I am Rod Wynne-Powell, and this is my way to pass on snippets either of a technical nature, or related to what I am currently doing or hope to be doing in the near future.

A third-person description follows:
Professional photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow trainer, Consultant, digital image retoucher, author, and tech-editor for Martin Evening's many 'Photoshop for Photographers' books.

For over twenty years, Rod has had a client list of large and small companies, which reads like the ‘who’s who’ of the imaging, advertising and software industries. He has a background in Commercial/Industrial Photography, was Sales Manager for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many digital photographers on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.
Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Photoshop, he is also very much involved in the taking of a wide range of photographs, as can be seen in the galleries.

See his broad range of training and creative services, available NOW. Take advantage of them and ensure an unfair advantage over your competitors…

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Aylesbury Concert Band, Stone Fête

There is no gallery of images on this occasion, it is simply an illustrated explanation regarding one of the ways my images might be tweaked on occasion

On one of the very few occasions when I am not taking pictures of the Band in Concert, I found myself chatting to Ian who it turns out is married to one of the Band’s musicians; it is during this conversation that he mentions that he noticed that I seem to have somehow picked out an individual in some of the shots I have taken of the Band, but he somehow thought it was the way I had taken the shot. I had to own up that when taking the shot it was often because for me one person, or one group was what I envisaged capturing at that specific moment, and that when I am back at the computer and come to that shot, I realise why it was that I captured that moment and wanted to ensure others viewing were treated to what I had sensed at the time I pressed the shutter.
I use Lightroom for processing the images I take, and it is the reason I shoot in Raw, so have the ability to use the Develop module to subtly alter individual images that become those I then put into a Gallery and place on the server, to be viewed over the Internet from my Blog. I am often using a zoom lens, so frequently an image is used without further cropping and what I am then doing is ensuring that I capture detail in both shadows and highlights by altering the range to suit what I am hoping to project from the scene.
It is at this point I may wish to use the entire picture, but try to somehow highlight the area I want the viewer to notice. The Radial filter is what I then bring into play by making an ellipse around the chosen area and may also rotate it to finesse where I wish to draw attention, which on this occasion was to darken beyond the musician playing the clarinet, and rotate the ellipse slightly anticlockwise. The tool can made to operate either within or without the ellipse that has been drawn, also the subsequent mask that is being created can also be feathered to apply the changes I make with the required subtlety to hide how I have achieved the effect.
  Here is the image before I have made the alterations I have just described, and as you can see your eye is treated to several rows of musicians right through to the percussion section at the rear, and even though my focus is upon the Clarinet section, no person is noticeably more obvious than another, it is entirely egalitarian, however, when I took the shot I was focussed upon the lady in the blue jacket, so when I wanted to draw the observer’s eye to where I wanted them to look, I despotically lessened the contrast of those around and beyond her so that the observer did my bidding and concentrated on this individual player. I also lessened the highlights.
To get across my point, I have over-egged it a tad here, but it is still sufficiently subtle as to not look ham-fisted in my attempt at explaining the mechanics involved.

Note I did not tick the ‘Invert Mask’ box, so that the changes I made to the parameters I chose were applied beyond the selected area of the ellipse. I lessened the Contrast, because had that area been less brightly lit, it would lack contrast relative to the lit area, in addition I targetted the highlights and lowered these too for a similar reason, and lastly the feathering of the mask was just enough that there was no obvious sign of the ellipse that created the mask being obvious when the visitor viewed the end result.
Creating Galleries of images quickly, efficiently and effectively is the reason that I use Lightroom for the task, since to involve Photoshop to carry out retouching prior to creating a gallery adds way too much time to the process, and though the tools are less sophisticated, with practice ways can be found that mitigate the limitations and allow a large number of retouched images to be available to the Internet audience in fairly short order. Another beauty of working in this manner is that if I am approached for a high resolution image to be used in Print, the hard work is largely done, and the subsequent file can be despatched rapidly, and this leaves Photoshop for the more subtle or detailed work by exporting directly from the original in the Lightroom catalog.
One last point, despite my having exaggerated the effect to explain the technique, it does not show an ellipse to give away how I achieved the effect, and I might add that I am also able to deal with the extraneous highlights or shadows separately if needed.
Ian, I hope this explanation is helpful; I dedicate it to you and your wife. I hope it may help others who wish to use such tools in Lightroom when they are taking a large number of photos for display in galleries rather than individual images.

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