Oh my word. If I was trying to purposefully create an unflattering pose, it would probably look a bit like this. And to make things worse, the perspective is almost voyeuristic. Captain crop to the rescue…
If regular readers notice the two RAW edits in quick succession, that’s because I’m playing catch-up at the moment. Hopefully by weekend I’ll be back into the normal routine of one per week.
You know the drill by now – exposure check. The white warning triangle in the top right corner means we’re losing some detail – in this case it’s turning pure white. If you roll your mouse cursor over the warning triangle Lightroom will highlight the loss of detail bright in red. In the case of this picture, we’re only losing detail in the walls of the building in the far background. Since this isn’t important detail, we can ignore the warning.
Because I don’t like the pose I’m going to crop this picture quite severely. In the process I will be throwing away lots of megapixels and detail, but to be honest I’m not that bothered. We’re still left with a 6 megapixel image, and I’ve printed 20″x20″ canvases with 4 megapixel images before now and they look great. You do exaggerate things like digital noise when you go heavy on the crop, but we’re getting into the realm of pixel-peeping.
In a kind of continuation of a theme from last week, all my adjustments were very straightforward in this edit. Once I’d decided the direction I was going to take, the only tweaks I made were in the Basic panel. First, I converted to black and white. Next I boosted the clarity to +80 and then played with the individual highlight, shadow, white and black sliders. You’ll find that almost all black and white conversions need contrast adjustments as they generally look very flat.
Just make sure you pay attention to the white space in your images. In the finished edit below, I’ve made sure my white areas are actually white. You can’t really gauge this by eye because the back light on screens tends to overwhelm the more delicate shades and what looks pure white to the eye is actually a very light shade of grey. I actually made this mistake myself and had to go back and correct it, but fortunately it is quite easy. Remember the highlight warning tool from earlier? Well simply roll your mouse over the warning triangle and see which parts of the image turns red – handy! You’ll see I had to push the highlights to +100 to achieve the effect I wanted.
Ideally, highlight warnings on the face are something you should try to avoid, but in this instance they are on the light side of the cheek and aren’t robbing the image of any significant detail. You could locally adjust this, but I don’t think it’s worth the effort.
And the finished edit is below. It’s something a bit different and admittedly a bit drastic, but I think it works.