Saturday, 25 April 2009

Post Processing


Been meaning to put up this post for a while since I’ve been asked on Flickr by a few people about a Post Processing technique I’ve been using a lot for portraits.

The picture above has been processed using a black & white layer technique that just seems to work for certain pictures.  It’s quite a basic technique and so anyone can try it as long as they understand how to use layers in photoshop.

I basically start with my TIFF file which has been converted from my RAW, then I duplicate the layer and create a black & white version of it.  I find that a slightly more contrasty version works best.  Then I change the layer’s blending mode to ‘soft light’.  ‘Overlay’ can work if you want a much stronger effect but I prefer the ‘soft light’ mode. I then usually lower the opacity a touch until the image looks good

I like the de-saturated look and the almost cinematic ‘feel’ it gives a portrait image.  It also tends to work if there’s some slightly over-exposed skin which can be quite complimentary in a portrait.  It definitely doesn’t work on all images but it’s just another handy tool!

For comparison here’s the same image but with a ‘normal’ post process applied…


I always end up de-saturating portraits as, even in the ‘Neutral’ or ‘Portrait’  settings my D300 is still a bit strong on the colours.


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