The Making of "Already September"

How the winning photo of the October open theme contest was made

By ADestroyer in Photo Contests on Dec 6, 2019

"Already September" by ADestroyer

I would like to thank everyone who voted for my photograph and I apreciate your support. I am an amateur photographer so I was really surprised to get such a positive feedback.

Touch of Magic

An unexpected touch of magic came along during the post processing when I realized that it can be treated as adventure with colors. Still I don't spend  a lot of time on it but always try to get satisfactory results, simply put I am trying not to stress but to enjoy it.

I think the photography should be about the "sweet" process of creating the photograpgh not about the post processing work.

That is why when I work in the field I always pay attention to the quality of light, sharpness and framing the object to get the shot the way so I do not need  a lot corrections, just a little bit of color adjusting or special effects.

But sometimes it doesn't  work the expected way and the shot does not turn out as desired like for example the "Almost September" where you in the original photo can see the LED lamp on the left hand side, lighting the Berberys bush (Berberys thunberga amiration). My photograph needed a lot of work to fix it.

There are five to six major steps in order to obtain final result. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and Nik Collection 1.2 to post process all my photographs.

Step 1:
Camera Raw 8.5
Primary post processing is done in Camera Raw, a part of Elements 12. I pay attention to exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, saturation and white balance (I ususally end up with "White Balance as Shot"). The process is different for each photograph, though, I work till I consider the photograph pleasing for the eye.

Step 2 (optional):
Viveza 2
Feature Control Point is very usefull for enhancing the final look of the model. I mainly use brighness, contrast, structure when the object requires corrections. In Adobe Elements I join the layers as follows: Viveza 50-70%, background 100%.

Step 3:
Next step is cropping and eliminating not desired elements from the shot. I use the Clone Stamp Tool and the Content-Aware Move Tool. That is how I got rid of the previously mentioned lamp in the Berberys shot.

Step 4:
Basically each photograph is being brightened by using the tool Enhance/Adjust/Lighting/Shadows/Highlights. I eliminate shadows in 1-10% range.

Step 5:
My favourite tool is Color Efex Pro 4. In the case of this shot I used the tool Brilliance/Warmth paying attention not to overdo it. To keep the natural colors I added Control Point in the range  0-20%.

Step 6:
At the end I use a touch of Vignette Blur to enhance  and clear the shot.

And that is the end to my "Magic Act".

The Final Result

The shooting settings were:

  • Pentax K20D
  • Exposure: 1/180 sec
  • ISO 200
  • Lens Pentacon 50/1.8
  • Appreture 1/8
  • Lighting: Led light, silver reflector

Thanks again for voting for my picture!

- ADestroyer

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