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Ever wish you could get a peek behind the lens of another photographer and watch them work?
That’s how I feel when I see a photo I admire.
In my “How I Got The Shot” series I provide a look into my thought process behind a particular image and share helpful tips for shooting and editing.
I took this photo at a local frozen yogurt shop. We were there close to sunset and my daughter was standing in direct light from the sun while serving herself some froyo.
I love to shoot with my subject in a pocket of light because when I expose for the subject the rest of the scene falls off into shadow. That was the effect created here with her standing in the strong sunset light.
I used a bright area of my daughter’s skin to set my exposure then toggled my focal point to compose the photo.
Here’s the SOOC (straight out of camera) photo:
I shot the image with a Cloudy White Balance Setting. This probably wasn’t the best choice because it rendered the image too warm.
I didn’t have enough time to change my white balance! Thankfully I shoot my photos in RAW so it’s easy to adjust the white balance in Lightroom.
A cooler white balance setting may have been a better choice to cool the warmth of the light.
If time allows I prefer to set a custom white balance before shooting.
I altered the crop to place my subject along the rule of thirds line. Also, I was bothered by the trash can in the foreground and wanted to eliminate as much of it as possible.
In Lightroom I adjusted the photo’s temperature by sliding the temperature slider toward blue. This neutralized the warmth of the sunlight.
A few other adjustments I made:
I lowered the shadows globally to enhance them.
I lowered the overall highlights because they were too bright in the light areas of the photo.
I used graduated filters to lower the exposure on the shadowy areas on the left and the right lower corner to enhance the shadows and minimize the trashcan.
I used a radial filter on my daughter to raise exposure and bring her out of the shadows a bit.
I like the overall result, but if I could take this photo again, I would have stepped a bit farther to the left so as to avoid the trashcan in the image.
A step to the left would have also put the yogurt machine in the foreground and led the eye toward the subject.
I only had moments to set up the shot before my daughter moved on, but maybe we’ll go back for some froyo soon and give it another shot!