Just a fleeting shutter...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One of  my favorite hobbies on the weekend or during free time is to capture photos of landscape, people, things, etc.  I love photography and processing them after each shooting session.  With makeup, color accuracy is extremely important so the use of Photoshop is very limited.  The good thing about regular landscape or even wedding photos is the ability to capture quick raw moments that you can later enhance with Photoshop.

For every 100 pictures taken, you can usually use 10-25% of the images at most.  This accounts for blurry photos that can't be salvaged, vignetting, strange angles, or simply someone stepping into the shot while you're capturing a scenery.  Sometimes you can take images that look so ordinarily dull that you end up not giving it a second glance.  Adobe Photoshop is a great tool to correct lighting, add filter, or simply add a new perspective/angle to otherwise forgotten photos. However, that's not to say you should use photoshop for every single photo. That defeats the general purpose of photography.

Here I have a couple of images to share with you. I took these during our honeymoon in Europe last year where I added a new spin to each image using Photoshop. You'll notice all the watermarks are "Fleeting Shutter" which was from my old photography blog that I never got around to updating.

First up is a photo of a sign outside of Windsor Castle in England that shows the operating hours and cost of each ticket.  The day was cold and gloomy so this came out to be a very boring photo. I was using a fish eye wide lens angle so it captured everything surrounding the sign, which included a black gate and some odd looking building on the side.  Quite a distraction isn't it?

Using Photoshop, I focused the attention of the photo to just the sign. The image is now sharper, more vivid, and the brick has a rustic feel to it.  Since I wanted the viewer to solely focus on the sign, most of the gate and the side building is cropped out.

This shot was also taken inside the Windsor Castle but with a gate surrounding the castle. We couldn't go inside and could only admire from afar.  I found the gate intriguing especially with the man on a horse that looks like he's part of the spike. The original raw image is not too bad but I wanted more focus on a particular area of the castle.

To achieve the effect, I focused the light in the middle of the photograph through the spike. Now the viewer's vision is focus on the well lit area in the middle of the castle instead of looking at it from an overall perspective. This give an illusion as though a spotlight is shining right through the middle of the gate, lighting up the castle yard.

This was another shot taken while walking around London during our excursion. The building is absolutely stunning but there are too many people in the shot, the sky is rather gloomy, and once again too many distractions from side buildings.

Here I focused mainly on the building and played up the gloominess of the sky to give it an angry stormy look. The photo is intentionally made to look over processed, rustic, sharp, and a tad goth.

However, Photostop doesn't always have to sharpen or over process a photo. It can also be used to soften or romanticize images.  The image below is in Venice while I was sitting in a gondola.  Here we have too much sunlight in one part of the building while the other half is shaded.  I'm not sure the purpose of the photo at all because once again it's very distracting. The eyes are not focused on one particular element.

Instead of trying to focus on too many objects in the photo, I chose to use the light to my advantage and evenly distribute them throughout the building like a soft gradient.  Now the image has a soft look to it with the focus only on a gondola floating by a hotel.

One of the most interesting attractions in Venice was the Murano Glass factory which we got see during the trip.  They create spectacularly beautiful products in the shop all up for sale.  I saw this gorgeous tea set in a glass case and had to take a photo of them.  However, the bright lighting turned most of the products yellow and way too bright. Not to mention once again the distractions on the side with the casing and other products.

I restored the colors, took out the side images and focused solely on the tea sets so now the viewer knows exactly what the image is trying to convey.  You can do this by carefully playing with the filters, brightness/contrast, and other aspects in Photoshop.  

Last but not least, a view from the top of the Effeil Tower of the city of Paris and the beautiful garden below.  There is simply nothing wrong with this image.  However, ask yourself what is your eye focused on most when looking at this photo. Is it the gate? The buildings on the side? The sky? Or the the several heads at the bottom of the image?

If I were to use this image as a poster to emphasize the beautiful garden, I would want the image to direct the attention of the viewer to a green luscious garden.  I increased the intensity of the green plants/grasses, and focus the light right in the middle of the garden.  The picture is much sharper and you won't notice the gate as much as before.  In fact, the sky is also cropped out along with the people at the bottom. This way you don't have a far depth of vision of the sky that distracts you from the center of the photo.

As you can see, Adobe Photoshop is a great tool to enhance photos for many different purposes.  I hope this is an entertaining post to all of you as a nice break to the usual makeup reviews.   

Would you be more interested in seeing photography posts on the blog or just on makeup?


Maria Elizabeth said...

Awesome photos! I agree that Photoshop is great. Many people seem to think that it's only used to airbrush models.

Dina (XYYan) said...

I love you enhanced the photos with photoshop, stunning! :)

Nic Nic said...

ahh I really liked Windsor Castle when we went there last Month. I like your photoshopping skills hehe


wow, great photos, photoshop rocks!

PinkOrchids said...

Wow i'm impressed!! You made Windsor castle look haunting!! Ah the gloomy cold weather... typical England! =).x.

♔ MW said...

the pics are gorgeous!!!

Rainy Days and Lattes said...

Gorgeous photos. The castles are just breathtaking :) you are so good at what you do. I wish you could make me a calendar for work!

kali said...

These photos are BEAUTIFUL! And that photo where you were sitting on the gondola -I'm so sure I've been to that exact spot.. so gorgeous.

Kristie said...

Rainy Days and Lattes - Thank you! You're too kind.

Kali - Really? That's so cool. Which is your fav Italian city?

mixandmatchmakeup said...

All of your pictures are beautiful! You're very talented! :)

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