I have been editing photos for a number of years now and so thoroughly enjoyed this process. I wanted to show how I would go about editing a simple photo to get the result I desired, this is the first photo I edited for this series of photos.
1. Original Photo
Unfortunately, I shot this photo before learning to shoot in a RAW format and therefore, did not make any adjustments in ‘Camera RAW CC’. This file is a jpeg and so I imported this file directly into photoshop.
2. Levels Adjustment
As I did not have the opportunity to edit the photo in ‘Camera RAW CC’ before bringing the photo into Photoshop, the first step I took was in adding a ‘Levels adjustment’ layer. I looked at the histogram of my image and adjusted the levels to add contrast to my image and get a better exposure (the image was originally underexposed). I could have used a ‘Curves adjustment’ layer or a ‘Contrast/Brightness adjustment’ layer to alter the contrast, but for this photo, I found the levels adjustment gave me the look I wanted.
The photo after this adjustment:
3. Adding a LUT
A LUT is an acronym for ‘look-up table’ and adds a level of dynamic range to a photo. They are often used for bulk editing photos because once you’ve designed the look you desire for your photo, you can apply to multiple images without having to edit each photo individually.
For this image, I chose ‘Crisp_Warm.Look’ as enhanced the dark shadows in my image whilst maintaining detail by boosting contrast and adding an almost autumnal glow.
I then lowered the opacity to around 50% so the effect was not overwhelming.
The final layer I added to this image was a ‘high-pass’ filter. This adds depth to my image and increases fine detail which is exactly what I wanted as I wanted to emphasize the chips on the drumstick.
This effect is achieved by creating a new merged layer, (cmd+alt+shift+e) which takes all layers and creates a new, single layer.
I then set this layer to blend mode overlay and reduced its opacity to 60%.
All of these edited still make the photo ‘real’. I have not created any false truth, but merely emphasized the aspects of the photo I wanted to as these convey the meaning I wanted to convey in this photo. For this photo, I wanted to show how deep the chips were as this conveys another method in which music can be ‘seen’.