Behind the Frame #1
It’s sunday evening and an idea came to my mind. Why don’t I make a series of posts about chosen shots and how I took them.I got some feedback from you guys and few of you asked me about color managament and post-processing stuff in general. In the Behind the Frame series I am going to write some more detailed information about my appropach to the shot, show some more variants of that shot and story behind it. For now my plan is to write a Behind the Frame post once 2-3 weeks.
So this is my first Behind the Frame :
For starter I chose shot I called Yellow’Stone. This is the Day 163 of my 365 Days project. I really like this shot because I took it in very unusual circumstances. 95% of my shots were taken in the evening/night or in the morning. This one, however I took in the middle of the day. I saw that rainy and moist weather through my window and I decided to go out. I had like 45 minutes of spare time so I took a ride to the nearest park. I knew that location becasue I shot there 2 or 3 times. When I got there I was excited to see that it looked really awesome. It was raining and humid. Some fog appeared just above the ground and that made an exceptional mood. There was a one little problem though – there wasn’t anyone there, not a single person. I knew that the location is simply perfect. I was walking along the park alleys and trying to find the right place for my composition and after about 20 minutes I saw a person entering the park, so this is the first shot I took that day :
I liked that gloomy atmosphere and composition on that shot but I knew that I can make something better. That atmosphere and mood was so exceptional that I kept on waiting. After 10 minutes I saw two people approaching, one of them wearing a bright yellow raincoat which was contrasting with the overall mood and colors of the park so instantly I knew that it would look awesome on the shot. I followed that people and waited for the moment when one person moved out of the frame… and click! I took a series of shots, then changing the position of the camera to vertical and also a series of shots. Horizontal shots did not work at all – the tress were cut and I did no have leading lines so strong as in vertical. See for yourselves:
After changing the camera to vertical position – the shot looked really great and looking and camera LCD screen I could tell that the shot is great, that I will have a decent shot from that day. So I was satisfied and went back home. Of course I shoot only in RAW and post process my shots in Adobe Lightroom. Why Lightroom? Very easy to use, great amount of options and also huge amount of online video tutorials and free presets. I don’t use presets as such, however very often I choose some presets to see how the shot will look like in different variations. Below you will find how the shot looked like in RAW and my final version. For those who don’t use RAW and don’t know how exactly this thing work – all of the options – contrast, vibrance etc. are set to zero, so the shot looks like “washed-out”. So no, it is not overprocessed, the difference is huge because it is RAW. If I had JPG saving set in my X100T and some contrast vibrance ON, I would have very similar effect straight out of camera. Of course I don’t use it because I want to have freedom of choice when it comes to final look of my shot. So my advice is – if you want the full control over your shots use RAW. That’s how I feel.
So what I did with this shot in Ligtroom? Well below you will find my settings:
Then in Tone Curve I changed:
I went to HSL section when I changed:
Yellow: +57 (to make this yellow raincoat really stand out)
Discoloration of the shot helped me to gain this overall mood, taking off the green color mainly and of course making yellow standing out more. There is no magic formula for post processing. Everyone has it’s own taste and preferences . For me the final outcome is what I wanted – it preserved the atmosphere of that moment, it is exactly how I remember it. Keep in mind that post-processing can be real fun – play with it, move the sliders, try different settings. I also think that coming back to the same shot after let’s say 1-2 days is a very good idea. It’s always good to look at the shot with “fresh” eyes. That’s about it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me.
If you want Marius Vieth’s opinion about this shot , please check this video out :
Wishing you all a great week!