I was browsing through youtube (as usual) and I came across a video by Jessica Kobeissi where she edited the same photo in 5 different styles. The editing/post-processing is generally one of my favourite part of my work so I wanted to jump into this and give it a go straight away.
Editing is a really important step in creating your own style, so it was weird to step out of my comfort zone and explore a bit. Yesterday morning I took some self portraits – the first in my new house – so I thought this was a great excuse to play around with the edit and see what I could do.
The edit of an image can involve many different processes, but here I focussed only on non-destructive methods – so, colour grading and curves. None of these images have any kind of texture / retouching / liquify / cloning done. It’s mostly just simple grades in Adobe Photoshop.
So let’s get down to it…
Here is the original image. The light is fairly flat which gives quite a nice base to work with, but in general it just needs a bit of magical colour grading to bring it to life.
Light & Airy
The first edit I tried was light and airy. For this edit I kept the colouring fairly muted, lifted up the shadows and squashed the highlights a little. I wanted it fairly low contrast. For the colouring I took out a lot of the yellow to make the tones colder and desaturated / hued the green in the skirt so that it wasn’t quite so harsh.
I have ended up really liking this edit! It might just be my favourite.
For the moody edit, everything was made much darker through curves. Using the same method (and layer masks) I also deepened the shadows and darkened the lips. For colour grading, I kept the tones cool and fairly desaturated. I added blues into the highlights and browns into the shadows.
Yay! A bit of colour back! Those first few were very desaturated so for the next edit I wanted to see how much colour I could add to the image without pushing it too far. That’s up for debate, but I love how summery this photo becomes now that there are warmer more saturated tones. As you can see I added some colour to the lips, warmth to the top and more saturation/hue to the skirt. In general, I also added reds into the shadows and a teal colour into the highlights.
Grungy Black + White
Ah, man. Black and white can transform an image, can’t it? In this edit I mostly played with curves to darken the image and keep light on the face, as well as lifting the blacks. It looks completely different, doesn’t it?!
Finally, I did a quick edit of my own. This is how I have edited most of that gallery adding slight cyan and khaki tones, still with a soft muted kind of feel to it.
And there we have it – 1 images edited 5 different ways. Generally when I am editing an image/gallery I do something similar to this to work out what I like the best, but it was nice to commit to it a bit more and see them all side by side.
Which one is your favourite?
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I’ve thought about writing about the books I read for a little while now, and went back and forth whether or not to include it in this blog. But, you know, this blog is my place on the internet so I think it’s the right place for this to go. I am a *fairly* slow reader and I procrastinate reading – So here goes, here are the three books I finished in January this year.
January has been a good reading month, for me three books is a big achievement. Last year I slowed down with reading for a lot of the year and was in a bit of a reading slump.
Hello and happy belated Halloween! A friend of mine very kindly got me this huge amazing pumpkin from her family’s patch and I needed to do something with it this Halloween. This was pretty fun to make and upload. Halloween isn’t usually my thing – I love all the cute spooky decorations, and I can get on board with the dressing up, but actual scary things are not my cup of tea. Do you celebrate Halloween – if so, how? Jas x
Looking at my well-used and 6 year old Canon 6D with a cracked screen and missing the odd dial or two, I realised it was probably the right time to look into updating my photography kit. I always thought that doing so would be completely impossible with my finances, but then I discovered you could buy things on finance and it was like a choir of angels shining down on me and saying ‘what goodies would you like to play with?’. I looked into switching to a Sony mirrorless camera A LOT. I got a lot of different opinions, and the new A7iii sounds pretty amazing. However, in the end I decided to get another faithful Canon 6D as I love it a lot, and frankly, it was a third of the price too. BUT because I saved (ish) on my camera body, a part of me whispered ‘…but…. I could get a new lens?’.
Ever since I bought the Sigma 35mm ART f1.4 a few years ago, it hasn’t really left my camera. I completely fell in love with it, and after all this time I’m still so impressed with it. However, shooting only at 35mm has it’s limits. As it’s a little wide angle, I found shooting full body portraits and portraits from a distance a bit of a struggle. Not impossible, but I’d lose a bit of sharpness and the distortion from the lens would start to get quite obvious. I follow the amazing photographer Rekha Garton, and she recommended a 100mm lens. I thought – wow 100mm? My immediate thoughts where: a) I bet that shoots beautiful un-distorted portraits b) I also bet I’ll have to stand REALLY far back compared to my 35mm and c) I could take a macro picture of a bug, y’know, if I ever wanted too.
If I was going to spend the money on a new lens, the least I could do was get something that was vastly different to my 35mm so that I could try something new, but also had a few more options and strings to my bow. And so, the Canon 100mm f2.8 IS was added to my basket and arrived at my door. It was like an early Christmas day.
The first few pictures I took where… yes, okay, they where of a flower. With the 35mm, you have to stand quite far back to focus, but with this lens you can get right up and personal with the macro. I said ‘look how close up I can get ?’ quite a few times, I’m pretty sure.
It’s so different from my 35mm. I love the photojournalistic feel of those images, and this lens is going to take some getting used to. However, all in all, I’m really happy with it.
I took it out for a bit of a spin photographing myself at the park. It’s SO. SHARP. My full body portraits look so different but in a great way.
This morning I took my fiance out to do something similar too…
It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can create with it. New kit is inspiring! Everytime I take an image I’m excited about what result I will get.
What’s your favourite lens? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear.
Earlier on this year I was wandering around the Tate Modern looking for new inspiration. I have to say, out of anywhere I’ve been – the Tate is pretty much the perfect place to be inspired to start a new project. As well as all the wonderful art, my favourite part of the Tate Modern is probably – the book shop downstairs. Oh. Man. I could (and did) spend hours in there browsing the different collections of books. If I could, I would visit every day and buy more and more and MORE.
In the end I came away with a book called ‘The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas’ – filled with ideas of small projects to widen your horizons, inspire you creatively and push yourself to try new things in photography. It seemed the perfect way to experiment which was exactly what I wanted.
And then… I forgot about it, and life got in the way a little bit. But last week on facebook, someone posted about buying this and I thought *hang on, I have this, right?* and there I was, excited to try things all over again. I want this blog to be a bit more experimental as well as showing the regular kind of portrait and documentary work I usually do, to show the process of learning photography as well the final results.
And so, here’s the first assignment I attempted –
by Anna Schechter on page 300
This assignments involves taking fifteen minutes to scroll through your phone and choose 5 – 10 images that where never intended to be connected but could make a body of work.
The series I created was small moments I had captured on my phone this year which bought me joy, that I photographed wanted to remember but ultimately they sat on my phone doing nothing. These days we take so many photos and they get lost in the digital void, but these are the little moments that ground me.