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  • Jon Longworth

My Development In Architectural Post Production

Something that I have learned in the last year and a bit when it comes to editing my photos is that trees ruin everything. And Birds. Just everything ruins photos. It's a proper piss take. So as a result of me wanting my photos to have visual improvements within my photos I taught myself how to edit my photos by using the stamp tool and healing brush. These two tools have been pivotal in fixing images of any errors or distractions that I think would distract from the main focuses within my images.

As show by these two images, there are things that make themselves known in images, that are there because you want to shoot your photos in a certain way, but because of where you want to shoot it, there becomes obstructions that ultimately take away from the overall quality of the image.

I believe, first and foremost, that one of the most important things is that if you are going to edit, then it needs to be subtle and discreet in its usage so as to not make the viewer aware that it was ever used in the first place, as a botched edit can really damage the overall quality of work. As shown here, there was a torch stand that was at the bottom of the photo, which blocks a small portion of the tower. Because it is in the forefront of the image, my first focus is on the obstruction.

So to fix this, I used the stamp tool. Luckily, what I was using it on was at such a distance away that when the stamp tool was used, it was being used at such a small scale in terms of the brush size that unless you really zoom in and properly fixate then the problem is not even noticeable. As well as this, this is a building that luckily has patterns embedded within its walls. The same goes for the grass. By using a soft brush tool and utilising these patterns, you can use the grass to brush over the bottom half of the image. Another important thing to notice when using the stamp tool, is that to make sure it works effectively, you need to constantly be relocating the source point. The source point acts as a feeder of imagery, so say I use it on the sky and then use the brush on the grass, there will then be a blue dot on the grass (I hope that makes sense). Because we're working on a location that has several different layers, especially with the grass, the light reacts differently at those different heights. The flat plane of grass to the right is the most exposed to the sun, whereas the dip just underneath it, as you can see, has a bit of a shadow, due to less sunlight hitting that specific area. You need to be able to clearly locate how the areas are separated in terms of their light levels so that you make sure they don't mix and match, as that makes the post production more noticeable.

An example of poor stamping (by my standards) is this image of Buxton House. The original image had a tree that took up the corner of the image. As I was trying to make the structure seem more imposing, I decided to remove the tree out of the picture. I don't know how noticeable it is to other people, but I think that whilst not being a dead giveaway, thee dark spot on the bottom right corner does not entirely fit with the rest of the clouds, which seem quite soft in terms of them overlapping, so to have one spot that seems to be defined in its edges does damage the overall quality of the image. It was even pointed out by one of my lecturers in a one on one.

Something to be said that sometimes, with things like the sky (which I didn't know at the time) is that if you select a larger brush and set the hardness to 0%, then the dispersion of the brush is softer, which looking back in hindsight, might have been a better way to approach the image, as it would have made the stamp look less defined. Personally speaking, I think that clouds are one of the hardest things to edit out or alter, as their forms aren't anywhere near as defined as other things such as buildings or plants, or people for that matter.

I believe that this is an incredibly important tool that should be utilised when editing photos, if done correctly, then the images can benefit massively as a result. As well as making the photos look sleeker and more professional, it also opens up us as photographers to be able to state that we have experience in post production, which is always helpful as it opens us up as artists to explore job roles outside of just photography.

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