Vaishakhi Lahoti


Imperfect is perfect!
January 10, 2012

So everyone has a digital camera now. Most of us have more photos than we can care for. A lot of us want photos that are perfect. Not having to worry about film rolls is great..   and in the search of that one perfect photo it’s so easy to miss out on some not so perfect  but really beautiful shots.
Here’s an old example. These were my pre-SLR days. I was getting married (yippie) and wanted some nice shots of myself. Here is a shot that came out really well

Here is one that did NOT come out well

As you can see, the photo was over exposed, and bit of my head got cut off. But I kept wondering about how I could make the best out of this?
Enter the crop tool. People often do not realize how powerful this tool is. A small portion of an otherwise cluttered photograph can be more expressive than the whole photo itself. But more on that later.
Here all I had to do was to tweak it to make it look like the photo was intentionally taken to highlight the eyes. Picasa was the tool of the trade then (it still is for general touch ups) and using some glow and tinting effects, I was able to get the photo below.

This was my avatar for a long time and surprisingly, a lot of people appreciated it.
Okie, here is another example of how a little work on your photos can work wonders. Another photo from my pre-SLR days; it was my birthday and I had just received a bunch of red roses from hubby dear. He took a photo of me in a crowded restaurant and although the photo was nice, it didn’t highlight me or the roses.

Lost in the Crowd

Tools of the trade this time were a little more complicated – Paint Shop Pro in my case. GIMP would do the same for no money and Adobe Photoshop would probably burn a hole in your pocket to do the same. All I did was to remove the background, brighten the photo and leave the lovely reds with the flowers. Result below


Red Roses and the Birthday Girl

Not too bad ha? Remember these were taken a long time ago, with my 5 Megapixel Canon Powershot A420. (That camera served me real well. I still have it with me even though I don’t use it at all.) The same principles of correction/enhancement/highlighting apply to any photo. Today while I edit my 24MB/18 Mega Pixel Raw images in Lightroom, it’s still these basic concepts that make the difference between a good photo and great photo..