Monday, September 13, 2010

A little editing CAN go a long way!

For those of you that are also on the SPN message board, I apologize but I wanted to copy the thread I posted over at SPN to my blog for my own easy reference. :) Thanks to all of you that replied, I really do appreciate it.

Most of us here [on the message board] want to learn or are learning how to use our cameras to get better pictures SOOC [straight out of camera]. It's really important to know your camera and how to change your settings accordingly to get those great SOOC shots because you can't always rely on luck to get good pictures. You can't rely on editing to make your pictures good either without already starting out with a good shot.... you CAN rely on editing to take your pictures from good to great.

I'm not a professional, and I don't play one on TV ;) , but with the help of a lot of wonderful ladies here I have learned a lot and I feel like I have a better understanding of a lot of things and so I thought I'd pass off these tips/tricks:

*Not every picture you see came out so wonderfully SOOC.... I mean there are some people out there that are super amazing at what they do and their SOOC shots blow my edited ones out of the water but we're not talking about them and their perfect-ness ;) We're talking about regular "Hey I got this cute shot that I want to enhance" type people like me :)

*Just because there are some distracting elements in your shot doesn't mean they have to ruin an otherwise good picture. I live in the city. A LOT of my shots have power lines in them but that doesn't mean that all my pictures should. A little bit of cloning can take those distractions away.

*It's okay if you can't hold the camera perfectly straight. If you leave enough room you can always crop to straighten and no one will ever know

Here are some examples I want to share. I've awed most of these before but I thought I'd explain a little bit of what was done to enhance these.

Take this picture of DD. It looks underexposed and flat. It's okay but it's not great. If I were to put it up for CC the #1 thing I'm sure I would read is that it's underexposed... bump up the exposure and it should be ok.

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What are they talking about? I checked my histogram and it's telling me it's correctly exposed....

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Should I ignore the CC and keep the picture as-is because those ladies don't know what they're talking about??? Maybe I should try to brighten it a little bit... and maybe mess with the levels? You see how a little editing took this picture from hmm? to <3



Okay what about this one? Power lines and part of the gate... not exactly a great picture. I should have moved further away from the disctractions, took it from a different angle etc... but what do I do? I can't recreate that look on his face? Did I miss the moment?

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Nah... just crop and clone those power lines out of the way. Lighten it up a little bit and it looks MUCH better:



Okay Last one... if you've stuck around this far... The vision I had in my head didn't play out well 100% because of those darn power lines again... and there is a lot of empty space:

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Just clone out the lines (again) and give it a different crop. Maybe add a little more blue to the sky. I just LOVE this picture now when I would have otherwise thought it was just ok and not even printed it out.

Looking at the sky

I hope this help some of you that may be feeling so new and overwhelmed. It's not all about the camera and not all about the editing software... but what you learn to do with it... so just keep on learning.

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