LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY WITH PORTFOLIO REVIEWS #12: LINDA


Hi Linda let’s start with your portfolio
review looking forward to it okay so your first shots a real visual pleaser
it of course it’s amazing how probably sunsets are the most photographed thing
in the world yet they still continue to fascinate us because of the painterly
quality of light that fills the sky and it’s very poetic very romantic and
people love sunsets and whether you can see the Sun or after the Sun has actual
actually set I think you did a great job here the only thing I would suggest it’s
a really easy technical thing is that we just need to rotate clockwise just a
little bit now all editing software allows you to rotate and probably maybe
just one degree of rotation Lightroom cc is what I’m using for this example but
you may use a different editing software to get the same result okay let me show
you that before and the after now the next thing is I’m always looking at a
picture and trying to figure out how do I make it stronger by removing things
that are distracting so this tree is not distracting these trees are not
distracting this tree is distracting and mainly because this tree we don’t see
the the base of it so there’s no there’s no metaphor ability trees are full and
rich of with metaphor of narrative however if it’s just a branch then it
doesn’t really tell anything so there’s two things we can do we can clone stamp
it out or we can just crop it out now if you’re using Photoshop or a a different
app that has good clone stamping capabilities
I was just try cloning this out because I really like this area however in
Lightroom cc the clone stamp tool is not the best I’ll be honest so that’s why I
normally I suggest people if they have the the Adobe photography plan that
includes both Photoshop and Lightroom if you go to
file edit in Photoshop what that’ll do is it’ll send the picture straight to
Photoshop and you can work on it and then when you close save and close the
photo it sends that image back to your Adobe Lightroom cc album it’s very very
convenient we’re not going to do that for this example I’m just going to make
it nice and quick by cropping out that the offending tree there now by doing
that we’ve also done another thing that’s very important is whenever we
have a tree or an object that is dominant for example this is the
dominant tree in this picture we try the best that we can to get it somehow
intersecting on the rule of thirds now if you can see these these tic-tac-toe
grid’s we have vertical here a vertical here horizontal and horizontal if
possible try to get your primary subject or your your main visual element to get
as close to a intersecting point as possible so for example there’s an
intersecting point here of the vertical and horizontal rule of thirds lines and
that is pretty close to where we want it with regards to this tree so let’s
accept this crop and now we have a what we would call it a classically followed
composition where this tree is sort of at the intersecting points of the rule
of thirds okay I hope that makes sense and one other thing is that you do want
to get rid of this I’m not sure what it is it could be a twig from a tree
like I said Lightroom’s cloning is really not that good but let’s see what
happens if we give it a try that’s actually not bad you could see a little
bit of artifacts there that’s why it like I said I try not to use the clone
stamping in Lightroom cc very much but in a pinch it’s there if you need it
okay let’s get to your next picture now for this shot I really think it’s great
that you you got the animals so well it’s very
rare that you can get so close to them my only suggestion for this shot is that
we we just need to warm it up a little bit so let’s warm it up by going to
temperature and again you can use temperatures in pretty much every
editing software possible out there and it’s either called temperature it’s
called white balance and you’re just going to want to go to the yellow side
instead of the blue side also I feel this image would do well with a little
bit of black deepening so under light we’re not going to go to shadows but
we’re gonna go to blacks let’s take the blacks down now what happens with blacks
is that the the black or the dark very dark areas like part of the the animals
coat some of the shadows they get darker and darker and this is good because
those dark areas add drama to the picture but the rest of the picture
remains untouched which is also really good now we have a little problem with
the blown out highlights here it’s not that bad so what we would do is there’s
two things we can do if if we want to get rid of the highlights in the whole
picture this is the easiest way it’s called a global adjustment we would go
to highlights and we would just reduce the highlights now watch what happens to
this little grouping of flowers when I reduce the highlights to see how prior
it had a lot of whiteness but if we reduce the highlights a little bit more
detail comes into the picture which is exactly what we want and that was the
same up here and on the horns the antlers right here however I will say
that a better way to do this if your software allows for it is called the
targeted adjustments for example were going to use the brush our highlights
will take down to minus 30 or minus 40 and all we’re going to do is brush on
the reduction and highlights in the areas that we feel we need it for
example may be right here and the value of this is that it doesn’t reduce the
highlights in the entire picture because really the entire picture doesn’t need
it target targeted adjustments are usually preferable then what we call
global adjustments usually now sometimes you need a global adjustment and that
global means that the entire picture will be adjusted especially if you just
want a different white balance for the entire shot however if you’re dealing
with situations where you just want to correct a little area of the picture
then that’s where these brushes read these brush tools come in really handy
okay so that’s good let’s get to your next picture looks like a Canadian moose
