Since posting this image I have had quite a few questions from people asking me for editing tips and advice on how to do things.
Now I know editing is something which takes a lot of time and skill and practice, and it's something I'm still learning and getting better at, but I think what makes for a most successful edit is having a vision and knowing what you want to do to that image - and that's something you cannot teach.
But here goes anyway.
Here is my editing thought process for this image, "Not So Grey" and what I did to it summarized underneath.
This is the "before" image -
As you can see there are no birds etc but it did make for a lovely portrait, the look on Jade's face is enigmatic and I loved what she was doing with her hands and posture. I didn't, however enjoy the greenery behind her - I find with portraits, unless something really adds to the colour or composition, it's usually more pleasing to my eye when the background is simple or minimalistic.
Regardless, I didn't intend to do much with this image other than make it a nice "extra" portrait for her set, so I cut out some of the birds from other shots and posted them in:
I loved how this was beginning to look, but I then encountered another problem - friction!!! The birds were completely cluttering up the shot and the greenery in the background wasn't helping. That's when I decided to take Jade & the birds and put them onto another shot I'd taken of the background from a different angle:
I preferred this massively, and about 2 1/2 hrs of editing had passed so it was at this point I decided to go whole-hog and make it into a full portfolio piece for flickr. The crop here is okay, but it's tight and leaves nothing else for the viewer to imagine. Making it a square crop with lot's of empty space gives room for someone to think that Jade is stood completely alone with only birds around her - in this crop you can imagine people walking by just out of frame, and that's not the atmosphere I wanted to create.
I cleaned up the background, added in a couple more pigeons and went ahead to make the sq crop.
The way I do this is:
Image>Canvas size>(alter to sq dimensions)>Flatten.
I took the same image of the background I'd used to move Jade onto and using transform tools, layering and erasing I blended the image together.
Colour is always last for me, and at first I played with this set of colours:
Which was nice, but I still wasn't 100% sure. I felt lighter that day and I wanted to make the image warmer and a little more heavenly, so I ended up with
Which I was happy with!
So there we go, an unexpected portfolio place while editing without limits. Skill can take you places that's for sure, but it's no good if you look at an image in a certain way and don't look for the full potential.
Hopefully this blog post will help anyone who's stuck with dodgy greenery and no pigeons see that you can always transform it into an incredible moment, and that the moment still counts - maybe even more so, because it's yours!
Signing off for now,