The photo before/after that I am showing you today just about did my head in. If you didn’t think I was nuts before, this may just convince you.
While we were walking along the beach at Nambucca Heads last week, I saw the youngest crouched down, looking at the water and I had to capture the moment. His mirrored image in the water (image 1 below) and his absorption in the waves (image 2 below) compelled me.
Both of those shots above are ok, but I wanted the shot capture in a more panoramic image. However, as I did not have my wide angle lens to capture the beach scene in its entirety in one panoramic shot, I made the dumb decision to take a series of shots to stitch a single image together in Photoshop later.
This plan didn’t work for 2 reasons:
1) Waves don’t stand still. The resulting composite picture had waves higgledy- piggledy all over the place. A pho-editing nightmare that I was not prepared to work with. I have my limits. Haha!
2) 10 year olds don’t stay still for long. Mine was getting impatient. The precious moment was passing. I rushed the shots and that never works well for me.
Days later, back home at my computer; when I tried to do a composite stitch in Photoshop, I was less than impressed with the result. It was clear that my shooting had been sloppy at best; the lighting and colour balance in each of the shots I was trying to merge into one were all over the place.
The best composite I managed still didn’t have that beautiful frothy wave coming up to the 10 year old at all.
On top of that, half the 10 year old’s reflection was missing. I was not happy at all. The photo I was seeing was not how I remembered that perfect moment on the beach.
I took a day off from looking at the image. The next day, with fresh eyes and new zeal, I started to put together the main components I wanted to have in the finished product onto one image in Photoshop. It looked like this, halfway through messing around with it.
It took ages, but I finally got to the point where I was pretty happy with the wave, and the reflection was completely in the shot. Phew.
This done, I got lazy and blatantly added the clouds that gathered on the beach an hour later. I also made the finished image a bit rounded at the ends like a globe. This was an accidental warp I did when I was trying to fix something else. And you know what, I quite like that ‘edge of the world’ feel.
Sometimes going crazy with photo manipulation is fun, but if I had to do this kind of editing every day, I would not last long.
I learn more each time I wield my camera to get the shot right as best I can IN-CAMERA. That means take the extra few moments to ensure that I get it right as I shoot, rather than having to try to rectify massive mistakes in Photoshop.
Over and out!