Tackling Anti-Photoshop Debates
All right, so I wanted to start with an introduction to the photo shop I'm talking about post production before I go into editing my pictures from the lo fi and high production shoots yesterday s o why photo shop that got this picture here that's kind of like a breakdown of one of my compass it's going to be looking at more of those we looked at some of those obviously on day one I also wanted in this section talk a little bit about post production in terms ofthe thie debate surrounded as well because there seems to be a lot of debates about folk shop in terms of where where it should be used or what's acceptable and I just want to kind of that gives some food for thought on the different ways in which folk shop is used and how it's appropriate so folks shop can be used a lot to transform or just to tweak so this is, you know a simple point and obvious point but it's it means that bookshelf ultimately can be used a lot on a picture it can be a hole part ofthe your workflow that you int...
end to use your image is a za raw material for something that is going to be very different as an outcome or it could be something that is just going to tweak your pictures to make the best of them photoshopped can be used heavily on a picture to the point where it looks processed or heavily to the point where it does not look process. And this is something that I've realized with years as well, is that, you know you can you can do see pictures out there where there is the heavy, transformative element on that's, kind of obvious that the persons used that and then there, then there are times where they've used a lot of folks shot to make it look natural, and that happens a lot in particular in advertising and, well, some some forms of advertising on some forms of fine as well. Where there the artistry so is comes across so subtly that it looks effortless and that's in cases in law, fashion, photography, probably no doubt high fashion photographers like whose pictures you look at are going to be that that same caliber where the retouching is just very kind of undercover and that's, something that comes with skill and holding your skill over time, that shot could make which is not bad or good. So I think sometimes there is this debate about, you know, ugly use of photo shop should have used less vote shop, you know, essentially it's just told that you can use for good or bad, obviously that's down to taste it's not something that is fact an opinion, but there is a large, large element of skill as well involved in making images that are acceptable in the industry of advertising your fashion, where they deem it no suitable for that particular presentation of the image photoshopped resembles darkroom methods, makes him more accessible but does not necessarily make folk shop in easy option. So a lot of things we're doing in folk shop and even the compositing parts of it are things that have been done in days of dark room. It doesn't mean that folk shop is somehow making images more of a lie, it's something that is more accessible. So it means that this kind of transformer development of processing is going to be done more by photographers, but it doesn't necessarily make folk shop something that actually takes a picture and and works on itself and photoshopping something that is used by the person on dh. So I think sometimes there is a tendency to describe folk shop as a kind of process that's happening to a picture rather than the person who's applied those things to the picture so it's ultimately a tool it's a tool that we pick up on we use it's not a process that foot, so it was just kind of go through themselves and that's that's goes back to what I've been saying about everything, it's just all that we use on, we need to use as much as as much or as little as is appropriate on the judgement depends on skill, taste on genre. So, like I say, skill is something you home through, how you know how much you're using photoshopping, how better you get it tastes as well, you know, my images on the web, a nose for some people that might look too over the top, too much like they're blurring reality and fantasy that's just my taste and it's something that comes through it's, it's, it's, almost like I'm saying to the world, you know, this is this is reality meet something a little bit different in one image I'm not trying to pass these elements offers riel sometimes it's more about stirring the imagination as to how a painting or a photograph blend together on genres. Well, that's really, really important, because generally in in fashion, the point is that you are making a transformation. You're making somebody look like they're not entirely riel it doesn't matter what, whether you've got an extravagant costume or not, the point is, is that you're making them, you're ambushing the skin, you're making them look as if they belong to a slightly different realm that becomes aspirational, because what what that industry is doing is selling to the real world this kind of fantasy so that's what makes it I guess appropriate if you like to I brush people's skin and make them look slimmer or do all these things that that obviously are in line with our taste you know, a cz in our age today of what we consider attractive where's elijah, owners of photography like some aspects of fine art and documentary and journalism, we would consider it inappropriate to focus shops. I want to look different because the audience that going to be looking at those pictures expect to see some form of realism so they open up a newspaper and see that someone's been photoshopped out of the picture in a line up of, you know, important people that being photographed for an event, then we might wonder why that's happened and we want to we feel us if that were being cheated out of our and deliverance of reality from that. So a couple of three statements I love folk shop from being able to spend hours making pictures look completely different. I hate relying on folk shop and love to spend hours getting in camera oh, I like that photo shop can be used to make slight changes to alter mood and polish up the image and I feel all three so I don't necessarily think that I'm in any of these camps because it's all about what is the appropriate context of this picture on dh what does it need? What does it not need that's what I'm going to be talking more about later when we talk about