The Details

14 Jun

The other night, I was editing an image.  I was cloning out a scuff on the wall behind my subject, and a friend asked why I would bother.

My answer? Portrait edits are an art unto themselves.  The difference between an “ok” photo and a photo that pops can very well be in the details.

Kevin Howard - Edit

Kevin Howard – Edit


Kevin Howard - No Edit

Kevin Howard – No Edit

Obviously, as with anything else in life, there needs to be some substance to the image to begin with.  Good composition, feel…an emotional connection to the subject are all so important in portrait photography.  The thing that adds the polish though, is a strong edit.

Are the tones even?  Are there distracting shadows? Are the eyes bright? Teeth? Are there distracting blemishes? Wrinkles? Fly-aways?

What about the background?  Is the backdrop clear of distractions?  If you missed something while shooting, are you making a conscious decision to leave that in while you post process…or did you never see it to begin with?

Personally, I almost always prefer to dress my images up before I show them to the world.  Especially when these are paid images that will be used for publication!  A happy client will bring you more business…and that alone is motivation to clone stamp til the cows come home! 😉

Kevin Howard - Poster

Kevin Howard – Poster

7 Responses to “The Details”

  1. 8teen39 June 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    What a great demonstration of the difference between an acceptable photo and a polished, professional photo. I always enjoy playing around with my images. And I’m no professional. But if I notice something out of place or amiss that I can fix, then someone, somewhere, is bound to notice, too. And possibly be distracted!

    • seeingspotsphoto June 15, 2012 at 2:53 am #

      In my experience, the more practice you have editing portraits, the more you notice things that are amiss. haha Wedding edits have actually been a great learning tool for me…you go through a 1000+ photos, and before you know it, you have a portrait edit workflow down to a science. 😉

  2. David Pasillas June 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Flyaways! -_-

  3. Jeremy June 15, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    I agree 100%! I rarely put up a photo that hasn’t been at least looked at in Lightroom. and almost all need some touching up, even if it’s just tweaking the WB or exposure.

    • Jeremy June 15, 2012 at 2:44 am #

      oh, and is it on iTunes?

      • seeingspotsphoto June 15, 2012 at 2:51 am #

        I believe it will be, though his official CD release party is on June 23rd, so likely not until after then. =)

      • Jeremy June 15, 2012 at 3:06 am #


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