Our state photography association in Arizona has been putting out a weekly challenge to members. They ask you shoot and post some behind-the-scenes photos to further education for members.

The directions: “Everyone has a chair in their home. How can you photograph one to come up with something amazing?” All photographs must reflect the weekly challenge be new work.

Here’s my entry on “chair.”

Set up

The deadline was fast approaching, with only 45 minutes to spare. I was thinking I’d “chicken out” on this one.

I had been thinking about photographing a stuffed chicken and chair using some light painting techniques. Since I ran out of time, I figured out a way to get the look from my head into the image using a different idea. The image was submitted with just 11 minutes left.

Here is an overview of the scene. Original capture made with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and M.Zukio 12-100mm f/4 lens.

Aurora HDR and Photoshop

I started with a single image and processed it in Aurora HDR. This gave me the overall feel for which I was going. Then the file was exported to Adobe Photoshop. Using the Adobe Camera RAW filter on layers with masks made it possible to massage the image and bring attention exactly where I wanted your eye to travel.

Single image HDR process with Aurora HDR. Getting close!

Finishing touches

Photoshop Layers Palette showing the finishing step by step work.

Adobe Camera RAW filters were to adjust tones and add lighting. Adjustment Layers were added for control of specific areas using masks.

Two more layers were used. First, I used Dfine from the Nik Collection to add noise reduction, as I had photographed at 4000 ISO to handhold in the low light. The other was a final vignette to keep the viewer’s eye from wandering out of the frame.

stuffed chicken in a chair
The completed image after lighting with Aurora HDR, Adobe Camera RAW, the Nik Collection and Photoshop.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob