Challenge: Free Study 2009-01 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Location: Birmingham, England
Date: Jan 30, 2009
Galleries: Floral, Children
Date Uploaded: Jan 30, 2009
|I wanted to do something a bit more 'arty' this month and decided I would photograph a flower on hands against a leather background - I was going to call it 'Natural Materials', but the shot evolved in an unexpected way.
The hands are actually my 8 year old son's since the flower was very small and I needed it to look bigger. I used a single softbox over a studio flash for the lighting.
It was only once I took the photo did I notice the boy was a total grub! His hands were really dirty - especially under his fingernails, so I edited to that - cropped first, then desaturating and taking down the luminance of red and magenta, blue and cyan, upped yellow, upped the black point and the contrast (master, definition and 3 tonal width levels). This was all done in Aperture 2 - then I round-tripped it to Photoshop CS4 for 'Smart Sharpen' - it does a better job than the Aperture sharpen tool and a tweak to curves and levels.
There wasn't much left of the leather background by this point so back in Aperture I cloned out a few highlights that remained in the background. All that was left to do was some highlight recovery on the flower and increase the exposure and vibrancy until the flower looked OK and removed one or two tiny stray fibres.
I'm really surprised how black the hands became through the application of the above process and how old his hands look as a consequence too.
Overall though, I love the high contrast and the imagery it conjures up when I look at it. I hope others enjoy it too; I need another 6+ for my front page, so here's hoping!
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