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Throw me a stick: Before & after

Dang, 2 sticks in 2 weeks. People are reading my blog *suprised*, and not the least … Pieter Van Impe threw me a before & after stick this weekend. So it’s my turn to give you some insight in how I handle my images.

I’ve noticed a positive evolution in my processing. I don’t always need the drastic presets to change the look of an image. (although I still browse trough them looking for a nice reference/starting point) The base of a good processing is still the image you pull out of your camera. I’m not saying editing is a bad thing but maybe editing is the reason I can enjoy street photography that much. You know, those world-press photo kind of things. It’s honest…

So getting to know my camera better & learning about light means I get to visualize the look before I shoot it.

To get started, a shot of the basketball portraits that I’m currently editing. (another sneak preview). For this particular session, to get the look I wanted, it’s all about the light. (more about this in a next post). There is no way in hell I would have been able to get this look using flat, boring on-camera light, or by using the available fluorescent lights. Post processing for this shot was used to amplify that look : saturation, clarity, contrast & levels and some super vignetting (after cloning away that unwanted flare)

before & after

For the belly picture I also set up the lights for the look I wanted. Processing here was used to clean-up: adjusting WB, softening the skin & bringing out highlights on the wooden frame.

Black & White images are a bit problematic for me. I can’t see them before I shoot. I still play around in lightroom and hope to bounce into something I like… Lately I’ve noticed that setting my camera to a custom B/W image style and taking random pictures helps me seeing it better. Without passing the stick back to Pieter Van Impe, I am curious if he has some tips & tricks to share on that matter. Or anyone else ?

And sometimes I can’t stop at some simple adjustments …. (or I still just need to rescue a mediocre picture)

before & after

So receiving a stick means I get to pay it forward …

Bert Stephani, because I love his look and hope he has a small teeny little tip to share.
Tim Freh, because he ignored my first stick.
Aka van der velden, because maybe she already knows one of Bert’s secret.
Oh and an extra stick to Dave Hill … you never know 😉

6 Comments so far  
by Sofie 09.10.08 6:57 pm

Nice before/afters!! 🙂

by Hilde Eyckmans 09.09.08 10:03 am

hoe enkele kleine aanpassingen een foto kan “upliften”…ik blijf mij er ook nog steeds over verbazen…mooi gedaan

by tomleuntjensphotography 09.09.08 6:14 am

@Steven: ik had de flare gelaten had ik hem daar gewild, maar hier was het een ongelukje. (daarna is er een gobo bijgekomen om dit te verhinderen)

@Thomas: darn, missed that. But since she will accept yours I’m good 😉

@Pieter: welcome & thanks.

by Pieter 09.08.08 9:47 pm

Thx for accepting the stick Tom, and a very nice post if I may say so !

by Thomas 09.08.08 8:14 pm

Great to see you’re joining in the fun, Tom! I love to see how other photographers handle their images.

Looks like Ake now has 2 of these sticks though, since I also threw it in her direction 😀

by gekiekt 09.08.08 6:21 pm

Die flare bij de basketter lijkt wel een bal die door het net gaat. Best wel grappig maar het leidde de aandacht teveel af. Heel knappe foto!