Take back the contrast or embrace it? I have always run run run from busy backdrops when boudoir photographers around the world were purchasing those black and white damask backdrops I was shaking my head with a hell no. What happens however when you’re on location and you don’t have a choice. Do you run from it or embrace it. I posted a photo from this shoot and there was an instant splitting of very strong opinions between like and don’t like so I edited the shoot dropping the contrast and embracing it, here is how I did it and I hope it helps you when you find yourself with a backdrop asking for more attention than your client.
Canon 5D iii ISO 640 1/50s 1.8 (for background and hair blur) 50mm 1.2 lens Light Kinoflo thru scrim Late afternoon light
Out of camera tones are very soft and neutral, obviously throwing yellow.
Open in PS and up curves for a little more contrast.
Open in Alienskin Polaroid SX-70 Blend 75% – one of my top used like it but keep looking
Color fading – Color Photo Warm Skin at 40% (definitely like the contrast and color pop)
Stay in fading Kodachrome 40% with dust and scratches removed subdued and more grungy not a beauty look
and thats what I stayed with Kodachrome 40% with dust and scratches removed up the contrast a little. Once I find the tone and mood of an image in editing I generally stick with the same tone of all the sequence of images in that one outfit or backdrop. I like uniformity it looks more professional and you definitely see consistency which is a good thing.
Out of camera: Some people would be horrified when images came out so flat and neutral but my camera picture style setting is set to neutral with two stops contrast dialed down. What I get is an even perfectly exposed image that I can do anything with. Before you flip over that statement my work has always had a flatness and softness to it it is my signature look. So before you start to preach to me about the RULES remember I don’t follow them.
I have always been drawn to cold editing I like anything that takes the skin tones slightly away from red which is normal. I have always liked slightly desaturated images so my go too here was Color Films Vintage Kodachrome 35mm faded (Would you believe a film I actually shot on for years in the 90’s)
Color Fading Color Photo Warm Skin so I also try the opposite because how do you know unless you try this whole fading set is seriously yummy
I ended up with this Polaroid 600 Brown Highlights then I went to textures and put a texture over it. Dial back the texture over the face with Protect and drop the opacity of the texture for subtlety
The texture gives the wallpaper a vintage look there is contrast on her and a more faded look on the backdrop
Pulled away from wall a little more a nice shallow f/1.8 and soft light on the face
experimented with the cold tones and then the warms
I actually finished with this a perfect mix of both this was the warmer of the two with command B plus 10 blue and command M curves more contrast
Out of camera This was my first light test before I bought a reflector close to her obviously sitting on the edge of under exposed more drama on the face but I really liked it the natural shadow around her face this not what I normally do, you know I like to bring up the face light and flat so I wondered if I edited it a little gutsy and dramatic if I could make it work
Straight to the polaroid filters because they are the drama filters I like the best
This was in the Vintage range and towards Cyan
and then I went Textures used protect around the face and cropped a little tighter
Tessa is building a model folio to try to get model work I enjoyed being a little bit more fashion in my otherwise glam portrait world and it’s always good to try something new.