March 23, 2015

Adventures In Editing: Blowing Bubbles

My daughter had Spring Break last week and we stayed home. It was a great opportunity to engage in some fun activities and play around with my camera! After a neighborhood egg hunt, she wanted to play in the back yard with the bubbles she had received.

I put my favorite lens on the camera - the 85mm 1.8 - and we headed out.

It was a warm day and the sun was out. We were in partial shade, not glaring sun this time. I got a number of great shots, but this was my favorite. Here's what I did after importing it into Lightroom:

Click on image to view larger

Since I had enjoyed the effect of the "Dreamy" preset I used before, the first thing I did was see how it would impact this image. And I loved it.

Next I did some overall sharpening and luminance smoothing (noise reduction). Although not much was needed. And I didn't have to sharpen around the eyes; they were already tack sharp. I also did not like the way the "Iris Enhance" tool I normally love changed the look of her eyes in this image. So I undid that change after I had made it.

I reduced the highlights somewhat so her hand in the foreground, which is in full sun, did not distract too much. Then I changed the white balance to, "Daylight" from, "As Shot." I really liked the sun kissed look that gave the image. Especially since my subject really was out in the sun.

I reduced the red hue a touch to try to bring down her flushed cheeks so they weren't the focus of the photograph. And increased the green hue to highlight her eyes and the beautiful background.

My daughter does have beads of sweat on her forehead and upper lip. But to me, that was part of the scene. So I did nothing to try to alter it.

I did try to to work with the triangle of light on her cheek because I didn't love the look of it. But anything I tried looked obvious and unnatural. This was a case of me shooting in the moment. I was not positioning or directing my child in any way in an attempt to control the light. I was simply working to capture a moment.

And that same light that hits her cheek also makes her hair glow and the bubbles incandescent. Those elements of the image are, to me, positive.

I like this image so much it is currently my desktop background.

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