The After and Before forum is organised by Stacy Fischer, it is a place where amateurs as well as seasoned photographers explain the wow and how about their photo and editing decision.You can read more here about how to take part.
This week’s image for the “Before and After Forum” didn’t take much editing and most of the colour adjustments were made in two steps. I planned to create an image that was bright and fresh. I went to my kitchen to find a subject and grabbed a bag of spaghetti. I put the spaghetti in a cup and grabbed my camera. I used my 90mm macro lens and all my extension tubes together, having a much longer lens meant that I would have to use an external light source. I set my flash on a tripod angled down over the lens. I focused in on one piece of spaghetti, checked the depth of field and began shooting. I played a bit with exposure and iso until I got the best exposure I could get with a nice depth of field.
The original image has a strange mustard yellow tone; I could adjust this to be a brighter yellow like we think of dried pasta. If I did brighten the yellow the scene would be quite monochromatic with the whole image being yellow.
I increased the exposure slightly and then started thinking about playing with the colour channels with the curves. I wanted to manipulate the colours to have a slightly cross processed tone. The image is quite a high key from looking at the histogram. I made some minor adjustments in the green channel adding magenta to the blacks as well as red; this softens these tones slightly but won’t have a huge effect at the moment. The biggest change was to the highlights as I increased the strength of the yellows by lowering these tones in the blue channel.
With the luminance curve I brighten the whole image.
Although the colours were looking nice I wanted to change them even more. I went to Camera Calibration the bottom panel in Lightroom and changed the profile from Adobe Standard to Camera Faithful. This had a great effect; it actually brightened the image, stunted the blacks and shadows. The yellows are now much creamer and the shadows have red and magenta tones I added earlier.
I sharpened the image to have sharp fine details since most of the sharp details are on the top of the spaghetti.
I wanted to add a bit of contrast to the midtones and increased the clarity.
I applied some selective sharpening and cleaned the image of spots and dust. This is where I stopped and sent in my entry to the forum. While writing this post I realised there were some things I didn’t like. The greens in the shadows didn’t fit with the rest of the colours. The main tones are red and yellow; green just did not just blend as well.
I decided to correct this with two gradient adjustments using a light magenta colour as well as blighting the shadows to soften these areas and bring more harmony to the image.
I also made some changes to the highlights and shadows as well as setting a white point and reducing the blacks.
I really like the final image it has the bright freshness I was going for. I also like my idea of just taking anything and seeing it through a macro lens. Due to using the macro and extension tubes the focus is really soft, but that helps to add a dreamy feel.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the final image.
Remember if you liked this post to; like, share and subscribe.
If you wish to get notifications when I post on my blog, you can follow me on Twitter@apertureF64, on Facebook.com/aperturesixtyfour or alternatively be emailed by subscribing below. All images are the Copyright of Benjamin Rowe , ALL RIGHTS Reserved unless credited to another photographer. For more information please read my Copyright Statement