Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick Tip: Minimizing Time in Post

So here's a little situation I found myself in after a shoot at the local high school - all my headshots had visible wrinkles and seams in the background. Looking at the LCD on the back of my camera, I thought I had the background far enough away from the main to be properly underexposed, but after pulling up the images at home I saw that this wasn't the case. They were pretty bad, in the original image to the left, you can see wrinkles in the background and the edge is visible on the left side of the image as well as a seam under the subjects arm.

No biggy right? just clone it out? Well not, if I want to make more than minimum wage on this job. I had to think smart and come up with a way that I could quickly correct the days shoot in the minimum amount of time. The technique I found worked quite well and, more importantly it was fast. Round trip from Lightroom to Photoshop and back was less than 2 minutes - I think the results (right) were believable and I know It would have took me at least 4 times as long if I were to try and clone or paint my way out of this mess. While the main take away from this job could have been 'get it right in camera' I think it really stressed the importance of taking a second look at how you approach a problem in photoshop and consider alternative solutions rather than jump to the first technique you know, cause it could save you a whole bunch of time.

I put a little screencast together showing the technique I used and while the video compression really makes it tough to see the defects in the shadows, you can still get the gist of what I'm doing...
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