On board a ferry in Senegal 1997
I am able to show you this photo because I have lots of plug-ins that enable me to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. I made this from a Kodachrome slide. The exposure of the slide is correct, but there are horrible flaws. The worst is the blocked up blacks because her face is in the shade cast by the tray she holds on her head. Her smiling eyes and beautiful teeth show up and dazzle me with her child’s innocence and sweetness. Although, I used to throw away my bad shots, I couldn’t throw this one out. And now, more than 10 years later, I can fix it and show this lovely child as she deserves to be portrayed.
Another flaw was the distraction of two pairs of tourist legs on the left side of the photo. They were the potential customers the girl approached. The legs were easy to darken in Viveza 2 from Nik Filters. I could have cloned them in Photoshop, or used other Photoshop techniques, but it is so much easier and quicker using Viveza 2. Then I took it into Color Efex Pro 4. I changed the contrast and color by choosing a vintage film filter. The bright colors disappeared. I didn’t particularly want that, and I could have used the brush and kept them bright, but I went with the vintage look over all. The vintage film brought out the mid tones in her face and lightened the shadows, but did not blow out the highlights. So easy! I polished it a bit with glamour glow…love that look…but try not to use it on every shot. Sometimes I have to stop myself.
I like a vintage look and used Exposure 4 to change it just a tad more by increasing the mid-tones just a smidge. Sometimes I can’t stop myself. I like to see what else can happen to a photo. With computers, you can always return to an earlier state. Something impossible in the darkroom unless you start over with a new sheet of paper.