Sunday, March 30, 2014

Photo: Life On The Farm

Appreciating green pastures and a little red barn.

 Life On The Farm
Copyright Laura A Knauth, All rights reserved.
Please contact me for any usage or licensing options.
I relied heavily on the RAW file for this one to recover the detail in the sky (which would have been completely blown out white otherwise). That's just the start for me though these days, as I've been playing quite heavily with some Photoshop darkroom-esque techniques along with some LAB color tweaks. I'm still learning all about what you can do with LAB color, but I'll post the techniques I've had the most success with in a later post.

For this image, I spent quite a bit of time working on the midtone contrast, and sorting out groups of nearby tones (evening out local unexpected dark patches after applying adjustments to larger regions like the foreground or the sky). When doing this sort of thing, I've been filtering any black and white specific edits (like midtone contrast, dodging and burning), to dedicated luminosity layers to avoid adding funky colors. For those interested in seeing what kind of steps it took to arrive at this image, I included a snapshot of my Photoshop Layers window down below along with the image out of Adobe Bridge. It's not the most streamlined of flows, but hey, it's what I did. I'm still working to speed up the process so I have more energy to process more pictures!

The Palouse, Washington

Technical Info
Canon 50d
Canon 18-200mm Lens, 18mm
f/13, 1/20s, ISO 100

Circular Polarizer

Behold the Photoshop gymnastics in my layers window:

Laura Knauth's Photoshop workflow for "Life On The Farm"
... and these are just the layers left over from what ended up working. The ultimate goal is to have only adjustment layers (the lines that have the down pointing arrows) until the very end so any subsequent tweaks would propagate to the final image. The big break in the middle is where I copied over adjustments made to a copy of the image in LAB mode. Then I realized I wanted to make a few more adjustments and piled on another group of layers for the final product.

Image right out of Bridge:
Intermediate state of post-processing "Life On The Farm" : Copyright Laura A Knauth
I've been importing the picture in 'Neutral' mode to remove all camera color processing with the intention of having more color options as a later step in Photoshop (a default camera setting like Landscape mode would have had punchier colors at this point).

I always am curious to see people's before and after images. Hope this is a helpful comparison!

Blog Post by Laura A Knauth

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