Third times the charm. That’s the number of photos it took for me to create a product I was happy with. I think the lesson learned is to start with a photo you are passionate about, and one that is as good of quality as you can acquire. This will make the editing process easier.
I have included my original 2 attempts that I call a failure. The 3rd attempt is what I will submit for grading as I am please with how it turned out. For each photo, I described the tools I used, or the thought process I had in that stage.
(Failed) Attempt 1 – Rainbow Falls, Hawaii, Sept 2017
Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Panoramic – 00 – Original
- Original photo taken with iPhone 7 Red.
- I chose this picture because I was inspired by these falls, and wanted to capture that to share.
Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Panoramic – 01 – Brightness and Contrast auto
- No noticeable difference using the auto Brightness and Contrast tool.
- I used the auto tool after playing around with Saturation/Hue manually for about 30 mins. This is when I realized there was not a ton of color in this photo, making editing harder.
Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Panoramic – 02 – Crop
- Cropped out some of the vegetation on the left side as I didn’t know how to edit the film over it. Plus, I was trying to decide a focal point and wanted less photo to work with.
Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Panoramic – 03 – Blue Gradient for Sky
- I was somewhat successful in creating another layer, and using Gradient to make the sky blue instead of washed out. However, I was not able to handle the sky behind the trees on the far right and in the middle. It was this point where I decided what I was trying to do was too complicated, and moved on.
(Failed) Attempt 2 – Family, Dec 2015
Greear Family, Dec 2015 – 00 – Original
- Original photo taken with iPhone 6.
- I chose this picture because this is one I want to keep for posterity. Note how dark the picture was as the lighting in the room was not great.
- The positioning was not great as there are chairs and lamps in the frame. See the far left.
Greear Family, Dec 2015 – 01 Contrast and Brightness
- Changing the contrast helped to lighten the picture significantly. Lighter photos typically signify happier, or more light-hearted situations compared to the darker photos. It was important me to “lighten” the mood in this photo (pun intended).
Greear Family, Dec 2015 – 02 Crop
- In efforts to reduce the noise (lamps, chairs, floor, legs) and to draw focus on the family members, I cropped the photo. I knew my improvements were somewhat positive, but I couldn’t not decide which direction I wanted to go. So I called it quits here and decided to pick a nature photo that wasn’t washed out.
- I assume removing the glare from Grandpa’s glasses would have been more work than it was worth.
(Success) Attempt 3 – Nevada Falls, Yosemite, June 2017
Yosemite National Park – 00 – Original
- Original photo taken with iPhone 7 Red.
- An amazing hike with my best friend. I wanted to capture the majesty of this part of the country.
Yosemite National Park – 01 – Crop
- Cropped out much of the rock face on the left to make the falls more of a focal point. Plus, this view has been photographed many times, I wanted to be more unique.
Yosemite National Park – 02 – Shadow and Highlights
- This was my first time using Shadows and Highlights. For some reason, this feature made the picture feel more “crisp” to me.
Yosemite National Park – 03 – Saturate Path with Color
- I decided that while the Falls are amazing, I wanted to highlight the path GOING to the Falls. For it took us a couple hours to get to this point, passing other Falls and obstacles along the way. Metaphor for life that most of the efforts that go into something amazing are mundane, hard, and unexciting (although I love nature so hiking in it is rarely what I described).
- I added more saturation to make the green catch the viewer’s eye, and draw attention to the path. I purposefully left the Falls a bit duller, and more in the shadows.
Yosemite National Park – 04 – Frost Quote
- Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”. Need I say more? I love this poem, and it felt fitting for my emphasis on the path leading to the Falls.
- That sun ray in the middle of the photo still annoys me though.