Yesterday, I was asked about my Caturday picture of Mrs.Parker, specifically about how it was done. I’ve mentioned before that I generally do very little post-processing. I feel that if I have to work that hard on the computer to make a picture look good, it means that the image was crap to begin with and I should be spending more time improving my camera skills, not my graphic arts skills.
Having said that, I do believe a good picture can be tweaked in a very minimal way that will help improve – not fix – an image. As Coco Chanel famously said, “Less is more.” This is as true for photo editing as it is for make-up and accessories. I know there are those who would disagree with me (on both counts) and that’s certainly their prerogative. If everyone took photos the same way and processed them all the same way, photography and art would be quite really dull. More power to those who can create something beautiful using their software tools, but I’m fine sticking to my focus on camera work and minimalist processing.
(For the record, today’s picture above has had no post processing other than a sliver cropped off the bottom. The background blurring effect was done entirely in-camera with a very wide aperture to create a very shallow depth of field. No exposure or color corrections were applied.)
I liked the original picture I took of Mrs.Parker. I took it with a wide aperture and fast shutter speed so I could have enough light and also isolate the subject (her furry little kitten face) with a shallow depth of field. Although I was generally satisfied with the image, I wanted to make sure the attention remained on the cat rather than on the foreground or the brighter lampshade. I cropped it a little, used a soften tool in Corel PaintShop to blur the edges, and added a tiny bit of vignetting so I could isolate her face a little bit more effectively.
Here is the before and after, side by side.