PDA

View Full Version : T12E - Technique



Keith_A_Howe
01-01-2011, 05:32 PM
Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

I skipped over a couple elements to go to technique because I thought it was particularly timely as it applies to images on other competition threads. As it says above technique is more then just PS effects added to an image but PS effects are the one technique that as a judge I most often see effecting scores adversely. Remember two things, first if the effect used does not emphatically improve the image, then leave it off. Secondly, just because we can, doesn't mean we should. I am talking about over retouching a person to the point where the skin looks like vacuum molded plastic. This over retouching and super soft skin is even more of a problem when we have super tack sharp eyes and hair. Just because you can eliminate every pore and very little line doesn't mean you should.

Technique is also things like choosing to do painter or add Lucius or use infra red. A painter image is probably not the right choice for an image that is portray grittiness or is about the graphic qualities of an image. Lucius is probably not the right choice for an image that is about softness, grace or beauty. Infra red almost always conveys fantasy or a surreal dreamlike quality to me, so I most often respond to it on an image that is supposed to convey those feelings. If you are going to use a technique think about what you are trying to say and what feeling you want the viewer to have. Then use techniques that perpetuate those ideas.

Lastly about PS techniques in particular. Applying a filter or using an effect seldom can save a weak image. Judges recognize those attempts for what they are, trying to hide issues. They will score accordingly. Start out with a strong image and then add techniques but only if they make it even stronger.

Keith

GregYager
01-01-2011, 10:42 PM
I'm thinking this may be a good image for this thread. I "Techniqued" the hell out of it. I'm in a personal debate as to whether I helped this image or killed it so I will probably agree with anything said about it. Hope this helps.

http://www.mymorganfield.com/forumimages/technique1.jpg

http://www.mymorganfield.com/forumimages/technique2.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
01-01-2011, 11:18 PM
I'm thinking this may be a good image for this thread. I "Techniqued" the hell out of it. I'm in a personal debate as to whether I helped this image or killed it so I will probably agree with anything said about it.


Lastly about PS techniques in particular. Applying a filter or using an effect seldom can save a weak image. Judges recognize those attempts for what they are, trying to hide issues. They will score accordingly. Start out with a strong image and then add techniques but only if they make it even stronger.


Greg, ask yourself if this was a strong image to start with. Go through the elements and think about how each one applies to this image starting with impact. I think this is a question you can answer for yourself.

Keith

GregYager
01-01-2011, 11:24 PM
The only impact the image seemed to have in my mind was that I liked the truck. The effects were added in an attempt to make the image appealing to a teenager. Lighting was flat...very flat so I added the effects with the thought of trying to create a sense of dimension. In retrospect I would think a flash on camera left just behind the line of the subject would have turned this otherwise dull image into a much better piece without adding any effects.

Joe_Galioto
01-02-2011, 01:27 AM
greg
first thing i noticed in the post prodution version is the skin tone,
(not veiwing on a calibrated screen)
it is so similar to the brick wall that you sort of lose definition
i also think a larger f stop would have softened the background to draw attention to the subject
colors are looking muddy also, i'm noticing the black tires are grey
subject is also looking out of the image, a different placement of subject would help give him some viewing space
hand on mirror looks awkward, almost feminine
although the orange shirt is complimentary to the blue truck, orange is a color i try to stay away from in portraiture, competes & overpowers the skin tones
other then that, i like it, more important, i'm sure your clients loved it
joe

GregYager
01-02-2011, 01:49 AM
The technical info on this image...
ISO160 / Lens 35-350L set at 63mm / f8 / ss 1/100

Joe, I could easily soften the background with a Gaussian blur but I still don't think it would fix the lack of direction in the lighting. The client did love it and it looks a bit better on metallic paper but I felt this was a good example of how PS technique can't be used to save a bad image.

Jeff_Dachowski
01-02-2011, 03:56 AM
As a general rule....Always try to get technique right...before you press the shutter.

Jeff

GregYager
01-02-2011, 04:01 AM
As a general rule....Always try to get technique right...before you press the shutter.

Jeff

This is very true and would have helped this image but some technique is purely post production.

Keith_A_Howe
01-02-2011, 04:21 AM
OK, moving on. Here is an example where I used watercolor paper as a technique that enhanced the image ( could also be considered presentation, most elements overlap)
http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p308/imager410/ementanglementpbucket.jpg

While you cannot tell here obviously, watercolor paper has a velvety feel that enhanced the peachiness of her skin and the softness of her sweater. I talk a lot about perpetuating the story of an image. If I had used a high gloss finish or metallic paper or even presented this as a digital file ( obviously not in option when I entered this) it would not have added to the overall feeling of softness this image conveys. This was a loan image for me in 08. It will be displayed at IUSA this year in the Imaging Excellence bar recipients display so anyone who is there can take a look at it and see how the choice of paper was a technique that improved this image. I just noticed on this monitor the background appears blown out. Obviously not the case on the actual image or it would never have gone loan.

Keith

alicjacolon
01-02-2011, 05:57 PM
Okie doke - here's my crack at technique.

This image was all done in camera. Just sharpen some elements in post and adjusted curves.

http://miamitaken.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/l5.jpg

I guess when viewed with the one with her brother, it makes a dynamic duo. (again, in camera, little post work)

http://miamitaken.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/l7.jpg



Here is an example where I used watercolor paper as a technique that enhanced the image
WOW! I love how you can advance the story with paper choice.

Keith_A_Howe
01-02-2011, 07:43 PM
Alicja
First image - really cute! I wish she had been turned a bit more toward camera so that her eyes were not as far into the corners. Specifically her right eye.

As to this discussion of technique, pertaining to competition, please tell us what technique or techniques you used and how they benifited the images.
Keith

alicjacolon
01-02-2011, 08:31 PM
Keith thanks!

As for technique I adjusted the white balance to capture the scene with more warmth.

Maybe this one is more interesting: I used a snoot on the subject, while using a polarized filter to capture the sky.

http://www.miamitaken.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/motherhood3.jpg

But I would suspect that the highlights are blown for this to be acceptable in comp... (see! I'm learning ;)

suebird
01-10-2011, 01:31 PM
I think that technique in camera is what defines styles and elements that we begin to recognize in a photographers' body of work. When you look at an image and can say who the photographer is, I think this is what is starting to lack in the industry a bit?

Not enough photographers establishing their siganture technique and too much PS in an attempt create a technique.....I guess that being said though....there are great shooters who have infamous technique and then add their signature ps techniques too.