<<< o >>>recalculating #2 12 comments + add yours

One of the post-production questions I'm often asked is "how do you know when to stop?", and there isn't an easy answer, at least not when you're relatively inexperienced. For example, when I first started blogging – back in the days when I was posting an image a day – I used to stop working on an image when I ran out of time. At that point I might not have created the best possible image or version, but I stopped and posted it anyway.

These days I can normally work my way through an image and end up with a version that I'm a) happy with, and b) fairly confident is better than the alternatives. On this occasion though I've worked through a whole range of alternatives, all of which I've liked, but none of which have really stood out as being noticeably superior to the others.

So, as an alternative to spending a good part of today reprocessing this one yet again, here's the 'cold' version. There was a black and white version (which I discarded because my previous shot of the same scene was in black and white), a warmer version (which didn't really fit with the overall mood I was trying to create), and a Lab Color version (which I couldn't get quite right), any of which you might have preferred, but it's Sunday and I'll probably end up in trouble with the 'powers that be' if I spend any more time working on this one rather than "doing something useful" ;-)

shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
5.31pm on 15/4/11
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
aperture priority
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
2x1 + children [portraits] + show the original
comment by Gusztav at 09:45 AM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

looks better in color. great shot. I like the depth of field.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 10:50 AM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

Yes. This color version is much stronger than its black and white predecessor. And the clear focus on Rhowan's face draws me in to her story...for which the red lines definitely underscore. A masterful job.

comment by Carlos Garcia at 11:00 AM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

I like both images David. The colors on the blackboard compliment the colors that Rhowan is wearing... nice contemplative moment.

comment by Jim Denham at 02:28 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

Definitely a different feel to it than the black and white from yesterday. More contemplative than emotional and the colors really add to whole frame!

comment by James Howe at 02:41 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

It's amazing how relatively small changes can make a big change in the image. The original image being brighter around the edges does not draw my eye into the image as much. With a bit of darkening, particularly on the left side my eyes are drawn right into the image. I think I prefer this color version to the b&w, but each has its attractions.

comment by andrey samolinov at 04:18 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

Nice composition and depth of field + fine postprocessing = Beautiful picture

comment by Jessica Sweeney at 07:27 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2011

I like the processing of this one a lot. Seems just right for the image.

comment by Pavan Kaul at 03:59 AM (GMT) on 18 April, 2011

Fabulous shot David and beautifully processed!!

comment by Chris at 05:05 AM (GMT) on 18 April, 2011

Both images are good and creative. I like this one more than the first one. I enjoy the treatment you gave the image as well as how you captured it. The bold colors and softness works very well.
By the way, what happens to you if you get in trouble, as you mentioned in your description? :)

comment by djn1 at 07:09 AM (GMT) on 18 April, 2011

Thanks everyone :)

Chris: I get a gentle reminder that I'm also one of the parents of our children :)

comment by street photography at 09:20 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2011

The image looks nice. The colors of the images are beautifully complimentary to each other.

comment by Michael Tuuk at 02:54 AM (GMT) on 7 May, 2011

Amazing transformation. Would love to know how you fixed the board to match the lit portion to the shadow portion. Just showed the image to some my children -- they love it.