Yeah, I drained it, sucked every bit of life that those pixels had. Over processing is tiny little term to be mentioned here. There just must be some other proper words to explain what I did. To sum all I can just call it dead. I killed it.
This photo was taken some time ago. Again of course my Oly e520 and the kit lens. I was learning at the time, can’t you tell?
Just a few words about her and what I thought at the time. I wrote this on my former, starting with photography, Flickr account (which I can’t get access to it because my former email address is dead also). Ok so, I wrote: “She is an 80 years old woman who experienced the death of her husband and 4 children. At the time I took this photo, her son was dying slowly in horrible pains of cancer. I tried to capture her sorrow and life. Hope I succeeded.
This was actually a very difficult photo to take, because every time I pick my camera she would froze or move…But at the end, it was worthy…”
At the time this was a successful photo to me. It really wasn’t easy to capture her emotions. Every time she looked at me she would pose and emotions were gone. I pressed the shutter few times during our conversation and one of those photos I saved.
Problems to begin with. I shot JPEG, didn’t know about RAW. My shutter speed was to slow for handheld shooting so you can see some motion blur present in the photo. But considering 2x cropped sensor and kit lens, it was the only way to get a decent photo with my camera. This was taken in her house. She sat on the couch and the window was behind me. SOOC was underexposed of course.
Problems I made later in post processing. At the time I was using GIMP. Great program, have to mention, it’s free and you can do much with it. Honestly, I don’t remember what I did. I just remember that there was some serious dodging and burning. I darkened the wall behind her with curves. I sharpen everything I could. I don’t even remember what settings with JPEG I made in the camera, Large super fine would be great but I doubt that I choose that. I considered how to pack more photos in my memory.
I feel pain when I’m looking this photo at 100%, seriously, those poor pixels!
I must also say that even with serious issues in this photo I still love it. It is still one of my favorite photos I took. To me it’s a representation of what I simply must not do with a photograph. In the other hand, if I, just for a second, put aside every issue this photo has, I can see this old woman still.
Oh, have I mentioned what is the most painful thing in this whole experience. I didn’t kept original! I deleted it, it seems. Can’t find it. I can find some leafs and flowers I took at the same time, but this one I can’t, figure that.
I guess my points with this experience are:
- Test yourself with the equipment you own. What is the slowest shutter speed you are comfortable with. Take in consideration that it’s not the same trying to shoot a still object and people.
- Shoot JPEG if you know exactly why are you shooting JPEG, if you don’t know, well, take some time and learn JPEG-RAW characteristics.
- Don’t over process, don’t over sharpen. Learn about dodge and burn and use them carefully. I don’t use them at all. At the beginning they were my favorite tools, but they bring trouble, just so you know.
- Always keep originals! One day, when you learn some more about photography you’ll certainly want to go back and reedit some of your favorite shots.
In this instance, after I did everything I could do to ruin the photo it still remained one of my favorites. I chose to be completely subjective and ignore all camera-processing-photographer mistakes I did and just see her.
I can do that, from time to time, can’t I?