the they are cut your chute from yesterday on the on the low fi she was, well, all the shooting we did yesterday, so I really don't like to put myself in any one of these because it's sometimes I sometimes I love to immerse myself in the adventure and to take a picture and make you look completely different and in myself for track days I used to do that quite a lot like I showed you the other day with the picture of me with playing cards, the massive transformation with a right brained instinct that took over and vote shop on also the other pictures as well that I showed you you know this this is where I've pleasured in that in that journey and then there are times where I just don't want touch a picture all I feel like it's almost sacrilegious toe tio change something that's already been captured in a way that I consider to be strong or just kind of like have some kind of mood that I feel is almost spicing into it if I tried to talk to invoke, so getting it right and camera versus fix it later so I want to just mention a few problems with this kind of debate between one of the other, so sometimes you get something right in camera but you embellish it in a way the only postproduction can, so you're adding things that weren't actually supposed to be there because they weren't there like, for example, lot my cereal fashion siri's you get these things going on that can't happen in reality, so you are essentially waiting to do that in the post production the postproduction becomes a point the point off the process or you might shoot several options that feel right in camera but select the best one afterwards. This is really good reference to yesterday because I was shooting lots of different options and I knew that their old interesting in their different ways so when her dress was just like this good when address was moving a little bit, you know that's also something interesting had I move a hair a little bit for just a tiny bit of emotion I might want if I want to make it appears that she's moving and also had a fog change of composition all of these things could be the best option for wherever they go in in these that particular journeys I could spin off from processing different combinations of those and also, if you do fix something later something that could have been adjusted on is that so? What? What if our mind changes? So if we decide, for example, there's, a crisp packet, that's just blown into the shoot, and we didn't notice it, and we want to clone out later, what? What is the big deal is I was presenting our work the way it's supposed to be intended. So thes are some pictures from my friend simon bihari, so these images aren't mine. These are images are thes. Images were shot on a shoot that we did a couple years back in brooklyn, new york. You've seen pictures from the same shoot I've done, and you saw a mood board of it. Also the other day on the reason showing these pictures is because I want to say that post production, usually like most of time, is relevant in fashion. But there are some times. On these images are a good example of where I feel postproduction isn't necessary, even in a fashion context, because of the way in which these have been shot. So basically he came along and he had his like a camera that he was shooting, these black and white pictures were busy kind of strolled around, and it wasn't it wasn't that he was directing the models, he was getting it like candidly, and I really liked a lot of his shots, especially is black and white ones, because there was something in them that just wasn't quite in the more contrived setups where you had the freedom to direct the model for an hour or whatever, and also I found that because he kind of said to me, you know, gone, process his pictures and see if they're any good, and I took going to folk shop, but it didn't seem didn't feel right to do anything to them, because the way they are is the beauty off them. They're not supposed to be chopped and changed and contrived. And so this is an example of where I feel postproduction, even in a fashion situation just isn't appropriate because there's something organic about the way that already presented and it's pretty much down to, I think, not just the way he shot them, but also the thie that heavy contrast that off the tones and the images as well I don't feel like I'm supposed to airbrush them because they got that bit of green there already and I just think that they are as they are so I wanted to throw those in because I want to show how when I do my images that is what I consider to be a palette there to be worked on afterwards usually all of the time even if it's a little bit of work it usually is a case of me wanting to make this picture look even better in the post production so I want to give you some examples off on the before during and after of some simple edits some starting of simple edits here to show you the process from going from the beginning to the end that what first one is out of camera the middle one is out of raw the raw conversion and then the third one is changed up made in photo shop so from the first to the second I've changed the color I've changed a tint in the image this is all in the raw the rawr converter the dhobi rocking that I use I don't use light room don't tend to use light room another moment in my work flow so it's equivalent of the light when the stage basically so on also increase the contrast a little bit there on dh I also may have maybe not on this picture, but what I do also like to do in the raw stage is to take an exposure brush to actually altered exposure in selected areas on dh, then leave you off maybe the edges on that often happens because usually during the processing stage, through all the stages of the processing, what I'm doing is re centering the exposure a little bit so that it comes off the edges and draws the eye toward the middle and then in the folk shop stage on the end of sharpened her eyes and brightened her lips, and also crucially, I've retouched a skin a little bit, especially under the eyes, because I feel that just makes for a strong fashion image. Without that skin retouching, I think this image would be floored because you've done everything you can to make this woman look kind of otherworldly, and then if you miss the skin to me, it's missing a trick because then it's not quite a polished fashion image, here's another example from that same setup