Selective processing and prominence

The final exercise of the course! I can’t believe  a year has gone by since I enrolled for People & Place . This exercise, funnily enough, is not about the actual taking of a photograph but altering it digitally to adjust the importance of people in their surroundings. I really do not do too much post manipulation, but as my confidence has grown using Lightroom & Photoshop , I have started to “dabble”  with my images more frequently, and quite enjoy it . I shoot Raw so therefore can make as many versions of the same images as I have the time and inclination to do so. My chosen image for this exercise has been digitally altered in Lightroom by  increasing  exposure and adjusting the tonal scale using the Tone curve control. I exported it to PS as a 16 bit Tiff file to adjust Levels, brightness and contrast, then finally sharpening and printing before saving a Jpeg file for Web use.

Although there is not a great difference between the 2 images I can see how the slight adjustments have subtlety altered the balance between people and place. I do not take many panoramic images, something I have struggled with throughout the course, preferring more closely composed images. The people in my first version almost blend into the beach, they are dark figures against a dark background, the Mount and the deep shades of the evening sky dominate the picture, the figures are incidental. By increasing the exposure and adjusting the tonal curves the dark tones of the beach and sky are lost making the walking figures more prominent. The deep hues of the sky created by the setting sun have been lost, this also detracts the attention from the setting somewhat. Digital manipulation,  used in an understated way, has altered the focal importance of what was already in the frame.

Version 1.

F11         1/4 sec    ISO 400           @17mm            Shade WB

Image 2.

+ 1 stop exposure.

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