The Story: In this week’s Student Lounge, we bring you an image capture by Steven B. Recently Steve, a current and long time Student enrolled in the Lightroom / Photoshop Photonerds Mentoring Program, traveled to Tanzania Africa on a photography safari hosted by Thompson Safaris. This was not Steven’s first trip to Africa, in fact, we have helped him edit other images from previous trips to the area. However, this time, Steve had captured the image you see below of a young child and was eager to edit the photograph in hopes to clean up some of the challenges we will talk about next. Part of the excitement was that we have worked on many landscape images throughout his enrollment in the Mentoring Program but rarely had we worked on a portrait before. The expression captured in this brief moment of time seems to be one of curiosity and we were thrilled to help add some creative adjustments to enhance it.
The Problem: For this image, the challenge was several. In no particular order, we needed to remove the black square and smooth out the horizon line in the upper left hand corner, giving it a more pleasant, softer look and feel. Next, we removed the people in the background seen in the right hand side of the image. We also needed to take away the white spot over the left ear. While subtle and small, it is distracting and draws your attention away from the expressive face so we decided to take it away. There was also a green bush or plant in the background near the right shoulder area that we decided to remove also. Even though this image was perfectly exposed and the shallow depth of field softened the green bush, it was still obvious enough that after much debate, we agreed that removing it would be best. Lastly, we wanted to soften the look and feel of the entire photograph as a whole as well as color correct the skin tones to be a little less on the warmer side. Many of these corrections would need to be completed in Adobe Photoshop.
The Solutions: A few of the simpler exposure adjustments were made inside of Adobe Lightroom to give us a greater tonal balance. Once that was accomplished we headed over to photoshop in an effort to remove and correct all those unwanted spots as well as some of the other issues we mentioned above. Lightroom has a spot removal tool, however, it is not specific enough to handle some of the challenges faced with this photograph particularly. In addition to that, Photoshop Tools will allow for a much more natural look when all the imperfections are removed completely. The final adjustments and sharpening were also applied in Photoshop for completion.
Several tips, tricks, and techniques were needed in order to accomplish this look and feel. While the results are not far off from the original version captured in camera, the edits definitely enhanced the cleanliness, look and feel of the image for a beautiful, natural result.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about the Photoshop / Lightroom Mentoring Program, send us a message. We would love to help you in the process.