Meet photo retouching specialist Serge Ramelli
If you're a regular here you probably know I'm OK with post production and know my way around Photoshop and Lightroom - but the retouching side of imaging isn't really my thing.
So I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine called Serge Ramelli. Serge is a French photographer working in Paris, his images are awesome and he's a complete wizard when it comes to photo re-touching. I've learned loads from Serge and I know you will too.
I can show you the first steps so you have a working knowledge then Serge will show you how to take it to the masterclass level of image blending and all the deeper intricacies of Photoshop and Lightroom.
To my mind he's the perfect person to help you onto the next step of post production photography. I mean would you have believed just looking at the dull looking image on the left that the RAW image file contained all the data needed to create the one on the right? Serge has not added anything that wasn't there already.
What he's done is maximise the impact of the image and made it look more the way it was to his eye when the photo was taken.
So why would there be a difference between what you see and what the camera sees? Our eyes scan almost 180 degrees around us taking millions of images all the time. Our pupils dilate and pick up details in the highlights and shadows and our brains take this confusing mess and make a kind of HDR image of it all so we can make sense of the world around us.
And it's happening all the time. If your eyes are open and you're seeing stuff that's what's going on in the background. Cool eh?
But our cameras can only take one slice at a time so a lot of data is lost in the final Jpeg. Another way to say it is our eyes have a hugely greater exposure latitude to our cameras. So if you want an image that is closer to what your eyes see then you'll need a well composed, properly exposed original file which you can re-touch in the computer. And Serge Ramelli is the man.
The 7 Building Blocks of Photography has massively improved my photography overall. It has made me think about how I want an image to look, rather than just going out looking for an image, then get home and be disappointed. My approach now is to visualise, construct it block by block then make it happen. My 'hit rate' has soared.
- Neil Hanson -