Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Digital Resurrection

Okay, so this is officially my very first blog post for Made You Look Photography, and I can only hope that I do the company justice. For those of you that know me personally, I readily admit to being a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my art. Photography is my way of expressing myself and bringing out the true beauty in my subject whether it is an object or a person. There is beauty everywhere, and my personal mission is to make it displayable for all the world to see. Yeah, I'm not totally sure that 'displayable' is a real word, but I'm going to go with it for all intensive purposes. It's safe to say that making you look not good but amazing is my ultimate goal. I love doing it! I thrive on it!

All of that being said, I have discovered a new way to resurrect digital images that otherwise would have been discarded due to over or underexposure. Sure, it's important to constantly check your camera settings, but sometimes the perfect pose comes just when I'm testing my shutter speed and/or ISO. Don't know what I'm talking about? All you really need to know is that the perfect setting can create the perfect picture. It's an art in itself just to get it set right. However, sometimes the sun comes back out unexpectedly while I'm snapping away and changes everything. For those times, I now know a solution. Oh, I'm not going to give away my secret formulas to fixing the pictures; just know that I have figured it out and am completely excited about it!!

Please bear with me a moment and allow me to show you what I mean. The following photograph has been completely unaltered with the exception of my newfound "fixit" technique. Will there be more to getting it ready for print? According to my photography OCD, yes, but that's just the perfectionist in me again.

I am constantly studying and learning my craft. Trust me, there's a lot to learn. I have not been in the business for years on end like a lot of the photographers who's work I admire, but I do think that I am growing with each click of the camera. It's very exciting to see something that takes your breath away and realize that you are the one who created it.

While I'm running on and on to fit so much into my first blog, I might as well get to another very important point: retouching. I've heard the arguments that if a photo is retouched at all then it is not a true work of art. I call malarkey on that claim. Some of the most amazing pictures that I have ever seen have been retouched and/or tweaked in some way, shape, or form. The fact is that our cameras do not always see what our eyes do. Eyes are fantastic in that they automatically adjust to any and all situations. They can focus on the tiniest thing in an instant and can have an incredible depth of field. While sophisticated and clever designs of digital cameras are always being created, they have yet to duplicate the exact ability of the human eye. Therefore, occasionally a picture may need a little boost to produce the emotion that the photographer felt when caught up in the moment of capture. Let's face it, photography is in fact an art, and art is subject to opinion based on who is viewing it.

Now that I've got that out of my system, let me show you a little about the process of retouching in my "lab." I would never want to blatantly call someone else out by displaying their raw images, so I used my own. Yes, this is a "hold your arm out as far as you can" picture taken with my trusty little purse camera otherwise commonly known as a "point and shoot." It's served me well, and while I would never use it during a session (that's what my Canon 50D is for ^_-), it works perfectly for simple examples such as this. Please note the difference in the Before, During, and After images. There is skin smoothing, blemish removing, color enhancing, and (my favorite) facial feature enhancements.

That's it for now. Please check out my fan page on Facebook. Simply type in Made You Look Photography in the search box or click on the following link: