After Effects Project: The Art of Interesting
In this project, what I want to do is take an image and make it more interesting in some way through photoshop. I would like to take some images and show the before and afters and how I make them more eye-catching and generally interesting. I would like to use lens flare as it will allow me to show where the focus is and lead the eye on the picture. This would allow me to add another dimension to the picture. A great place I think using it will be is at the source of light in the picture such as the sun. Another thing I would like to do is use is the blur effect as using the bokeh effects to create better, more interesting images, again highlighting the subject of the photo. I think that the most interesting type of blur would be the zoom blur as it adds some motion to the picture ultimately making it more interesting.
Examples of lens flare:
Image from http://blog.photoshopcreative.co.uk/general/creative-lens-effects/
For this image, I think that the lens flare makes the picture more interesting as it takes an ordinary photo and makes something hard to achieve with the lens. It allows you to create something that would be hard to do without Photoshop.
Image from http://processingraw.com/evitar-los-flares/
This picture takes a contrasty image and again makes something of the sun that was small making it more prominent adding an effect to fill the empty space.
Image from http://photographystatistics.com/the-best-way-to-create-use-alter-lens-flares-in-photoshop
This adds a slight flare that adds to the empty space in the picture. It also leads the eye to the model as the flare on either side leads you to the thing in the middle - the model.
Examples of blur: Pictures by Jay Rivera
Image from http://www.webdesign.org/photoshop/drawing-techniques/how-to-blur-the-background-in-photoshop.21525.html
This iris blur drags the eye to her face as it takes what's around and makes the eye look for the clarity - her face. This leads the eye to the clear part of the image, great in pictures with models.
Image from http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/Video/Search-Results/Imaging-Techniques/Add-a-Radial-Blur-in-Photoshop/
Thus picture shoes how you can lead the eye once more as it take the around and makes lines to the cars. It makes the eye go to the car - this may be helpful in pictures with models once more leading the eye to the desired place.
(Combination of Field blur and bokeh effects)
Image from http://wn.com/liran_kopel
This form of blur is only usefull in nightimr situations that make the lights larger and the bokeh creates a picture that makes something interesting of a boring pictured of some lights.
Steps Needed to Complete the Project
As you can see some of my pictures are pictures of people, however I would like to take pictures of both people and landscapes or even a combination to create the most interesting picture. I think I will also use a 35mm prime lens as that is the lens blur I think will look best with most pictures, I will have to check the lens out from the school. Also, I may need a tripod to get better exposures for the lens blur in darker places. As well as this, a 35 mm prime will also allow me to take wide enough pictures for the landscapes and can crop down later. I would also like to take the pictures at Orchard Road or East Coast Park by the beach.
Think Tank #1
The think tank helped me pick out the pictures in my contact print to edit given what my project it. They talked to me about the ideas that I could do for each picture and what kinds of blurs/lens flares to use to make the picture more interesting. Jake mentioned that lens flare would only look good in pictures with high differences in exposure and some blown out portions that helped me a lot in the decision making process. He also said that it may be interesting if I used these themes on people instead of just landscapes, an idea I liked and went foreword with.
Think Tank #2
The 2nd think tank session again helped me as I showed them the pictures I was using and what I planned to do. They gave me direction by giving their opinions on what would make a more interesting picture. The lens flare location and size was something I was struggling with the placement but they helped me with ideas of where to put it. They also helped me in deciding the harshness of the blur so the pictures didn't look too fake.
Digital Contact Print
The pictures I selected were selected because I felt as though I could do a lot with them. I think that the picture of Patrick will allow me to create a lens flare with the light in the corner. The picture of Arjun (the one taking SAT) was kind of flat so I think making it more interesting The one of Hersh could look more interesting if I added an iris or tilt shift blur to lead the eye to the more interesting parts of the image. I picked the one of Ishwar (in the library) because I thought that it would be ideal for both a lens flare and blur. I also thought that it would be a nice picture as his face is interesting in the picture and his braces draw more to his face, leading the eye to them.
This image is an image of my friend Arjun who was studying for the coming up SAT. I thought that I wanted to make him the focus of the image Arjun and the way I did that is by using an Iris Blur in photoshop. I wanted the eye to travel from anywhere on the picture and go to Arjun's face. Additionally, I increased saturation and contrast. The I thought the outside was overexposed so I also went over it and decreased the exposure. I also went over the background and make some changes in the temperature of the light as my camera had captures it as extremely yellow, so I made it more blue while trying to retain a crisp and clean image that did not get distracted. I am happy that the background included the people and stuff and wasn't empty otherwise the picture would lose a lot of depth given by the Iris Blur. I learned how to use Iris blur in a way that it was not distracting in this picture as before I used trial and error, I kept making the blur too much creating a fake looking image. I also learned how to make an image's bokeh more interesting by having things blurred in the background than just having random blur.
