didn't fire for example)
I had an idea in mind for a photo shoot with my son. I wanted to play peekaboo with him and capture his cheeky smile in between. He would not play ball! He wouldn't sit still (because of his age really) and was generally quite hard work and clingy, wanting to sit on my lap rather than be in front of the camera; I almost gave up as my light had to keep being moved and it was hard work, even with a friend helping. Eventually, we got a few but unfortunately my favourite (below) was not lit great as my flash did not fire. As a result his skin was very purple and underexposed. I loved his expression so much I wanted to try and work with what I had and I am so pleased I did a it's one of my favourites of him now. I had to extend the background as my studio space is small so there are undesirable parts to the photo, plus (a small detail) but he would not let go of a tea light candle! So I had to edit it out and extend the teddy he was holding!
2) A great photo that needs a bit of 'pazazz' added to it.
Sometimes no matter how much you try, the photo just needs a bit of added work to make it stand out more. This photo meant lot to me as it's my son skipping through the woods pretending to be an airplane (or was it spiderman) so I wanted it to be a keeper. While I was happy with the colour temperature and exposure of this photo I felt it needed some help to really make my son stand out. As you can tell I am lying on the floor so there was too much foreground in the picture for my liking, hence why I cropped it. As my son's hair and clothing are pretty similar tonally to the background I needed to make him 'pop' so I darkened the outer background and brightened him. I also had visions of this being quite a symmetrical looking photo, so I copied the picture, flipped it ad pasted some of the bluebells from left to right in order to make it more pleasing to the eye. I could have done the same with the trees but I actually like it as it is, with that bit of variety.
Other reasons for more time consuming edits:
With my newborn sessions in the studio I have the lighting, white balance and exposure set up so that I have to do minimal editing. Sometimes (as happened here) I am in other peoples houses so the colour is a little different (in this case it's a bit cold and has a slight pink tint to it which I corrected). My preference with newborn photography is that it is all about the baby, which means there is not much fuss when it comes to the edits. Newborn skin typically has red/purple/ blue tints to it, so that is what I spend most of my time adjusting. Other than that I may brighten the background or enhance the colour or contrast to make the baby really stand out. It it's a pose that I need help with (in order to ensure complete safety) I might have to edit out the person spotting or supporting the baby as below.
Have you ever wondered why a photographer takes so many pictures of the same set up? In a big group it's often the case that you have to merge photos as one or two people won't be looking in the right direction at the right time, or will be blinking / caught off card. In big groups it's not uncommon for me to take 10/20 photos just to make sure I have at least one of everyone looking good.
Below combined these two photos, swapping dad and granddad's heads onto the second photo, completing it nicely!
You can see my older baby / toddler work here
You can see my newborn sessions here
One more just for fun....
Sudden change in sunlight -This was at sunset, the sun had been really bright and was just going behind a a cloud and my son was getting bored. I didn't have time to change my settings and I snapped quick!
As a result the image was a little under exposed and a little 'cold', so the first thing I did was warm it up and increase the exposure slightly.
Then I removed some of the distracting elements at the front and added some grass to frame him some more.
Check out some more great photography my my favourite outdoor photographer in the UK, Nina Mace http://www.ninamacephotography.com/childrens-image-month-april/