Monday, January 26, 2015

Photo Challenge #8: If You Can Dodge a Wrench...

After playing along with Erin's 30 Word Thursday weekly challenge on her Treasures Found Blog for the past year I have finally taken the plunge and started taking photography more seriously.  Starting with my iPhone, I soon found that the limitations of that device were getting to me.  Upgrading to a Cannon Eos Digital Rebel SL1 camera, I've started experimenting more with technique.  I have also invested in Photoshop Elements 12 and most of my post-production on photos will be from that program.  As a way to force myself to try new things, I'm doing a weekly photo challenge--each week focusing on a different photography or editing technique.  Some of these may be simple and others more difficult.  I encourage any of my readers to take part in the challenge!  Without further ado and and in reference to the schlock-fest movie of Dodge Ball:

If You Can Dodge A Wrench...

For this challenge we will be trying out the classic photography method of Dodging.  In the old days of film, this technique was used during the developing process to lighten areas of the film selectively.  One would basically hold a semi-opaque sheet over the developing film--allowing less light to hit a specific area of the print and hence less exposure.  This resulted in a lighter or "dodged" area where you wanted it.  Now with photo editing programs one can imitate this effect with much less trial and error.  So this week take a picture--preferably one where the contrast isn't as great as you would like it--and use this technique to add more light to select areas of the photo.  Last week we focused on the flipside of this with Burning In.  For super extra credit I'd like to see both techniques used on one picture.  Check out last week's post HERE.

The technique I'm using in these pictures is not quite the pre-programmed Dodge settings on Photoshop Elements, but approximates the effect pretty well and is easy to do.  First take the picture you want and move it to the Editor using the Expert tab.  Now use the very far right upper corner arrow down menu and from there choose New Layer.  Move down to Overlay and click the little box right below that drop-down to make it use a gray base.  Next choose the paintbrush tool off to the left side of the screen with medium soft brush at about 30% opacity to start.  Choose the size based on what areas you are going to alter.  Next click D on the keypad and this will change the foreground color (click between Black and White by using X) you want White as your Dodge foreground.  Hint: Burning In works the same way exactly, but you use Black as the foreground color.  Next you simply use the paintbrush to scrub over the areas you want lighter.

This picture was taken at The Walker a few weeks ago.  The place has crazy angles and just seems…off.  This particular hallway really accentuates the oddity.  Ok, so the effect is subtle here.  I took the first photo, in which the walls and the hanging crystals were just a bit too dark, and lightened them up by dodging enough to get more texture and POP.

That is all I have time for this week, but I also used the effect in one of last week's entries.

For next week's Photo Challenge #9 we are going to make use of our frigid winters.  I want to see some snow or ice!  If you live in an area without seasons, then go ahead and just take some pictures outside to make us jealous.

1 comment:

Todd said...

I like both versions!! Been busy so I won't be playing along this week but I'll try to catch up next week and post for both challenges. Really appreciate you hosting it!!