A Little Creative Push…

As a teacher of photography, I can sometimes be so focused on nurturing my students creativity that I often forget about stretching my own creative muscles. I have really been making an effort this last week or so by entering some photographic competitions and also spending a day at The Baldessin Press studio in St Andrews (thanks Silvi Glattauer!). I have a few ideas brewing in my mind for a series but feel like I need a little extra encouragement to get going. Luckily I have some amazing people around me that have given me a much needed but gentle prod in the right direction. The wonderful Deb Dorman has created a group meet-up for creatives so that we can support and encourage one another but also be accountable in moving forward.  She has also come up with some monthly challenges, of the creative kind, to help us get those muscles back into shape. I really need to just get shooting again, simple as that!

There are so many opportunities to enter photography competitions at the moment, which is great. I have just been re-editing an old image (below) for one of these comps where the image must provoke, arouse or challenge the viewer. It is a very confronting image that I hope will provoke some conversation around the issues of domestic abuse.

On a creative note…It is amazing how differently I have edited the image this time. Shows I have come a long way in the last few years.

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An insight into image processing…

I am running some photoshop workshops next month and thought I would give a little insight into some of my workflow when editing images.

At the bottom of the page are some before and after images.

For information on upcoming PHOTOSHOP workshops click here


The RAW image…

_DSC4040 as Smart Object-1

I will often process my RAW file (in the RAW converter) so that the image is flatter than originally shot. This will make the image appear flat. I only do this if I am taking the image into photoshop for further editing. This condenses the information towards the centre of the histogram and allows me to have greater control over the tones within photoshop. I always break down the image into ‘images within the image’. What does this mean? Well, it is important to understand that each element within your image has different tonal information. Working globally with adjustment layers may work well in one area of your image but make others too dark or light. You need to break your image down into separate elements and work with localised adjustments on the tonal information within EACH element. That means using masks for local, non destructive editing! With photoshop processing, the power of CURVES is unrivalled in giving you the most control over your tones. You can use the ‘on image targeted adjustment tool’ (this is the little hand symbol located on the curve properties box below) to locate the specific tonal information that you want to adjust. The curve can be used to lighten, darken or separate tones to create contrast. This can be a simple adjustment or an extremely complex one using a variety of selection and masking techniques.

Screen shot 2017-06-14 at 10.26.35 PM

Screen shot 2017-06-14 at 10.26.45 PM

Below – The layers palette with a series of named groups/folders to manage the multitude of adjustment layers used when editing/processing the various elements within an image. A good workflow is essential when processing your images in Photoshop.

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Before and after images…

_DSC4040 as Smart Object-1tea set_LR_sRGB

blog sue beforeSue_LR_sRGB

For information on upcoming PHOTOSHOP workshops click here

(Thanks to Sue from the Tea Set for allowing me to use the above images. See the tea set blog post here)