Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Workflows and Actions

I've been asked how I get my images to look the way I do. Most of it is in taking the image. It's easier to take an image correctly than it is to try to correct it. Get your white balance, ISO and exposure correct first. Get things the way you want and take the image.

Digital images if not simple snapshots look better processed. They often have a "haze" to them and the colors may not be rich. Processing or "workflow" is what you do to an image to clean it a little. It involves cropping, color correction, skin or item correction (think removing blemishes or leaves or anything distracting) and then any artistic additions.

Here is a video I did for the process.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Advanced Rule of Thirds or The Fibonacci Ratio

We've spoken a little about the Rule of Thirds and how to use it to make your pictures look better. The rule of thirds, to re-state, says if you divide your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically, you will get 9 equal squares on your image. Placing a subject at the intersection of those lines is pleasing, specifically, the upper right zone is the most pleasing.

There is another rule or ratio that is pleasing to the eye. It's the "God Ratio" or Fibonacci Ratio/Spiral. Whether you are familiar with it or not, you have seen this spiral. The sea shell is an example of this spiral.

It's a spiral of specific proportion. Most people don't like math, so I won't get into it, but that spiral, when applied to a photograph is very pleasing.

Let's take this picture for example. It typifies both the rule of thirds and the Fibonacci Ratio.

When we overlay the Fibonacci Spiral as well as the Rule of thirds, we get the intersections at the subject's face.

What does this have to do with pictures?

When editing an image, try to do a couple of things. First, when shooting try to place the subject in an area of the frame that will accentuate one of the two rules.

Second, when editing, overlay the image with one of these two rules and try to place the subject at the critical points either in the grid or in the spiral. This creates a very pleasing image to your client as well as your art.

I found these images with a simple Google search.

Rule of Thirds
Fibonacci Spiral