arrived on a mid shot is time of the model and the same thing, so I've applied the same adjustments I did to the last one the same tint, same coloration because they're all pretty much consistent in the way they were shot in terms of the lighting, this was with natural light as well. Andi I then we touched the skin on dh sharpen her eyes a little bit and that's pretty much it I don't feel like there's any more I want to do with this particular picture because the backgrounds already busy the composition is full with her arms going out to each side and that's pretty much it just gives it that nice polish look and then you've got here is an example of it before during and after off another shoot so the first one is off camera middle is out of camera raw on the last one is after the photo shop tweaks and polishing so the first one the first to the second is where I've changed a temperature here about the temperature down and for sure I just felt like that went with the incense that's behind her on dh then I've also on this particular one of the noise to skin a little bit in camera andi I may have increased saturation of its well and then the third one I've added curves adjustment so it throws off the blue and the white in the smoke behind her makes it look greener adds a little bit more of a slight kind of and he throws a black self a bit if you look over here you see the blacks kind of gone slightly off black with the curves adjustment that I've added on I've also re touched her skin as well on just added those details of just making the lips popular bit saturation on again this is when I consider finished because there's no more I want to do to it is just polished it and it screamed it same adjustments applied to this one from that same shoot this time a longer shot the same things I've done to it except that with this one I've also stretched it a little bit so if you look you see that she seemed a little further away in the third one and that I liked because it gives a bit breathing space just by stretching a bomb half her body and because everything going on the bottom half of the images pretty consistent in one direction so I just did that to make her appear a little taller um and yet the same the same color adjustments so these two images that put together to make this kind of mid shot on long shot diptych of this model in the manner of my fashion layout on gives this nice um element of a fashion story that can be put his part of a larger fashion story with other looks taken in that same location here's another example ofthe slight retouching where I have done curves adjustment it's also way touched her skin and also straight in the picture and as a result that's assumed me in a little bit which I think is fine because that means that I mean her hair is is nice but we don't need to see too much of a hair like it's alright to lose a little bit basically because it's a little bit of focus is on the face the hair is just an accessory to it there are ways that sometimes if I zoom if I straighten something I lose it's around it I will actually go in and warp it so I can avoid losing that extra detail but in this case it was fine and here is a before and after often image this was particularly interesting because the effect is quite unconventional the lighting was behind her the image is very hot it's something that shouldn't normally work but um what happened? This image that I just took it into raw converter and I brought the temperate tour up so it was very orange and suddenly I really liked this look that was in front of me it just looked very hellish on dh just very surreal and strange and and then I took into folk shop and didn't really do that much to it after that I think I did a very slight curves adjustment but nothing that would take away from what I did with that temperature increase in role and I also average to skin a tiny bit but that wasn't even appropriate either because his skin has got so much contrast going on across it so much mystery and intrigue that I didn't seem necessary to make her look like a doll like because she herself is this strange like insect like spectacle. When I was processing of the pictures from that same shoe, I tried the same thing I tried bringing up the temperature on some of them, which makes sense because you want to keep inconsistent surely but I found that it didn't quite work with other pictures, so pictures I'd taken where she was further away the orange off the temperature increase just looked old like it was just too hot. This is again is down to my taste in just my own judgment, but then I found that actually decreasing the temperature on other pictures worked best, so with this picture you've got this blue of the temperature decreased around her, which I felt work better for this picture, and I also made sure I chose a picture there where she had her pose and her focus of her of her gaze were very assured looking where's in the other pictures you're looking a bit off s o that's comes down to imaged election I'm gonna be talking more about that on then when I paired these two images images together, I felt that they just worked well together even though they had to kind of differing don't things done to them temperature increase and decrease I just felt like I was listening to each picture on making sure that each one had what it wanted, which is tricky when you're doing a fashion story, because there is generally some element of consistency and that's something that I struggle with as a fine art slash fashion photographer because I want each picture to look as good as it can be, and that might mean it goes in a slightly different direction here. I thought it worked, okay, because you've got it. If it was all orange, you might be just too much. You've got orange and blue that make this nice bread, but more about image selection. He's ah, choice of four images I had from what much wider range of this model, but just for examples of images that I had to pick from on, I was working with some of these pictures. I like the look off of this model, andi. I chose one of the end because she had the most piercing gaze, which I felt worked well with her particular character that came through in the images of kind of attitude. And I also just came down also to processing it. I processed the same ones in this. I processed other pictures in the same black and white way that I did this one. But when I came to