I was photographing a wedding for a friend. She picked June because it’s typically a nice sunny month in Seattle. Unfortunately, the Sun didn’t get the memo and was in hiding. The outdoor lighting was terrible. I had all my strobes set up in the church and was outside taking a break when I spotted this cute little ring bearer. I knew the light sucked, but made the shot anyway and came away with the first image.
Great pose – great look on his face – terrible light. Here comes Photoshop to the rescue.
I imported the RAW file into Photoshop and quickly realized I had little to work with, so I decided to make the image a black and white photo. I used the Channel Mixer to create a monochrome image on a layer. Channel Mixer gives you far more control over your image than simply converting via IMAGE > MODE > GRAYSCALE. After a bit of tweaking – the image came out greatly improved. See picture two.
But it was still missing something that made it sing. Aha! I made the correction on a layer so I simply grabbed the eraser and erased the top layer over the boy’s boutonnire. ( I just did it freehand – no need to make a fancy mask or selections.)
The final result is the last image.
The ultimate judge as to whether or not this little exercise was successful was the bride. Fortunately, she loved it. She paid it the ultimate compliment by crying when she first saw it. The boy was her little brother. She said it was her favorite picture of him of all time. What’s better still, even though I’d offered to shoot the wedding as my gift to the couple, she demanded that I accept my usual rate for more than a dozen enlargements of this one image.
The lesson is simple. Don’t be too quick to throw away that so-so photo. If the pose and expression are good, you may still have a money maker.