Fixing a bad photograph
Objective: Using a combination of software and plugins, we will address common issues when we have to edit a really bad photograph.
Skills taught: Cropping, color cast, sharping, cloning, noise reduction and artistic interpretation.
Video Type Available : Novice to Advance-Speed Clinic and Beginner- In-depth (coming soon)
It all starts in the camera
While in Boston, a group of us went on a photo shoot of the city. I saw a father and daughter standing on the subway holding hands. I quickly took a shot. Sounds simple? Let’s explore the thought process and technical issues I had to face in a matter of seconds.
I was dealing with poor lighting, a moving platform, lots of people in the way and TIME. I calmly observed the situation and set the camera to ISO 1250, F/2.8 at 1/60 of a second using my 80-200 lens. Well if I were Joe McNally that’s what I would have done. Instead, BEFORE I entered the subway, Sandy Foster suggest I try a great feature found on most Nikon cameras, auto ISO. Now before you judge me, let me finish. On Pro and Pro/Consumer Nikon cameras you are able to dial in when to change the ISO. In my example, I programed the ISO to start at 200. If the shutter falls below 1/60 of a second, then the ISO changes but won’t go any higher than 1600. I kept the camera in Aperture Priority and steady myself against a pole. This feature is amazing. It let’s the photographer focus on composition while still allowing creativity by changing the aperture. A plus or minus EV (exposure value) can also be used.
You are probably wondering why not just keep the camera in the AUTO mode. Although you can, you are now letting the camera make ALL your creative choices for you. As a photographer, it’s always best if we can decide when to make a change to our settings. By using the method I just described, we would have come up with those setting IF we had an abundance of TIME.
This brings me to our tutorial, how to fix a really bad photograph. It’s always best to get the shot right in the camera. Under the difficult situation I was faced with, this was the best I could do. With a few tweeks in Photoshop, Lightroom and the help from a few plugins I was able to save this photograph.
Before the digital age, photographers were making incredible images. Don’t get caught up in the tools I’m using; Lightrrom, Photoshop, ect.., Try to focus on the concepts and work flow I’m demonstrating. Understanding these concepts will enable us to work faster.
This tutorial will be available as a video and written instructions Monday, April 26, 2010.