Friday, May 20, 2011

Photographing and Photoshopping

I have been doing a lot of photographing lately, which always leads to a lot of Photoshoping.  I can't help it.  I am pretty good with taking pretty decent photographs.  Mostly I take a TON of pictures and something ends up looking good.


Example: A friend asked me to take pictures of her daughter and friends before the big 8th grade graduation dance.  In about an hour I had over 100 images on my camera.  Technically, I took more than that because I always delete the really bad shots whenever there is a lull. 

 I am always SO happy when a shot just WORKS compositional, partly because I "got the shot" but also because I won't feel the need to overly photoshop the image so it saves me a lot of time.
 Each of these pictures only needed a little cropping, maybe a little more contrast (to brighten them up because it was dark and rainy that night), and then I do LOVE applying the lens correction filter for the darker border effect.
Do you remember what it was like to be in 8th grade?  You feel SO grown and yet SO scared of growing up.  These kids all had boutonnieres and corsages for their dates.  This was understandably the first occasion for all of them to pin a flower onto another human being and to up the pressure there were 4 or 5 couples and each had their parents their.  So they were pinning flowers to their date in front of an audience.  With me documenting the whole ordeal.  I cringed a little for the magnitude of the angst filled social customs that being set before them. Multiply that by however many cell phones were also being used to capture the moment and square the figure for each time it was instantly uploaded to Facebook.  That is WAY more than I ever had to go through!  My favorite thing was that each kid had to pose while pinning the flowers and then inevitably the moms were called in to fix the unsuccessfully pinned flowers.

In the end, they all looked so pretty, and so grown up!

Speaking of growing up, I went to the graduation for the friend that I mentioned in yesterday's post. 

This is another image that didn't need much work.  I was waiting for the kids to toss their caps after they were officially graduated.  I decided just to start clicking away and that way I would get the image at various stages of caps in the air.  They never tossed the hats, but several kids had confetti poppers.  If I hadn't been waiting for the hats I would have missed the confetti altogether.  My original image had it, but with Photoshop I bumped up the contrast, making the dark background even darker and more solid (originally you could see all the empty seats). and showing off the confetti.  I did use the clone stamp (another of my favorite tools) to fill in a little more confetti and then I saturated the colors a little more to show it off.

I LOVE my new (almost 3 years old, does than still count as new) camera.  It is not an SLR, but does zoom pretty well.  I haven't had much luck with really zoomed pictures, but I got lucky on this on.  The graduate was in a sea of people.  It took a while to find her and I wasn't sure she would even turn in my direction, but I was up high and willing to click away.  I got lots of blurry pictures, weird faces, and views of the back of her head, but at one point the crowd parted and there she was, going in for a hug.  I LOVE that she is the only person in red or in cap and gown in this shot.
 Here is another of my favorites.  Different from the single hug in a sea of faces effect in the last image, I know that most of the faces in this picture are close family members.  I love that you can tell it was a lot of chaotic energy, but everyone is so happy and so proud of this one graduate. I like that this one seems to tell a story.
 Here is the graduate's little sister and one of Lydia's best friends.  This is after the graduation.  It was late.  I'm sure she was bored. She had been doing flips under the railing.  It struck me as such a perfect, younger sibling kind of thing to do.
 Which one's the mother, which one's the daughter?  To lovely and very proud women, so another that did not need anything but cropping.

I tried to get a shot of our girl in the processional, but no luck.  I was about to put my camera away and then I remembered one of my favorite pictures of my mom.  My dad took it during her college graduation.  She is sitting in her row, but she turned around in her seat, found my dad in the crowd, and smiled.   

I remembered my own graduation and how, once I got to my row, I started looking around to see where my family was sitting.  I followed her with my lens, and waited, and hoped that she would look around. 

She started to turn and I was excited that I would at least have a shot with her face in it.  And then it happened.  She began to turn.  She scanned the crowd. She saw all of us.  She beamed.....
 and I got the shot!

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