SCN Falls Farm Shoot (3): Dreamy-Sexy, Sexy-Dreamy

I have finally got around to post processing my third posting from the Falls Farm shoot with seriously cute niece from about two months ago. I can only do this when I am back at base because I don’t have my photo editing tools on my notebook computer.

The picture I am using here is actually not one of the pictures I originally tagged to process and post when I first went through the pictures from the shoot. But, sitting there bored silly in my motel unit away at site last week, flicking through the pictures from the shoot, I took a second look at this shot and decided it had something that I liked.

IMGP1080_v4-Small-SfrPWhen you first look at SCN in this photograph there is this dreamy sort of far-away ‘getting some sun’ relaxed look going on. But then as your eyes move off her face and you start to gather in the rest of the picture you come across the high heel shoes.

Suddenly the message coming from the picture switches from dreamy over to sexy. Then as you go back to her face it flicks back to soft and dreamy again.

So it works out to be a more interesting picture than I thought at first when I originally scrolled through the set.

This picture has a few totally blown highlights—areas so bright that I could not bring back the detail in them even using the RAW version of the picture. These can be seen on SCN’s shoulder, partially along both arms, and part of her right foot.

But even with these blown areas I think this picture still sort of works out okay.

The bench seat SCN is sitting on looks very thin and fragile—at least it did to me at the time. When SCN suggested she sit on it and we try a few shots I was not sure it was a good idea because it looked to me like it might splinter and break. So I checked it out by pushing down on the planking to test its strength and surprisingly, for such old thin wood, it didn’t budge.

You can see that with SCN sitting on it there is no discernable bend in the planking. That wood is like steel flat bar it is so strong. In fact steel flat bar would probably bend more than the wood is.

IMGP1080_v4-Small-Soft-PAnyone who has followed this blog for a while will know I love playing around with photo editing software, and this time is no exception.

In the version at right I have played around with every wedding photographer’s favourite filter in Photoshop; the guassian blur.

I have tried not to go too overboard and I have not added the white halo effect around the subject that wedding photographers sometimes add.

For me this softness adds to the dreamy feel of the picture. When you look at this edit and then go back to the first shot, suddenly the first edit looks very harsh and solid.

It is rather odd in a way. We pay out small fortunes for cameras with automatic focussing capabilities that can focus perfectly in milliseconds on a button from 10 meters away. We buy lenses that cost even more than the camera because the superior optics in the lens can focus in pencil sharp without producing chromatic aberrations. Then we take this perfectly focussed sharp picture and apply blur to it using Photoshop! Hmmmmm.

Sadly, having gone this far with the soft dreamy look versus the the sexy shoes look I could not resist the next obvious step.Yep. You guessed it. The white glow framing. I know some of the more serious photographers reading this just decided to move away and check out some other links …

For those that stayed with me I know its overused and I seriously do try to avoid these kind of scrap-book edits, but somehow, for this dreamy-sexy picture is just needed to be done—so here it a version with the white-glow edges (sometimes called angel-dust edging or powder edging).

IMGP1080_v4-Small-SoftFrPAll photo editing, including the processing of the RAW file, was done using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. I haven’t decided whether to buy the v10 upgrade yet or not, although I probably will.

As usual, each picture links directly to a larger 900 pixel high slightly less compressed version in SmugMug. You will need the password to get into the folder. The password is located elsewhere in this posting.

Also in SmugMug there are two other experimental edits. One where I played around with a textured canvas finish but I just could not get it to work out how I wanted (here). The other where I played around with blue (sampled from the shoes) as the angel-dust edging and then went totally overboard and added a bevelled framing edge (here).


The picture on SmugMug with the blue angel-dust edging is sort of interesting because the base picture has not had the wedding picture guassian blur effect applied. So you have a crisp non-blurred picture of the model but then with this cold blue glow around the edge. I almost posted it here but then I thought three pictures was sufficient.

As always any comments are welcome—with the exception of SPAM comments obviously.