Every month I enter 9 images into The Guild of Photographer’s monthly awards competition. On the 21st of each month I wait with much excitement and trepidation to find out my results. Last week I received my results and was delighted to find I had achieved two silver awards for two of my portrait images.
So, I began thinking about how I got to these silver awards and the journey of the original image.
It’s not often I share my images straight from the camera; even my family holiday photos have to be carefully selected before a showing is made (much to my hubby’s annoyance). But for this post I have made an exception, as I think it may just prove interesting to some of you!
I am a great believer in trying to get as much as possible correct when i take the image. Some things you just can not physically alter in post processing – so get them wrong to start with and you just can’t rescue an image. Knowing and realising this one point comes from experience!
So the 1st image I’m going to share with you was one of the 1st images I took after my gorgeous little model agreed to snuggle with a new baby chick!
So now I had my model against a darker and plainer background. The dark side of the shed also helped to shape the light onto her face more than when she was out in the middle of the field.
Give a kid a chick and you only get so many shots before it gets dropped or it pecks! LOL. So….this was the image I decided to work with for my award entry.
To this image I worked with the cropping – I really liked the square crop as there was no doubt about what was interesting in this image – it wasn’t her skirt or the green shed, it was the interaction and emotion going on with this chick! I also adjusted the colours, dark and light areas, all to ensure that my subject the focus of the image. The image below resulted.
Having seen this I was actually pretty pleased with the image as it was, but such is my quest for perfection I decided the lines created by the shed panels were a distraction, so I cloned them out. Needless to say I then realised that it was still not perfect and I needed to add a little texture to completely hide the panels. The resulting image appears below. – Who would have known that it was taken in front of a shed and not in a studio!
I’m part of a critique group within The Guild of Photographers, and after showing them this image it was suggested the green was just a little too bright, so I reduced the saturation, and finally I was happy with the image! That image is at the top of this post.
It’s quite a journey from concept of taking cute fluffy baby chick photo through to silver bar award-winning image!
Having an idea for a photo is one thing, managing to get the location, lighting, pose and emotion in an image correct is another! These you can not put right in Photoshop! Lastly the editing of an image to get the best possible result is one which I enjoy and explore all the time. Way back in the days of film cameras and dark rooms this would have been called dodging and burning, today I have a wealth of tools at my finger tips to get creative after the photo has been taken.
I hope you enjoyed that little glimpse behind the scenes of the making of a silver bar award image!