creating dramatic images #2 / 23 September, 2013 [click for previous image: Milan Wedding #5]
creating dramatic images #2 / 23 September, 2013 [click for next image: untitled #158]
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Title • creating dramatic images #2

I ran one of my favourite workshops over the weekend: Creating Dramatic Images. It's a two day event, designed to provide students with a good understanding of Photoshop, from both a technical and creative point of view. So it's not just about tools and techniques - the 'what and the how' of Photoshop - it's also about why: why you might want to change an image in a particular way, how to edit it to tell a more convincing story, and so on.

We start with a discussion about the nature of dramatic images, how post-production should be seen as an integral part of the photographic process (not just something you bolt on the end), and how to develop a workflow for post-production where technical competence is very firmly in service of creative and aesthetic intent, not an end in it's own right.

On Sunday we work through a whole range of tools and techniques (Curves, masks, toning, Lab Color mode, and so on), but on Saturday afternoon we head down to the seafront for a couple of hours shooting. One of the briefs I give the students is to shoot something bland: not because there's any intrinsic merit in shooting deliberately dull images, but because they're great to use to illustrate the power of Photoshop. So, as it was a dull afternoon, I got the students to shoot the (rather flat) sea and (rather dull) sky.

This shot was my version, and if you take a look at the original you'll see that it doesn't appear to have a great deal of merit (other than the fact that the composition's OK). Once processed though it tells a much more interesting story.

shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
4.13pm on 21/9/13
Sony DSC-RX1
aperture priority
Camera Raw
minor rotation
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