Improvement or intrpretation

I don’t suppose this is the sort of reflection expected or desired but having started reasonably well  I am already losing the plot with this unit.  Having spent several hours viewing video tutorials and reading books on how to make manual sections then adjust a specific area of a photograph, I am no further forward.  The tutorials tell you how to make a selection or how to use layers but the two don’t seem to be linked and I am becoming very frustrated.

The purpose of this project, ‘Digital photography and ‘truth”, I thought, was to consider how far we felt we could ethically take image manipulation and at what point it becomes unscrupulous.  For me it is not so much about ethics as ‘why would I want to anyway’ and it therefore seems pointless to spend so much time learning the technical detail of something that I would not want to use.

Bryan 1 - original file

Bryan 1 – original file

I have had several attempts at manipulating this image so that the boy stands out from the fairly  high contrast background, none very successful.   In my first attempt that produced anything, I used a section brush in Elements to select the boy but then found that the options for editing the background were very limited and so chose this dark blue colour to tone it down.

Bryan 3 - adjusted in Elements using a smart brush tool

Bryan 3 – adjusted in Elements using a smart brush tool

Although I did use a smaller brush to refine the edge, if you look closely at this image you can see that it is anything but refined and I’m anything but happy with it.

Bryan 2 -adjusted in Lightroom using the adjustment brush

Bryan 2 adjusted in Lightroom using the adjustment brush

Finally after several attempts, I went back to Lightroom.  Although there are fewer options for isolating  selected areas of an image, I found that by using the adjustment brush I was able to make selective adjustments and could darken the whole of the image with the exception of the boy and of the two, this is the one I am most happy with.   I appreciate that there is a place for this sort of adjustment but just feel that all the technical rubbish that goes with it has detracted from what I should have been doing here which was researching and discussing the ethics of this practice.


About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010 and wanting to take photography further, I enrolled on the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next came Digital Photographic Practice followed by People and Place. In April 2016 I progressed to level two with Documentary and in June 2018 enrolled on my latest OCA course, Landscape.
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