Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Retouching Images

Recently I was helping another photographer with one of his wedding couples. He wanted to take them to Baker Beach in San Francisco for some classic shots against the Golden Gate Bridge as a background. The sunlight is beautiful during the last 5 to 10 minutes of sunset and makes for some gorgeous shots during those brief minutes. Unfortunately, our driver took a little too long to get us there in time, so we got down to the beach just AFTER the sun had sunk over the horizon. Thus we missed the golden light on the Golden Gate Bridge.

I rushed down to the beach with our couple and for about 5 or 10 minutes, grabbed what shots I could. However, for reasons beyond my control (and which I won't elaborate about here), I was forced to use an unfamiliar camera to grab my shots.

If you've ever seen The Ghost and the Darkness, you may remember the part of the movie where the character Michael Douglas plays says to Val Kilmer's character after he used a borrowed gun in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the rouge lions, "Don't ever go into battle with an untested gun." Well, I was forced to do just that.

So there I was shooting in the dim and dusky light, with an unfamiliar camera which was set wrong and which I couldn't fix. Well, I shot away and got some photos, but I wasn't sure how great they'd be.

However, being pretty swift with Photoshop ... if I do say so myself ... I think I managed to create a really nice shot, even a signature image, from rather poor material as you might notice from the before and after shots displayed above.

All this to say, even if some of my photos don't come out of the camera perfectly due to circumstances beyond my control or due to the simple fact that as a wedding photographer, I sometimes have to "run and gun" my shots if the action is happening fast ... you can count on the fact that with my skill sets in Photoshop which I've developed over the last decade plus of nearly daily practice, I'll usually be able to make your images look incredible. All this is something you can count on from this photographer if you hire me for your portrait or wedding needs.

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