As a certified Photoshop Ninja; we have always felt that an image is worth a thousand words; but when that image is given the loving attention care and codling through the post-processing process the images can really sing. Taking the image through the process of leveling, recovery, saturation, color correction, exposure balancing, etc we can make images look even more amazing than it did out of the camera.
Recently we were asked by one of our amazing couples what the difference was with an image out of the camera and post processed; they were avid photographers too and simply wanted to see the difference. So below we have provided a few examples of what we did to the images to get that Photographick look 🙂
Selective saturation and coloring: First and foremost a proper exposure is required; if this image was never shot at f18 the sky would have blown out to white rendering a completely different look (in all likelihood one without a sky). Also notice the angle; if this was taken at an even angle in front or parallel to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial you would have seen hundreds of tourists as opposed to the 3-5 that can currently be seen when squinting. So a proper exposure and angle are paramount because without those it is impossible to get a beautiful image in post production. To make this image really sing we had to do selective saturation to make the sky darker and richer; to pop out our beautiful couple and provide a little pop to the Lincoln Memorial. So using selective saturation and selective contrast we were able to provide an image that had more impact and color. We also sharpened the brides dress ever so slightly so the eye is immediately drawn to the couple and not the beautiful surroundings. At this point we could have removed the lingering 3-5 people but decided the image had more impact with them left in looking on to our beautiful couple.
Colorize: We found a beautiful ally in Georgetown that we thought would lend for a great lit photograph. So we placed our light behind our grooms leg out of sight and slightly bumped up to provide a little color. Unfortunately if we were to increase the output on the flash itself the light would wrap around our couple and render them completely red; not a color that normally looks good on a couple. So again while shooting we had to ensure that there was consistent but minimal color coming out of our flash head exposing correctly for the couple and ensuring that they are not lost in the dark background. While post processing we were able to selectively choose the dark red color and expand it over the frame to make it look as if the color washed over the entire image. From there we slightly increased the saturation and contrast of the overall image to make sure it popped. We then added a slight vignette to the image to make the corners darker and allow the eye to focus on the couple.
Multiple exposures: Unfortunately we do not live in New York City where there are hundreds of people walking around the city at any given moment; so we had to improvise by combining multiple exposures into one using post production. Essentially we shot about 6-8 frames of this image over a two minute span to get as many additional actors in the image as possible. The goal was to make the image look as if our couple was in the middle of a busy street simply fixed on each other as if nothing else in the world mattered. In the movie Sideways there was a similar concept in the subway where everyone else in the world is passing the main actress Virginia Madison by and she is simply still. Same concept but different location; so we took 6-8 frames over a two minute period found the image of the couple that we loved the most and was at most in focus (each image taken at a slow shutter speed to ensure there was a blur created from the cars and people walking behind) and then blended the other images into a single frame to look as if there was a tremendous amount of traffic and people around. We added plenty of cars and people to make the moment look more hectic than it actually was.