Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hush, Little Baby

So, I'm sprucing up wedding pictures of Paige and Casey...and neither one of them are in this next one!

Disclaimer:  I did not take these pictures!  They are here for a "makeover". Go here to find out the whole story.

This mod stars one little cutie-pie and his aunt! Paige and Casey's son, Reese, and Paige's sister were captured here. I struggled with this picture, since it was a very cute moment...and all I kept thinking was - why was it taken when there was just so much to clutter the picture up? The struggle comes in thinking that this is really what a wedding photographer has to deal with - these moments, surrounded by the chaos, the preparations and the package deal that really make the day memorable, but might not make the pictures perfectly iconic. So, I have to go easy on the critiques of this one - and try to come at it from the back-side: Photoshop. Some pictures just have to be taken with the knowledge that a lot of post processing will be needed to make it work, that the moment would be lost if you decided not to take it, even with all its "baggage".

I got to work, clearing out the excess "baggage", and I had to accept a few things here: I know that I have been a little texture-heavy on my mods lately, but this one, with it's grain because of low light, and the cloning technique adding a softness and imperfection to the background...texture was necessary to mask the problems that could not be altogether eliminated. Black and white was also necessary for the same reason! Sometimes, you just have to go for it, even if it feels overdone, since it will only get done in this way. ;) 

Here's the original - the moment is obvious here, but it is so overwhelmed with the busy-ness of the day (again, not a word, I know. ;) - funny that I am such a grammar snob that I HAVE to make references to made-up words).  I had to make it so these two are the only ones in the room if it were to have any effect at all. 

I cropped to eliminate as much as I could, and to put them on the same line, draw your eye to them and their reflection. I softened the actual pair, drawing more attention to the reflection, on Reese's face.

Then, I got to work, eliminating (cloning out) every other thing and person in the room!  I decided to leave the diaper bag and things on a table to their right, to keep the realism intact. I didn't want them to look like they were surreal! Also, since the low light already lends a grainy texture, I decided to add two layers here, one grainy:

and one flowy:

...and then I added a vignette and I thought I was done for a few days:

Afterwards, I decided to add the text - and I like it here, I think it adds something to the finished picture, focusing on Reese. He is being comforted by his aunt, and his almost crying expression looked like he needed a comforting quote expression! So, here's the final result:

I'm learning to always try and work with what you have, go with it for a while, even if it's not exactly how you would have imagined a shot like this turning out. Not everything works or is saveable, but some things might just surprise you. I'm happy with the result, given the start, and, Paige - I hope you are too!

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