the final things, I thought this one just worked on dh so much more effectively. And when I did those black and white conversion, so sometimes you have to play around and see whether the picture just works after your processing has done to it, and this is the one that stood out to me. And then also I wanted to do another picture from the same scene in black and white as well, because black and white tends to be something that you want to keep quite consistent. And this very I have learned myself that black and white is something that kind of stands alone. So I wanted to get another picture of her that I could change the black and white. So I chose his mid shot. I wanted to choose a picture where she was looking away so it would complement the picture where she's looking to me. So then I put these together a za kind of pairing because I felt that worked quite well, not too repetitive with her looking at camera in both images got these images here again, a choice of images to pick from just some of the choices I had when selecting the image that I finalized. In this particular piece, I chose a shot where she was looking directly at camera for this one, her hand was displayed nicely added this nice accessory to the image. I showed her front collar off well, her face wasn't too up or too down on I did some adjustments to enroll in this particular one. Why did is I brought the tent I played of the tent and the temperature so achieved this kind of passed all tone and brought the saturation of the vibrancy down in roll so the focus became more on this kind of creamy looking kind of cake slightly arcade looked her that was almost cpr but not quite and this became the foundation for a a surreal image which is not usual for me. Usually I don't do surreal things to close up images, but I felt as if there was the room in this one to do that on dh that completed the look of this image. Now I want to talk about panoramas so I was showing you a little bit yesterday about panoramas. I think maybe one day one as well. What about the way in which I often stitch pictures? This was actually the way I was thinking about yesterday shoot when I was shooting taylor on shooting to each side I was reading this room in the same way that I read this room so that I could essentially stitch them together with her in the middle on then bring that together as final scene and then that became the foundation for my surreal editions in this particular case and I felt really suited it because I had this big, white glaring window in the middle of the room, and I knew that whatever I added to the image had to kind of come from that hub's have something to do with that. So that's why I added the cloud, and then the birds filled at that little area there, where I felt as if something should be there, but something that wasn't going to take away from her shape and size wise. So then I reached this final outcome and then added the reflection of her in the mirror as well. Well, not off her story of the bird in the cloud, and then this is what I've done with this image is well, I've captured the model on one side of the image and then captured the order the rest of the detail so I can get the nice focus on her on dh, then fill out the rest of the scene, which became the foundation for a painted sea and a boat from a rembrandt painting his party. This is a part of this on the dresses is actually taken from another picture of her I've stretched on warp two piece of dress becomes over is one big piece. Which is a beauty of having lots of shots to play with because then you can take bits of those pictures that you might not use in themselves but you take you steal bits from them and put them in your master compass it this image is where I've also don't want donna panorama but the other side of the images just negative space on the surreal part of it is actually put in the human part of it. So here is a breakdown off that on do you see that the window is slightly different in the original which I've changed in compositing I've also changed top half a body because I wanted an expression where she was looking up on have also then how did the tiger from the national history museum a place to museum in paris that I've been transposed onto her in a moment of wildness and not knowing at all well it would work on then came to this interesting result um as you see here from before and after and then the final result after all, the final effect added this one as well is where I've used negative space in my stick chinks I've stitched to one side just for negative space on the thing that I've put into the surreal elements as from another more pictures taken in the natural history museum this time close about other butterfly which I have painstakingly cut out on a put into the image with the model on left that space to one side is kind of breathing space it doesn't necessarily need that that breathing space but it's good if you did want to spread it across two pages and I think that it just fellas if she was looking into that space and gave more room for the narrative to breathe as well this is an image where I have taken wings from a bird in the again the museum on dh put it onto the model here this was stitched and the where she's standing is just the edge of the original picture and then I've stitched on kind of the window part from another image that I took when I tilted to the side and then that became an image where I took these bird wings and enlarged um on dh cut them out carefully and then played a lot with color to make this kind of blue and yellow color identity to the image that's really important when you're making a compass it because it's the glue that brings everything together I mentioned this image that the day and how I put and how I've made this into this kind of fine art piece rather than a fashion lead peace even though it's got fashion is the flavor as I called it so you've got this tilt one side on the till to one side actually contained something that inspired me teo in the direction I took so in this case it contained those two extra metal cats, so I brought this scene together and then ended up with this, but then I thought that the spiral staircase was a bit superfluous, so I decided to just cropping is a square and then I didn't know an extra cat as well coming out from the skirt, which was actually shot in another series of shots of her at the end where I had the cats there, I didn't quite know whether that was going anywhere, and but then I felt as part of the whole circle of cats it worked ah here's where I've used negative space just as a black background to incorporate these things flying off from the ribbons of the goal but unusual thing for me to do, but I don't usually do black background pictures, but I took my took liberty to grab these piece of ribbons and are the shots I've taken of her and used them as the sources of the ribbons leading to the painted birds from paintings by milk johan dakota andi, this is the final one I think I'm just gonna talk about which is a another one of my cereal fashion image is what I've got very tall model with three painted horses from george stops paintings this started when I was playing with pictures of her and then the tall version of her was a spin off from when I initially tried to do a multiplicity of her and then it became that she actually the final third woman went over the other two women to become this extra tall woman and then I started playing around with his horses on these air some drafts I did I could talk for a longer about this image but I just want to say that basically it was a case of me trying to get the best combination of horses in her dress because it was so easy to go overboard and to cover her dress and it was important to let them through enough to see them but so it didn't ruin the lines and curves of the dress coming out and that was very hard thatjust came with playing and playing and looking and looking and thinking and then also I thought about stitching to one side but I felt like it was just a distraction so I decided to just leave the option out but one also extra good thing I did to this picture in terms ofthe compositing which is not just for surreal picture spoke for any picture is to improve her hair with by grabbing a piece of her from another show of her and then kind of bully volumizing invoked shot by using that edition which I felt just gave you that final in the final compass it so that's why hopefully brief presentation on introduction to folk shop in the different levels in which I've used it on dive nose in other people's work that they've used it. What I want to do now is move on to images from yesterday and start with first simple edits on quite straightforward processes to point together some of the pictures that I took so you makes more sense as to how I'm planning to progress with them, so I'm gonna start with some of the lo fi pictures, so I'm just gonna jump in and say that people really enjoyed seeing your thought process as you talk through all of those we were gonna work on some images that we saw yesterday, but seeing that breath with regard to your past work is people really appreciated araceli botello dot com says I love these composites it's so nice to see the before and after and yeah, people love the thought process that the like these are the different ways that I tried it, and this is what worked and why it was really good to hear. Can I ask you one question before we start? I think it's a good one from our friend fashion tv in singapore, you were talking a lot about balance in these images and can you elaborate further about what you mean about balance bounds in terms of color? The amount of detail on dh and again, are you looking at balance both in when you're shooting the image and then in post oh you're definitely all the way through um it's yeah it's like this journey all the way from shooting to the final thing um balance I mean yeah it's it's difficult because there's so many things that you're looking at, I'm not saying it's easy process at all I go for every time I make an image on dh there is almost there are all those hurdles to get over in terms of china achieve balance between, you know, going overboard on getting something that's interesting enough, you know, sometimes I feel like I can't get that balance so that the images that you never see, so they're kind of tucked away and now they're still being worked on on there being dismissed and so yeah, I mean, I think it all comes with giving yourself a bit of time I think time is really important time I don't mean like million years to take forever posting the pictures you want to also give yourself some kind of not deadline but some motivation to get to your final thing like when I mentioned the other day the the intricate compass it I did of the chinese face, the big piece I spent months on, there are plenty times I just felt like her I want to put it away and you know, never come back to it and I had to keep pulling myself back to it and force myself to work on it and I think a bit of that discipline is really important because if you're passionate about what the end result is going to be, then you just need to put the working to get there so time time was well important discipline and just looking as well is it sometimes it's just a case of looking and then leaving it and look in the next day and that's how you can help yourself kind of see where you might have gone overboard with something or where something might need something else to make it more effective on do you want to ultimately make sure that the image you if you are for example waiting to put it out online, you want to make sure that it's the best it can be before you put it online and there's plenty times where I put images out through the years and I kind of felt like I actually needs a little tweak quickly let's tweak it and replace it and that's really annoying because you really want to feel like it's finished and to be honest sometimes it's okay if you put an image out and someone says oh, what about that bit anything and it's fine to go back and change it because don't forget. Obviously, the sharing part is a feedback parts well, even though I don't through the years have tended to like getting feedback because I want to fill up my things finished and it's done. If you like it, like it, if you don't don't. But it is actually is useful to get feedback. People do see things that you don't was good to have, matthew, because he can also point out things that I didn't see or think about. So it's, good to have another pair of eyes, whoever that might be a friend, or someone whose opinion you trust. So, yeah, time, second opinion, discipline. All of these things help that ever saw after a move balance, which is difficult, you know, it's difficult, but you can. You can do it.