Just a simple and short blog this time. Over the past few years my photography skills are progressing in small steps. As you all know, photography is about light and of course the thing I have the most trouble with, is the lighting of my photo’s. For some reason I have so much problems getting the lighting right in most of my photo’s shot in unnatural light. My favorite source of light is -and always will be- the sun. And i’m still looking for the perfect lighting setup for in my small basement studio. Not only for the larger lights, but also concerning the smallest of light sources. So if anyone has any ideas/ tips on lights; please share in the comments.

Because of this all, I do use photoshop. Mostly to correct color, light and small things that disturb me. Sometime for special effects.

For example:
– In sunlight I don’t have to enhance photo’s that much;
Lego_4_009aThe original right out of the camera

Lego_4_009bThe end-result. I only applied a graduated neutral density filter and corrected the necklace a bit.

– This next photo took a bit more work, unnatural light

Lego_4_002a

Lego_4_002bThese are the two originals. I need two because of the ghost-effect. The only part of the first photo that will be used is the background of the ghost (and wire holding the ghost up), everything else will be the second photo.

Lego_4_002cFirst I removed some irritating reflections (the couch, tv, Dwaas arm, etc.) and I removed the brown brick in the left upper corner.

Lego_4_002dThe second photo is layered over the first photo and a mask is applied over the ghost, making the ghost transparent showing the first photo underneath (same goes for the wire holding up the ghost; this one is completely masked, showing the first photo underneath). Also I removed the reflection on he forehead of the bear. Another detail is something nobody will really notice I guess but I reconstructed the upper part of the remote and put that underneath the ghost his hand. A detail ‘m very happy with by the way 🙂

Lego_4_002eMaking the photo a bit darker.

Lego_4_002fI’m still not happy with the light, so I darkened the edges in the hope that the central part looks lighter.

Lego_4_002gStill not completely happy…. I darkened parts a bit more. Still not happy though. It looks a bit to smooth for my tast. For example; it almost looks like Dwaas’ hand is glowing.

Lego_4_002h The final photo; I optimized the contrast and darkened many parts in the photo. I wanted this photo to have a bit of a dark, gritty feel to it. It is Dwaas’ house after all, and he still lives like some kind of gloomy monster.

photoshop lego photography enhancement

So that’s it. Just two examples of my photo-enhancement techniques. I hope it enhances the feeling I want to transmit about the world Dwaas and his ‘friends’ live in.

I like the possibilities of enhancing photo’s without changing essential parts and hopefully in the (near) future) I can use less and less of it by enhancing my lighting-skills.

So, do you enhance (some) of your photos? Why (not)? Some people feel cheated by this kind of enhancement; do you?