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Author name (Administrator) #1
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Tell Me If You Like It!
On Saturday I was shooting some cheerleaders and one of them jumped into a tree.  I whipped off a couple of fast snaps, nothing fancy on short notice, and the usual problems I have with trees were encountered.  The super-bright sky and dark leaves, busy background and poorly lit subject meant I had to use the flash or get her in silhouette, and since it was a snapshot, the flash was on the camera and it shows.  Her white shoes were over-exposed by the light and she's got a glossy, unrealistic shine that I don't really like.

So what I did was attempt to make the best of a bad shot.  It seemed a shame to waste a cute girl (and her panties) and here's what I did:

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/photos/CheerTreedT.jpg]
Click for larger...

Here's the original shot:
[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/photos/CheerTreedOT.jpg]
Click for larger...

I liked the composition of the original, but no matter how I tweaked it, she always looked as if she'd been photoshopped into the image after the fact.  The light and shadows from the camera's flash made her look too different from the light and shadows from the sun...

So I cropped the troublesome shoes out, and minimized the background clutter, reducing the contrast and saturation until it was a more uniform, ignorable almost-grey mass.

The question is...  Does it work for you?
BLEARGH
poll
Poll: Does this image work for you?
(One vote · 50%) Yeah, I like it.
(One vote · 50%) No, it's rubbish.
This poll has no time limit · 2 votes
Author name #2
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Member since Apr 2009 · 59 posts · Location: Bendigo
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I don't actually think that it's rubbish; she certainly looks better without those shoes jumping out at you.
But I don't really fancy the washed-out look in the background...
Author name #3
Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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I think the depth of field is what's contributing to the appearance of Photoshop manipulation in the original pic. It's clear that the grass below the girl is also a distance behind, so if it were a bit less in focus (as well as the trees and the house structure) I think you'd get some more perceived realism. It's not always about light and shadow.
Author name (Administrator) #4
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Interesting suggestion.  Sadly I think the chances of being able to successfully blur the background in a realistic fashion is ruined by the leaves.  That's a lot of work, right there.  =)

I should just ask her to meet me at the tree again so I can re-take the shot.
BLEARGH
Author name #5
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User title: Not to Scale
Member since Nov 2007 · 14 posts · Location: Brisbane, Australia
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I love how photoshopped she looks! It's uncanny! When you ask her for a reshoot, see if you can get her to do some handstands and cartwheels.
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