Post-Processing: Tilt-Shift Effect

Shot my friend’s engagement last weekend.  Finally getting around to post processing the batch of photos (while watching Strikeforce on Showtime right now… who says dudes can’t multitask?!).

The weather was nice for the first part of it; being winter in Minnesota, whenever the sun comes out, we consider that nice (even though it was still below freezing).  It got pretty cold out, once the sun started to go down, so even though I had all these great plans, I ran into some issues with my batteries in my flash triggers not working very well in the cold (not to mention how miserable my friends Matt & Melanie were in the frigid cold).   We scrambled over some rough and icy terrain making our trip a little bit of an adventure, but for the most part, we got some good shots.  I definitely am still learning every time I go out though.

So here’s a shot from that outing:

Olympus E620 & 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0, 32mm, 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100

Some people are satisfied with the JPEGs they get straight out of the camera; I shoot in raw though.  Basically, the difference is, the raw format (which is different for each brand of camera) is an uncompressed image comparable to film negative from back in the day, and JPEGs are the compressed version.  Raw gives you more latitude to manually adjust some settings afterwards(white balance, exposure, levels, sharpness, etc), giving you the flexibility to enhance your image during post processing (I use Adobe Lightroom 2 or Adobe Camera Raw), similar to what photographers did in the darkroom back in the days of film, albeit a lot easier.  JPEGs lock in these settings in camera, and save a compressed version of the image; making the image require less hard drive space, but getting rid of a lot of the image information that the raw format keeps and allows you to adjust.

For the photos I’m posted below, I did the basic adjustments to the exposure, levels, and sharpness, but to get the tilt shift effect, I boosted the saturation/vibrance and followed the tutorial at: http://www.tiltshiftphotography.net/photoshop-tutorial.php

When I took the image, it was shot into the sun, which reduced the amount of sharpness in the photo, and it was underexposed due to the shadows the light cast.  Obviously, if I had properly exposed it in camera, I’d be able to shoot in JPEG and not worry about shooting raw.  But, when I get to that level, I wouldn’t have to keep writing this blog with my lessons learned ;).

Overall, I like the the tilt-shift effect.  It really works better for shots with angles taken from higher above, but I think it worked out okay for this one.  In any case, here’s the before and after of the photo (the after is shown above, but here it is side by side).

Before and After Post Processing

Alright, I guess I gotta get back to more post-processing and watching of grown men beating each other up!

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