August 2009

To Photoshop, Or Not To Photoshop… That Is The Question..?

How much post production is too much? I love using Photoshop and it seems once I start working on a project whether its a photo or marketing material it seems all too easy to get a bit carried away with the post production process. When it comes to photography most “purists” believe there should be as little editing as possible, whilst me on the other hand… I believe its all relative. If you’re doing editorial work or stock photography you tend not to do as much in the way of touching up, but when it comes to glamour, particular shooting techniques and specifically themed photography there’s much more that can be done.

For example I took this photo of a Hindu wooden statue in Bali.

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Only after reviewing the photo on a larger screen did I realise that there was a spider on the cheek of the female statue. Using the clone tool that was removed very quickly from the scene. Next I wanted to focus on the intricacy of the carving and the detail in the headdress of the statue so I further emulated depth of field blurring using the Gaussian blur tool to bring focus to the female statue. I then enhanced the shadows and highlights after manipulating the curves and used the burn and dodge tool. Finally, I added an artificial vignette and a soft sepia tone to age the final image. All in all, layer after layer, this was the final result:

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After having spend 15 minutes post producing this photo the final results are very different, and I’m still torn as to which would’ve been better. The raw image or this manipulated one? I guess after all it is up to personal taste at the end of the day… only this time I’m left sitting on the fence…

:: Nano Tank

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The residents of the tank are “Juggernaut” the Coral Banded Shrimp, a Royal Gramma (that Tash has dubbed Pocky because he looks like he’s a yellow fish dipped in purple paint much like the Pocky biscuits dipped in chocolate) and last but not least, a small Ocellaris Clownfish. Yes, yes… it’s a Nemo fish…

Here’s a couple of pics of the tank. I’ll be adding more corals once the setup and settled down and the chemical levels are just right.

   

After posting on Facebook a request for name suggestions for the Coral Banded Shrimp, I didn’t quite get the participation that I was expecting! One suggestion was “Ha Gao” which is the name of a Chinese dim sum steamed dumpling that has a shrimp ball inside it! Not wanting to scare the Shrimp into a premature death I decided to stick with Juggernaut…

 

As mentioned in my previous posting I have just recently setup a Saltwater Nano Tank. It is a small ecosystem that is filled with Sand, Live rock (meaning it has colourful bacteria on it that breaks down waste), corals and a fish. The tank is only 10 gallons and has a small power head for water movement and to create a gentle current for the corals to be able to filter feed on micro organisms as they flow past.