The breakfast-by-the-lake example

I have a great shooting arrangement with Bambi, one of my favorite models. I show up every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the park with my digital camera, tripod, and backpack, and hike over to the part of the lake where she has breakfast. On cue, she then hides behind some trees and I take photos of her. Strictly professional!

Figure 7-6 shows an original image of Bambi, and the same image adjusted for color and tonality in Camera Raw. I first evaluated the white balance of the image, and decided to increase the temperature slightly to add a little "warmth" (a little more orange and yellow). I then actually decreased exposure, not to correct the image, but to make it slightly darker. I decided to increase shadows a bit (remember, I like my dark areas to be a little darker than normal sometimes), and then increased the saturation to bring out some color.

Figure 7-6 shows an original image of Bambi, and the same image adjusted for color and tonality in Camera Raw. I first evaluated the white balance of the image, and decided to increase the temperature slightly to add a little "warmth" (a little more orange and yellow). I then actually decreased exposure, not to correct the image, but to make it slightly darker. I decided to increase shadows a bit (remember, I like my dark areas to be a little darker than normal sometimes), and then increased the saturation to bring out some color.

Original Evaluated and adjusted

Figure 7-6: Original image, and the same image after evaluating and making adjustments.

Except for an out-of-focus branch or two, I liked the way Bambi turned out! (Of course, I can always get rid of some of the branches covering her face with the nifty Healing Brush tool, which I further explain in Chapter 11.) I'm going to bring her a print next Saturday. (I hope she doesn't think I'm bringing her breakfast.)

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It's easy to go bonkers with color and tonal adjustments in both Camera Raw and Photoshop. In Figure 7-5, for example, the background color is slightly exaggerated, but that's an effect I wanted for that particular photo. For other photos, I may not exaggerate saturation or contrast at all, it depends on how I want my image to be viewed. Be careful you don't make adjustments so extreme that your photos start to appear unrealistic — unless, of course, some of you Surrealists want them to be like that!

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