Welcome to this episode of In Focus
These episodes allow us to talk in more detail about some of the technical aspects of the images we produce and provide you with some help, tips and tricks on making the most of your own images.
This weeks episode will be with our beautiful model Eva who’s nearly 7. This image was taken on a sunny winters day in Alice Holt Forest and it’s an image we all see many times as mummies and daddies. While we walk, sometimes we remember to lift up our point’n’shoots or our smartphones and capture this very type of image. While it’s lovely in itself, it’s not really jumping out at us or saying much in the way of a story. This week we’ll show you how to achieve all those things in just a few simple steps.
Our First Stage
There’s nothing wrong with this image, but some things are just a little flat and aren’t standing out. As this is a portrait, we need Eva to stand out and be the centre of attention regardless of what Eva’s doing. We see Eva’s getting a little lost in the trees and we’re focusing on the Gruffalo and her ear muffs. So the first thing we need to do is start separating Eva from her surroundings.
Our Second Stage
99.9% of the work we do is colour manipulation and controlling the tones of our images. We don’t use Photoshop to manipulate our work so lifting Eva out of the shot is about managing the colours and lighting of the woods, ground and statue. While we want Eva to be the centre of our attention, we still need her to be part of the background so a fine balance is needed. In this image we’ve toned down the browns and increased the colour range of the blues and pinks. This has lifted Eva nicely, but it’s looking a little flat!
Our Third Stage
In order to keep the focus of the viewer, we need to re-introduce the depth of the image after it being a little flat. We’ve achieved this by adding contrast and careful manipulations of the shadows and blacks within the image. We’ve also toned down distracting highlights which has brought the eye straight back to Eva and how she’s interacting with her surroundings. This image now stands out, it pop’s into the eye and makes you feel the subject is Eva without losing the story of her and the Gruffalo.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it’s given you something to think about your own images and snapshots. A professional image isn’t always about the studio, fancy equipment or exciting subject. More often than not, it’s about taking something as simple and normal as a Sunday walk and making it feel that little bit better.