Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Tracy, Some Magic. For You. Love, Kam

It has been a year since I launched my little photography business. In that time I have learned a great deal about myself and my capacity to grow as a person and a professional. I have also been able to meet several really intriguing and admirable people all because I decided I liked photography and wanted to share the way I see things through my lenses with others. I can't wait to see where this year takes me, and my camera. ;)

I got together with one of my new photography friends last Saturday. Tracy and I both share the same affinity for picture taking and we have met a couple of times to discuss equipment, taking a good picture, and even photoshop. She asked me to post a few of my pictures, before and after.

The difference is, well, magical.

I shot this picture of Larkee a few weeks ago. It was taken in my house with some really great natural light. I positioned her towards the light and with my 5D, 50mm 1.4 shot this:

Details: f/1.4, 1/160sec., ISO-400. This is SOOC(straight out of the camera)

Tracy asked me to give a play by play of what I did with the picture. I didn't save it as a photoshop file so I don't have all the steps. I cropped it to get in closer then I know I cleaned up her little snotty/droolly face and nose, and her birthmark on her forehead with the clone stamp tool. Then I sparkled her eyes, touched up the color with curves and the Oh Snap! action from this set, and then I ran the Lord of the Rings Everyday action from this set. I made her eyes crisp by following the directions on the action, then I sharpened it and almost kissed the screen when I saw this...

pretty amazing, huh?

I am in love with the following image too. I shot this one recently. It was taken outdoors with some great afternoon light. My subject had to duck a bit to stay in all the even light but I was so pleased with the color. You will remember this image from my shoot with Jennifer. This is what it looked like SOOC. Once again I shot this with my 5D and my 50mm 1.4.

Details: f/1.4, 1/2000, ISO-250.

Once again I didn't save it as a photoshop file, but I remember doing minimal work to this picture. I lightened the overall exposure with curves, cleaned up her eyes just a bit, made them sparkle with this action, then I enhanced the color with Oh, Snap!, I played with the curves a bit more to make it "snappy" as my #1 photography muse would call it, then I sharpened it and wanted to enter my subject in the next America's Next Top Model competition when I saw this:

I used to think,"How will I ever get my images to look like that..." when I saw something I really admired or was inspired by in the arena of photography. I still do say that...often, but now I am realizing that it is more than just having a good eye, great equipment, and an understanding of light and exposure. It also takes a little bit of photoshop magic to give noteworthy images a little extra eye appeal.
There is so much to learn about photoshop. I will probably only know a fraction of its capabilities when I die, but for now I am grateful for the photoshop fundamentals I do know and can use to help me create a little bit of photo magic!!

Hope this was kind of what you were looking for, Tracy!! ;) (and anyone else out there who was interested in some before and after action!!)


Jennifer P. said...

what?! you mean I didn't look that great naturally? you photoshopped me?! :) Ha!

I love that you only enhanced what was there and didn't really change anything. I love the picture too and feel gorgeous everytime I look at it ;)

Michelle S.J. said...

I wish you could photoshop some magic on me. I could use a little after baby help.

LoveByrds Photography said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I love being able to learn from other photographers! It is so helpful as I continue to grow my skills and my business!

Bethany said...

Kamee!! How FUN is this post?! I LOVE this kind of thing as I too am learning my way through Photoshop. More like muddling my way!! There are just SO many things you can do that I think it would take devoting 40 hours a week to it to learn it all!! I'll remember after I am done editing that I forgot to brighten or forgot to sharpen eyes or is inevitable that I forget at least one step along the way!!!

Like you, I am happy with how far I have come in the last year but I also know that I would love to learn more!!

Still hoping we can meet up when you are in AZ...maybe we need to incorporate a little PS 101 into our meeting!!

*Jess* said...

Thank you, thank you, SO much for posting this. If you had the time, I'd really like more of these tutorials. I feel like I have so much to learn.

I've also discovered something... yeah, photoshop is awesome and can make magic, but its talent like yours and Jessica's and the Labor of Love (Jesse and Whitney) team that REALLY makes the magic. You can't have a great final product without the original SOOC being great :)

tracyallegre said...

OMG, you did it - THANK YOU! You can't be any cooler Kamee.

KAHigh said...

Kamee- Not sure if you saw my post requesting just this info!! Thank you, thank you for sharing!! Your pics are soooo beautiful!!

On a separate note, good for you finishing up!! I am so inspired by you and so many bloggers out there!

I'm about 5 mins from CSUF.... I also have 2 great kids.... if you ever need a break b4 or after class... look me up...

Amie said...

You are the bomb! I have restrained myself a million times from sending you emails asking detailed questions regarding your knowledge of Photoshop!

I have always loved photography, but didn't know where to start with everything. Your blog and AMAZING pictures have truly inspired me!

I am also muddling my way through Photoshop right now trying to figure out how to copy your pictures exactly! This post is truly inspired and I can't thank you enough!

I know there are TONS of us out there that would love more posts like this and any tutorials you are willing to share!!!

Sherami said...

Kam! What can't you do? These pictures are amazing! I need a photographer like you! I love looking at your blog, seeing all your pics and hearing your latest news. It makes me miss you tons! Hang in there with school - you'll get through it (and with flying colors) because you can do anything! I have TOTAL faith in you!

Krystal said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I've been a "lurker" for awhile that loves your photography! You are awesome! Thanks for the tips!

Reb said...

Yeah, I could personally look that good too (enhanced via photoshop)! You are an artiste.

Micha said...

This post pretty much made my day. I've been trying to learn my new DSLR camera and feeling like a loser when my pics aren't naturally the most phenomenal things on the planet. To see how these simple tweaks can up the result so much has renewed my hope in figuring this stuff out.

Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Thank you for this! I have been a "secret admirer" of your blog for a little while now, and have thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful photography. I've even drooled over a few pictures and wondered "how did she do that?". I have 4 little ones of my own, and call photography a growing and learning hobby. Your pictures are very inspiring and tell such great stories all in their own. This tutorial helps unleash more of the mysteries of photoshop; one day I too hope to dig further into the depths of photoshop! Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures!