Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 2 - Uh-Oh and Photoshop

Uh-Oh is my buddy.

When Uh-Oh was a kitten, he spent a lot of time getting into things he shouldn't; we spent a lot of time saying "uh-oh" as we scooped him up to save him from danger time and time again. The name stuck.
It is difficult at best to take good pictures of Uh-Oh and his brother Beneigt because they are both solid black. Many times their pictures just look like a black blob...and sometimes the sun will actually reflect off of their sleek black fur, resulting in a glare just as blinding as the sun when it reflects off my laptop screen. When this happens, the result is a black blob with a glare...not at all acceptable when compared to how handsome these two fellas actually are in real life :)
Another specific challenge when photographing Uh-Oh and Beneigt is to show the true color of their eyes...again, because of the way the light reflects off their pupils. Uh-Oh's eyes are yellow, and if he's walking in the dark, all you can see is the yellow of his eyes...pretty spooky if you don't know what you're looking at...and sometimes even if you do :)
For the Shutter Sisters 365 Project I knew that many of my pictures would be of my cats and my children...they are my subjects of choice most of the time anyway. I am not a fan, however, of posed photos...in some sense I feel like they're fake...a set-up even. I'm no art critic, but I personally like to capture things as they truly are. Of course, my collection of family photos does contain some of the traditional posed group photos...but I also like to take lots of photos while the group is preparing and again as the group members disperse as well as the posed final shot.
If you've spent time with cats, you know there's really no way to pose them anyway...cat's do what they do and that's just the way it is :) Cat lovers accept and as a matter of fact expect this behavior in their feline family members.
Uh-Oh enjoys sitting on the back of the recliner as the sun shines through the narrow glass windows in our front door. When I found him there this morning, I decided to take a few shots and see what I could come up with. This was the shot I chose from the group I took to use for Shutter Sisters 365 Day 2:

While still a good picture (to me anyway) the sun is glaring (as usual) off Uh-Oh's head and washing out the color of his eyes, the recliner and the background (see all my beautiful books in the background?) I decided to open this image in PhotoShop and play around.

I chose to begin with the Quick Edit tool and played with the sliders for color saturation, hue, sharpness etc. just to experiment with them and get a general idea of what each tool was for. Color Saturation was what I decided to play with extensively today. I increased the color saturation until I thought I had what I wanted. This shot is the result:


The glare is somewhat alleviated and the color of the recliner is richer. The increased color saturation also highlighted the various colors in the background as well...just enough to make me want to play with it more. I increased the color saturation even more and then also increased the sharpness of the picture:


I absolutely love the richness of the red against Uh-Oh's black fur...as well as the colors in the books behind him against the whiteness of the book shelves and our mantle...these colors are muted in the background though so they add warmth I think. I especially love that I didn't set this photo up...the background stuff especially was pure accident...further justification to me that I cannot and should not control the world around me...(I need to be reminded of this frequently for some reason).
You can see some of the yellowness in Uh-Oh's eyes in this photo...not as much as I would like...but at least they're not completely fabricated by a flash of light and the glare of the sun. I'm hoping to get some feedback from the Shutter Sisters group to help me combat this challenge in the future.

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