In my Living Arrows post today I want to show you something I don’t often share. It’s a “straight out of camera” (aka SOOC) photo and I think it’s important to share because I believe there is a myth that beautiful photos are always just a camera upgrade away and if only you had that extra £500/£1000 to spend on a camera your pictures would be better too.
The biggest leap I ever made photographically was realising that a lot of photos are crafted outside the camera. Of course, sometimes when the light is fantastic and you have oodles of time and a willing model you can create something wonderful in camera, but my life isn’t like that!
I’ve got a 4 year-old who gets bored easily, a 2 month old who starts to cry about twenty seconds after the pram stops moving, dogs who get in the way of what I’m trying to shoot, and also as useful as it would be I don’t have a spare hand to carry a reflector with me!
So (deep breath) this is what I started with…
I think a great word to describe this would be “sludgy.” It’s dark, the colours don’t pop and there’s a few distracting elements in it. My eye is much more sophisticated than my camera and has a higher dynamic range, so this is not even a fair representation of what I was seeing either. (There’s a myth that the Jpegs from your camera are “true to life” they are not… but that’s another post, for another day)
Although I do 90% of my processing in Lightroom this one needed a lot of help so I worked in Photoshop. I started with my RAW image, and the firstly I got rid of the dog (which is more of a messy white blob!) over Theo’s left shoulder by using the clone tool. While I was at it I also got rid of the logo on his jacket, some of you may be thinking that’s a lot of effort, but it probably took me 20 seconds at most to do it and it gets rid of distracting parts of the photo. Next I adjusted the photo using Curves. Curves allows you to adjust the light and contrast in an image and I use it on most of my pictures. Then I boosted the saturation a bit and finally I sharpened it.