High Key Portrait

My first attempt at "high key" photography. I tried to get as much light as possible with all the lamps I had lying around... I feel like I could use real studio lighting though. My goal was to take an image that was over exposed but not blown out. Also, I wanted to make the background lighter than the foreground. Since that didn't work out, I had to extract her in photoshop and put her on a new background.

I did most of the initial desaturation (except blue of course) and exposure adjustments in lightroom. Then I brought her into photoshop and cut her out. I found myself exploring around photoshop trying to figure out how to remove the background from within her hair. I think I had more layers with different blends and opacities than probably any of the other photos I have posted.

Canon 350D (RAW)
1/80 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200
21mm (17.0-50.0mm f/2.8 Tamron)

Adjustments made in Lightroom:
- Camera Profiles, Basic adjustments, tone curve, clarity, contrast, desaturation,

Adjustments made in Photoshop:
- Noise Ninja
- extracted the model
- blended onto the new background
- used the spot healing brush
- dodged and burned
- two rounds of high-pass sharpening technique (only on the eyes and mouth)
- slight output sharpening and border


Praying Mantis

This praying mantis was hanging out on my grill on the front porch. I tried a number of different techniques but in the end I just got as close as a could and used a direct flash.

I haven't been playing too much with Photoshop lately and I feel like I'm starting to loose a little proficiency in editing my photos. Anyway, my new technique that I used on this photo is the camera profiles in Lightroom 2.o. This is a new feature with the release of lightroom 2.0 and these profiles allow you to mimic the raw conversion of your camera manufacturer. In this case I used the Canon Portrait profile. This gave me the best starting point to edit the photo and saved me a lot of time. Choosing a camera profile is now going to be one of the first steps in my RAW workflow.

I think for my next project I'm going to try to take some portraits. I'm hoping that by writing this it will hold me somewhat accountable and force me to follow through.

Canon 350D (RAW)
1/200 sec at f/10, ISO 100
300mm (70.0-300.0mm f/4-5.6 IS Canon)

Adjustments made in Lightroom:
- Camera Profiles, Basic adjustments, tone curve, clarity, contrast, saturation,

Adjustments made in Photoshop:
- Noise Ninja, and Photokit Capture sharpening
- Adjusted saturation and white balance
- High-pass sharpening technique
- Slight output sharpening and border