For this image, I both used tit shift blur and lens flare. With this I learned that even blurring out parts of the subject can make the image much more deep and people can go away impacted. I tried to use the lens flare as a leading like to him and as everything else was blurred and his eyes and mouth are not I think it worked well. The reason I took off the blur using a layer mask on his mouth is because I thought that his braces actually brought attention to his face that would ultimately lead you to his eyes - the location I wanted. Also, I put the tilt shift onto his eyes to make them the main subject of the image. I learned a lot about the lens flare and how it can work as a leading line in the editing of this image. It helped me for other pictures I edited in this project. Also, I learned that some things out of a tilt shift blur can be left out and the image may benefit from it as shown by his braces. I also learned that having one prominent part of a lens flare can help is as a leading line being more effecting.
For this image, I played around with the lighting effects. I wanted to use it in a way that made a more dramatic effect on Hersh and make the picture more dramatic. I found that the lighting effect makes it look as though the light is on the lens and reflecting off that makes it an extremely interesting picture. I think that lighting can make or break a picture and being able to edit in in is a great asset to have, which is my most important takeaway from editing this picture. I also learned a lot about tilt shift in this as if you look at the picture closely, it looks out of focus. However, it actually is in focus around his eyes. The line where his eyes are is the point that is in focus, I think that the slight blur brings the viewers directly to his eyes.
This picture is just a normal picture that I increased the vibrance on and also added a lens flare. Shown as well is my photoshop work flow showing how I duplicated the layer and added a flare on it. I did not want the flare to overtake the picture for this but did want one to make it a more interesting picture. I also created a layer mask also increasing the saturation on the buildings because that made them look more contrasty and better overall. I learned a lot about not overdoing a picture as even though this is a simple edit, I had to do the layer a bunch of times to get the perfect angle and location and brightness of the lens flare. I also learned that if it is too much, an effect can also take away from a picture rather than just overdoing it. I also think that from the original, not overdoing the vibrance and saturation is important and something I learned in this picture as the sky could have just taken over the entire picture.
As you can see, this is the background layer of my edit. I thought that this would be a good candidate for a lens flare as to compliment the lens flare that was already on the image.
In this screenshot, I duplicated the layer and added a lens flare. I thought that it added to the flare that was already there and also put a ring on the sun that blows it out. The arrows point to the places where the lens flare is, it points to the sun as the flare actually added a ring around the sun but it is not very noticeable. I thought that the buildings, however were slightly plain.
In this image, I thought that I would increase the saturation on the buildings. I did this as I thought the picture was missing something and the buildings looked rather plain. It was not much of a difference, however I felt that after, the image was more pleasing to the eye. Also, it let the lens flare stick out a little more making the image more interesting- the goal of my project. After all this, I felt that the sky and clouds were a little blown out and that the image should be less bright to really get a lot of detail from the clouds and sky.
In this, I changed the levels so that the brightness of the image as a whole was less. I really like how it made one tower really dark while keeping the other light. As well as that I thought that the sky looked a lot better and that the clouds were much more crisp. At this point I was happy with how the image did not look over edited and still looked aesthetically pleasing.
For this picture, I added a radial blur and lens flare. I added the radial blur, again, to draw the eye to his face, the place where I want them to be looking. As well as that, I added a lens flare that at first catches the attention of the eye and works as a leading line. This brings the attention, again, to his face. I think that I learned even better how a lens flare can work as a leading line in this image as I think it is even more effective on this picture. I also learned a lot about the radial blur, it taught me how to use it sparingly so that it is not completely blurring out around the subject of the picture to the point where it feels over edited but so that is brings the eye to where you want it to go. I also think that for this picture , It was good that I cropped the side a out as there were some extremely bright colors in the bokeh that distracted from Patrick. I cropped it so only the chair in the bokeh was still there because it is right under his face, if I were to crop that out the picture would look extremely out of place.
Successes and Challenges
Some of the successes I had in this project were learning how to use photoshop to create a more interesting image using devices that my lens could not originally provide. Not having a tilt shift lens and being able to put a tilt shift on an image is going to be a good tool in the future that I am happy I was able to learn. Some other successes were the pictures I took turned out looking good and not overly edited which is an effect I wanted. My favorite image is the one of Ishwar (the senior) because I felt the color temperature was spot on and the tilt shift and lens flare really add to the image making it much more interesting than the plane image it was to start with. Some challenges I had were location. As stated in my Plan of Action, I wanted to go to orchard and east coast beach to take the images but because of lack of time and responsibilities like having to babysit my sister, I was unable to go to places. Also, as explained in my I was able to take pictures at East Coast (the image of the buildings) but did not get the chance to go to the beach.
BLOG POST: All components to the project are included and the formatting of the blog post is in order.
ART WORK: As stated in the successes and challenges for the project, the student makes mention that having no time set aside was limiting in capturing images to either location mentioned in the plan of action. This in turn provided a digital contact print that did not necessarily draw a lot of visual impact. One can still capture engaging pictures on campus, but limiting them to the cafeteria and the library is not stretching the boundaries of creativity much. Perhaps using the bokeh affect with a model in front of the water wall in the middle school, reflections of the water in the high school pool, or parts of the playground area in the elementary playground could have led to more engaging images to start with.