August 22, 2012

Pretty Petal Studio - What Makes My Photos "Fine Art?"

Straight out of the camera (SOOC) shot.

 Close-up of the lake - lots of debris to clean up.

Final image!

Every now and again I'm asked about my workflow process or what makes my photographs "Fine Art?"  I believe it's the feel of my photos once they're "finished."  Many times I don't know how the image will look until I sit down with it and ponder its mood.  I'm influenced by many things, the place, the lighting, an expression...even the music that I'm listening to while I edit can play a factor on how the image turns out.

For me, I can work on a straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) image for 5 minutes or for 30 minutes!  Sometimes even longer than that if I'm playing with textures, adjusting skin tones, or cloning out distractions...such as my example and all the debris in the water.  I thought it would be fun to show an example of a SOOC image and what it looks like as a "final."  (I know I love seeing before and after shots!)

For this image of a recent senior session, I cropped in tighter, adjusted the lighting, enhanced skin and hair, warmed it up, cloned out all the lake debris, and added some filters and textures.  There were other steps in this process as well such as popping the color of the red ballet slippers, sharpening, etc.  Overall this image took me longer than 30 minutes to edit.

Sometimes in this process, I'll go through all that work and scrap it because it's just not right in some way...and start all over again.  I love this artistic/creative process.  It's why I consider myself an artist and my photography "fine art."  The post-production of my images is a very important aspect of my business.  It's how it becomes my "style."

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