Professional editing party photos, how do they do it?

Started Aug 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Port Royal Dad
Port Royal Dad Senior Member • Posts: 2,706
Photoshop is good, but strive for great OOC shots.

I can relate to exactly with what you're struggling on. And unless a photographer has had a professional mentor to help reduce the learning curve, everyone struggles with some aspect of photography: exposure, lighting, white balance, how to do this/that, composition, etc. etc.

My personal opinion....strive for the best results from Out Of the Camera (OOC), and then use Photoshop to tweak. Photoshop users however do have the wonderful ability to make radical changes to their shots. Just hang out in the Retouching Forum, those folks are amazing. But just to be sure, check the color and contrast and saturation settings on your camera. Know your camera's operations inside and out, and realize that you also have lots of options with in-camera settings.

Given time you'll realize that certain angles with the sun and your lens can cause flare and cause contrast problems with your shots, or your white balance makes your shots too blue or too orange.

A relatively simple way to put some of that "POP" into your shots is in how you approach lighting. There are fantastic photographers who constantly are posting their work here, and I am constantly in awe in how they bring out the colors and details both in the foregrounds and background elements. For example-

  • Isolate the subject from the background: in regards to exposure and focus.

Think of your shots as having a separate background exposure aka ambient (ISO, Shutter, Aperture) and a separate foreground exposure (flash lighting)

Experiment with wide open and narrow apertures to either blur the background or keep it in focus. I personally love the look of portraits where the background is separated from the foreground in-terms of lighting, plus the background is also blurred.

  • Look for competing background elements that will distract from the foreground.

  • Composition, so much is discussed on this, some is subjective, some very objective.

Another note too. Think of some project to engage in. Pick a theme and stay with it for a couple of weeks. Approach all your shots with a vision in mind, and how you want the shot to look. This is where you begin to formulate your lighting and how you want the background to look, as well as composition.

Regards, Mike

DoctorPhil wrote:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your answer. Sorry for this English (I'm French); I fully agree with you on aspects of composition and creativity, they are not professional. But the colors on the other hand, grabbed my interest. I know how to expose a photo manually, I do it all the time, also I extensively use an external flash, I'm working with Photoshop from time to time on my computer and I shoot in RAW but I don't manage to get these color effects in my photos. Maybe I have to learn more Photoshop, because with only Curves and Color balance adjustments I have no success recreating this look..

Since these photos are not professional, the colors shouldn't be too hard to replicate?

Thanks for the link, I have looked into it and will do more and your help so far!

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