and for this shot let me see what happens if we go to bring up the shadows
I may be tempted to do the exact opposite with this picture now in the
previous one or maybe it was the first one I suggested that you bring the
blacks down to make the box even darker however we’re in a situation with high
contrast light I’m tempted in this shot to actually make sure that the shadows
are a little bit brighter so I can see the texture of the the coat of the a of
the moose and I in this time I would certainly do a global highlights
reduction okay so that means when I say that we’re global it means the entire
picture is getting a highlight reduction let’s try it
okay just see how we’re the we’re seeing more detail now in in the in the animals
coast here a reduction of highlights and increase in shadows will even out the
overall exposure of the picture not really exposure but it’ll even out the
picture so that we can actually appreciate the brightness areas and the
darkness areas equally let’s look at the before
now let’s look at the after what do you think I think that the after allows us
to appreciate the the scene in the animal just a touch more okay let’s get
to your next shot okay so what I see in this picture is HDR now HDR high dynamic
range is a situation where we take three or two pictures and stack them together
when we have a situation where we’ve super bright areas and dark areas and
often sunsets are difficult because you’re exposing you’re exposing either
for the the sky that means your your land will be dark or you’re exposing for
the land that means that your sky will be too bright so your inclination to use
HDR for this picture was a very good one the only thing I can think of is that
this picture was just way in the natural it was just far too contrasty for your
your camera to handle it and this may have been an either an iPhone or an
Android picture and you know like I even even the the latest iPhone or the latest
and greatest Android with a like a lens they still will struggle with super
bright areas and super dark areas even though they have the benefit of HDR and
I think that in this picture it’s not your fault it’s just that it’s not
there’s too much difference in dark and bright areas for it to really shine out
as a good picture and I can see that because you can see what’s called
banding in the clouds to see how there’s like a band or not a circle but there’s
this that varying degrees of of color and that’s usually a telltale sign that
it’s just too much information for your sensor to
ándale and I phone and Android sensors are of course quite small anyway how
would I fix this well I would make it a black and white and whenever there’s a
situation where the camera can’t handle the amount of data because of super
brightness or super darkness I just say well no problem I’ll just salvage the
picture by making it a black and white however before we do that we just want
to straighten your photo okay and we want to make it follow the rule of
thirds so I’m going to radically change the composition so that the greenery is
on the bottom third and the skies on the two top two top two thirds and I love
panoramics so that’s why I’m keeping this as a panoramic I don’t actually
mind the water right here in fact I kind of like it I don’t mind the tree I like
that as well okay the next thing is is that let’s just move in on this picture
here I know that you try to clone stamp something out what’s this a barn was it
a power line just watch be careful of the clone stamping and you you may find
that apps like Photoshop fix or touch retouch will do a better job at clone
stamping I also see a clone stamp here and here so just be careful of that and
also a clone stamp job here that needs to just be you have to be a bit more
careful about that okay so let’s take the picture out now the easiest way to
make a black and white of course is to reduce saturation to zero okay now when
we do that what happens is that the ugliness of what we call banding the
digital artifacts of the sky they almost go away now you can still see a little
bit of them but it’s not as bad as when it was with color let me show you again
this is the color shot but when we take out the color and we have a pure black
and white we definitely can salvage pictures that are just technically
not working for us okay so that’s what I would suggest and if you want to try a
bunch of different black and whites then Lightroom CC has a really good black and
white section where you can adjust channels and also has very good presets
for black and white where you can go through a whole bunch of different
options now for this particular shot I really think the easiest is the best
where we simply just took your saturation down to nothing okay let’s
see what else we have your last picture now this shot when I just take a look at
it here it is a little bit it exhibits a little bit of camera shake so your
shutter speed was not fast enough and you can remedy that by adding by
increasing your ISO for this picture so just make sure that your shutter speed
is fast enough to get a good sharp shot I can tell that the head is a little bit
shaky and also the the birds feathers so but still what can you do to help that
well make it a black and white it’s a simple solution and it usually works
well whenever you have a situation where you have an animal or a place or a thing
that’s technically not good because it’s either blurry or it’s you know maybe the
sensor couldn’t pick up all the all the lights differences well just make it a
black and white and usually that will take your photo out of the garbage bin
or out of the potential garbage bin and will actually make it somewhat
acceptable so that’s what I would suggest for this picture is make it a
black and white and you and the fact that it’s slightly blurry does has less
less value there’s less concern that it has slight blur okay so that is it Linda
thank you so much for sending me your photos for your portfolio review I
really enjoyed going through your photos

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