JN’s Special Sauce

With the weddings off my plate for 2006 and the continued design of albums in queue, I revisited some images from a wedding that I had earlier this year. I stumbled upon this image again after gathering the images for a wedding album. My process of designing albums starts with gathering the favorites that the couple selected. I will then cut them down to the desired amount for the album. In my edit of these images I came upon this…

It’s a decent image that’s underexposed and lacks in contrast. I shoot in raw so, this image has more dynamic range than what is rendered. Meaning, that I can adjust this image to look correctly exposed and have more contrast amongst the other possiblilities, without degrading the file in anyway. I originally presented this image in black and white to the client. After looking at it, I felt that it would have more appeal if I created more drama. I worked on the image, sent a few images to be critiqued by a fellow photographer and tweaked it to get the final result with guidence from my online buddy. My final version is a bit more contrasty than what I was originally going for but, I think the contrast and color really creates a cool look. For me, the editing side of the world really enables alot of creative opportunities. This is why I really love what I do and it’s what keeps me pushing me to create new images. If I was a film guy then, I’d be processing my own prints and finding new ways to push it’s boundries. With the digital world in full swing, the capability to create altered realities is boundless.

Also, in the creation of this image I selected from the horizon to the top of the picture and created a layer. I then used PS to bring back the highlights and burn the shadows. A particular tool that makes this significantly easier is graphics tablet that I have. It’s a pen that is used in place of a mouse and allows a greater control of pressure and precision. The masters of the past used special tools to dodge and burn the light from the enlarger. Today we can reproduce the same effect with no paper and chemical costs but, your creative will and time will possibly be infinite.

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