Hard to believe, but when I ran a wedding gown up a flagpole in front of a dozen fellow photographers and shot up the skirt in the wind, this is exactly the sort of image I expected to obtain at the end. As per usual, they thought I’d lost it. Perhaps. More curious is that I haven’t made a remix in a while. It is immensely fun, especially when making a spectacle of yourself in the process.
Archives for January 2011
Here’s another tip derived from hard-won experience. As you create your master file, which you will save in a special place and duplicate for cropping and other derivatives, use every pixel that came out of your camera, the entire rectangle! It seems like a no-brainer to crop out that offending branch that will never be printed or shown on the interweb, but leave it in. Here’s the reason: masking.
Let’s say it’s 2009 and you are working a high contrast shot and you make a complicated selection to darken the sky and save it as a mask on an adjustment layer. The one thing you do not want to do is have to recreate that mask. Now let’s say that it is 2010, and Adobe releases an upgrade to its Camera RAW function. And imagine that the new ACR settings make all your RAW files juicier, more alive. You want to go back to that 2009 landscape and reinterpret it with the shiny new 2010 ACR engine. The simplest thing to do is to re-process the RAW file, open your original PSD and drag the new layer between the adjustment layer and the original background layer. Works like a charm…if the new file is the same size and proportion as the previous file. Your masks will align with the sky, because it’s still in the same place before.
If you cropped your original in ACR (for example to the green lines in the example image), when you re-interpret the RAW file, you have to replicate not only the same crop proportions, but the exact same pixel dimensions for your revised layer (match green, not blue) to align to the mask. Otherwise, allow extra time for scaling and positioning, and hope that the data interpolation doesn’t degrade the crispness of your file. Make it a rule to use the full sensor output for every master file and you can always swap in a revised background layer at some future date, knowing that your masks and adjustments will align perfectly.
Remember, one master file to rule them all, and use every pixel your camera provides, every time.
The shoot went for 6 hours, happy outcomes, thanks to my amazing friends. Images are still under wraps. In the meantime, I found this to share. Too many roadside relics are slipping away. I really need to get back on the road.