One Year Of Photography by Howard Haby

46/365: Photo Manipulation

One of the wonderful things about digital photography are the options you have available to you after your photos are taken. There are different levels of work you can perform on a photograph, from enhancements and corrections, to outright manipulation to create an illusion or deception. Don’t think manipulation is a bad thing (it can be of course) but usually it’s used for advertising and marketing or to create an image that is clearly not possible or fantastical. And the decision to do this is completely up to the photographer and/or artist for their own purposes.

I edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom. It’s an excellent program, and it allows me to correct and enhance my photos with only very minor “manipulations” available (spot healers, crops etc.) . It allows you to do this extremely efficiently and that is the main purpose of Lightroom. I have to edit my photos this way because I only shoot in RAW. RAW files are digital negatives so, like film, they still have to be processed afterward.

I’ve really only just started to use Photoshop. I didn’t feel like I needed it,  but I know that the program offers a lot of options that I’m not taking advantage of, and so I’m teaching myself. I really just want to learn the  very basics and that would suite me fine. But the more I learn, the more I want to know.  Take a look around on the internet and you’ll discover some amazing photography that has been digitally manipulated, and you’ll see how amazing these people can make their work look. So again, manipulation isn’t a bad word in photography, and it’s actually been around since the very beginning. On film, the developer can make the photo look drastically different than what you would think, and even waaaay back when, photographers have been known to cut and place negatives together and even use pencil to do such things as… make a tree look fuller. Yes, adding branches and leaves. For some examples of when photo manipulation is used for the purpose of deception, in modern photography and in the past, you can start with this link here.

Anyway, Dexter and his “cousin” Innik went to a dog show event tonight. They performed in a talent show and a costume contest. I snapped the photo below before Amy and her sister Natasha headed out to the show. They went with a Hippy theme and they looked great. I was inspired by this, and I took the same photo and used Lightroom and Photoshop together to create a series of different vintage looks, and I added some textures to help with that. Vintage doesn’t exactly have one look of course, and I’ve seen actual photos that looked similar to these at different points in time. Overall, I think these turned out ok. The last photo is for humor, and shows the effects of Dexter and Innik’s “special” doggy treats.


2 responses

  1. Mandy Poole

    Lightroom is boss. I use lightroom 3 beta right now, I find it does everything I need. Love the husky 🙂

    March 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    • Howard

      Have you used LR 2? Are there any upgrades or anything new in LR 3? I heard Aperture 3 was out now for the Mac users (I wish I could afford to be one) and heard it was pretty amazing too. For the most part, Lightroom will give most people pretty much everything. Thanks for the comment.

      March 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

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