I am going to share a little secret with you: a before and after of one image. It’s something I rarely show. Are you ready to peek behind the curtain?
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” – The Wizard of Oz
My photos are never straight out of the camera (SOOC as they say). While I do everything I can to get the image “right” when I shoot it – as in correctly focused and exposed – it’s not finished until I work with it on my computer. Sometimes the edits are minor, and other times what came out of the camera looks completely different from the finished image.
To me, using the computer to express something more than what the camera captured isn’t cheating. It’s just a way to expand what I am able to say. Some photographers agree with me and others feel it’s important to get the shot right in the camera. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong here. To each his (or her) own.
So are you ready to see what I did?
Here we go.
This is the original image. The only thing I did to it was correct for any lens issues and reduce a bit of noise. I like the way it turned out, but I’m not super excited about it.
And this is the final image.
I turned into a black and white but I also added other effects to accentuate the mood of the trees. The trees make me think that magical creatures might live there and that they come out at night.
This image reflects how seeing those trees makes me feel. Something that I couldn’t do with the camera alone.
Here they are side-by-side so you can get a better look.
There you have it: a peek behind-the-scenes of my work and a look into how I create. What did you think?
Yellow Brick Road image credit © Don via flickr