Saturday, August 13, 2011

Before and After - Eleven

Scouting out a place for a photo shoot is the perfect excuse to take a couple photos of myself.  Not only do I get to fool around with the camera settings for that particular area and test out potential backdrops, but I get to see how the photos there are best or easily edited.  

Yesterday I headed out to an area that I found the better part of eight months ago in the beginning of winter when snow was falling.  I knew when I found it I would keep it in mind for photo sessions.  With an upcoming senior and family photo session next week planned at this location I wanted to come back and scout out the scenery while the leaves are green and in evening light.  

Below I took a self portrait of myself.  They are exceedingly difficult without a tripod.  In this instance I rested the camera on the rock wall that lined the trail and specifically focus on the camera on where I anticipated sitting.  After about 30 practice shots I finally had one I thought I could work with.  ...there is nothing more difficult than setting up the camera, pressing the shutter, and running to where I was to sit in the ten seconds the timer allots.  Phew.

This is straight out of the camera.  Under exposed, uneven light, and shadows across half of my face... but I still saw potential and knew I could work with it.  So, to Photoshop I went with this photo!

And this is the end result...

How I edited this photo:

1. Adjusted the exposure. 
2. Added a layer mask to adjust the exposure over parts of my face to reduce the shadows.
3. Adjusted the color balance to make is less blue.
4. Sharpened it slightly
5. Dodged my eyes to take out a little more shadow
6. Burned parts of the tree branches, rocks, and slightly along my pants and belly.  
7. Added a texture with 100% overlay.  
This one, from Shadow House Creations

And there you have it! 

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