Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Selective processing (ii)

Thought it would be interesting to try this technique on a couple of pictures where the people were actually quite large – as the people in the previous try (St Pierre’s Geneva) were tiny in relation to the whole pic.

This is a picture I took at Warwick Castle when I was trying to inject some human interest into my shot – and failing.

Warwick Castle - minimal processing

This shot has minimal processing – a little sharpening and contrast enhancement - the top is too dark, the people are lost in shadow (but just visible enough to attract attention) and it doesn’t have a real point of interest. So what can be achieved? First up I tried to increase the visibility of the people by lightening the lower half of the photo to  make it more consistent with the brightness of the wall. Tis was achieved quite simply in Lightroom using the Enhancement Brush tool.

Warwick Castle, Great Hall - emphasising visitors

This is a much nicer result  - it’s still not the greatest picture in the world, but it’s clearly about the people visiting the Great Hall and I quite like the juxtaposition of the mounted knight and the people walking around the exhibit.

Turning the lighting scheme on its head a bit gives the following interpretation:

Warwick Castle - Great Hall emphasising armoury display

The structure and scale becomes much more apparent with the opening up of the shadows in the ceiling, the armour in the wall display becomes the centre of focus and the people shadowy bit parts in a story of heritage.


This exercise takes me close to the idea of thinking of a RAW image as being like a musical score – all the basic info is there but it can be interpreted to give a range of outcomes depending on the mood of the photographer.

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