So I kindof ran through my queued posts and don’t have any new content for you right now. Whoops. Sorry about that. So instead of just leaving you all hanging, I decided to go through my archives and find some shots that I really liked that I want to showcase again, as well as show off some of the cool stuff I can do in Photoshop to make them even better. I’m calling this series “Before and After”.
We’ll start with one of the pictures that, to this day, is one of my favorite shots I’ve ever taken. It was also one of the first shots I’d ever taken with a DSLR, and it was complete luck that it turned out as well as it did:
This is a bubble that I caught in the middle of a park. The horizontal green patch down the middle is the double-reflection of the various trees and other greenery in the park, and the gold-and-white is the bubble sheen. Of course, the big complaint (and one I entirely agree with) is that there’s a bunch of ugly stuff in the background. So, let’s take it out!
Not too shabby, I don’t think. Here’s what I did:
1) Crop in a little closer on the bubble to get rid of most of the white truck.
2) Select the ugly areas (the rest of the truck, and the bright colors in the background), and copy other parts of the image on top of them
3) Use the healing brush and patch tool to smooth out the hard edges from the copy, and to eliminate some of the most obvious pattern repetition
4) Apply a sharpening layer to bring out a touch more detail of the bubble
Total time in Photoshop: about 20 minutes
I also experimented with removing the tree trunk and the spots of white in the background (those are other bubbles), but I think I actually prefer it this way. It adds a bit more interest to the photo, and sort of highlights the main subject.
As a piece of art, the second one is better – though it is also more “one-dimensional” without any extra elements in the picture, for better or worse. I don’t miss the truck, but I do miss the vague peopley figures.
However, coming from my background as a landscape photographer, I don’t like editing out parts of reality. I think I probably would have cropped, and then dodged and burned to make the lighter parts of the background less attention-grabbing – but not edited out things that were really there. Your choice, though…