Friday, September 7, 2012

Bullseye Editing

How do you get from original shot to what you feel about a scene, moment or story? Bullseye editing is often a process of experimentation. Here's one example of the editing process and thought behind it. You can see all the photos below.

1. I shot the original photo using Hipstamatic's James lens and new W40 film. Loved the softness with which it rendered this architecture.

But this isn't what impressed me for this shot. I noticed the vaulted structure but I noticed more the lone person at the end of the corridor in front of the window. Although the fantastic sweeping lines and lovely light are breathtaking, it's her I want you to notice.

She is what gives this space scale and emotion. We can't lose her.

So how do we do that? One way is to reduce the distractions. Big Lens is a great app for this with many options.

2. Use a blur vignette to release focus on the corners. My use of it doesn't do much to achieve the goal.

3. Remove more detail by blowing out the highlights. Better but she still isn't the main thing.

4. Leave only the main subject untouched by blur. Much better.

5. Darken the corners to reduce their drag on the eye. (Lomo4)

6. Take out all the color except for the figure to sharpen the focus on her. (Gray BG filter)

But wait, we lost the beauty of the space. Is this photo about the space or the person or both? Much of the meaning to me is about her but in relationship to the vast structured space around her so we need to find ways to bring that back.

7. Introduce a dreamy feel over the whole image. (Dream filter in Big Lens)

This might be too much.

8. Try a contrast between a warm space and a cool figure to accentuate the figure in relationship to the space. Better.

You can see how the editing process allows you to refine and clarify your thinking about an image and what you want it to communicate.

My favorites are 7 and 8. How about you? What speaks to you?

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