Tuesday, September 15, 2015

One More Way To Deal With Distracting Backgrounds In Photoshop Or Lightroom

Okay, in today's image you can see that "the background" isn't exactly a big distraction.  In fact, it isn't.  It isn't anything.  It was never there.  Adobe Photoshop (PS)  really had nothing to do with what you're looking at.  Just about everyone knows the bane of a photographers existence is a bald sky.  That is usually the case.  But, in today's image it works to our advantage.  The local Garden Conservancy had an "open garden" this past weekend.  Naturally we rallied the troops and got some friends out shooting in the garden.  It's a beautiful, private garden that is only opened once a year.  Proceeds go to the Garden Conservancy, so the few bucks to get in is well spent.  To find out "the secret" to today's image, hit the "Read More".

Today's image is 99% straight out of the camera.  I may have put in a little Clarity in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR), hut other than that not much was done (yea, cropping).  Doris tends to take at least as many shots using her cell phone (a Samsung S5) as she does with her Nikon.  Trying to break her of the habit, I got an inexpensive LED ring light (thank you Cindy for the info) for her to use with her 85mm Nikon Micro.  With it, out in the open shade she had enough light to shoot at about 1/160th of a second at F 11.  That combo minimized camera movement and gave some good Depth of Field. With it she was off and running, getting a big kick out of making her Nikon take at least as good images as her cell phone.

It also reminded me that I've had a Nikon R1 Wireless Close-up Speedlight System for the past six years and haven't used it that much.  Now, for comparison, the Chromo Macro LED Ring Light cost about $30.00 US from Amazon.com.  The Nikon R1 Wireless Speedlight System goes for about $500.00 at B&H.  The Chromo is a continuous light where as the Nikon R1 is a speedlight system.

Guess what?  The results were just about the same.  Hmmm, makes you sort of wonder why I had paid the extra $470.00. Probably because the LED ring lights weren't out six years ago.

I did shoot at 1/200th of a second at F 16, but one stop of light and a little faster shutter wasn't worth the extra money (in my opinion).  I could have added four additional Nikon SB200 speedlight for a truer ring light effect, but that would have also added $170.00 each.

So, the big method of eliminating a distracting background for a shot like today's is to aim the camera at the bald sky and throw some light (either continuous or flash) at the subject and be done with it.  No PS or LR magic today.