Photo Editing: Matrix And Golden Boy
The votes are counted and believe it or not - Instagram and Facebook added together results in a tie!
Although the photos are edited a little while ago I will try my best to take you through each step of the retouch applied to them both. The software used for editing is PaintShop Pro 2018 :) Let's begin!
From the Workshop held in May, a black Appaloosa gelding named Matrix posed beautifully for us under a hanging birch. We caught a late hour of sunshine giving us that lovely golden kiss :)
I always have the goal when I take a photo to limit the post-processing to a minimum. However, the human eye is more sophisticated than a mechanical lens so sometimes I turn up the enhancement to portray what I really saw when taking the shot. Like in this example I have added bit of warmth to reflect that golden hour. Secondly - and this is something than often bothers me - is tilted images! Use the background (trees, horizon etc.) as reference if you are unsure just looking at the horses anatomy. This photo is definitely tilting to the left. By straightening it i lose a bit of the edges, automatically cutting out those fence tops for me.
Let's have a look at the final photo compared to the post-processed one so that it's easier for you to compare:
The trees in the background are naturally bent but in this photo I wanted a bit of "support" so I straightened the bottom of tree as well as the image so it feels more "solid". Then the lead rope is removed (as always). Other than that very little is done. Maybe you'll see something else if you look closely? One detail is that I have moved the halter a bit more forward as it had slid back on Matrix' neck. Overall processes done to the image is sharpening, highlights and contrast. Hope you like it :) For those of you interested in the technical details:
Shutter speed: 1/640 sec
Focal Length: 150mm (with a 70-200mm lens)
Flash: None, only natural lighting
Let's move on to the next one: Golden Boy
Getting the perfect pose from a horse running freely is never an easy task. Getting them to run exactly where you want them in regards to the light and the surroundings will need you to be a bit clever. We had a rather large enclosure for Golden Boy and needed to contain him in a smaller area in order to have him running where I wanted him to. So in preparation we set up temporary fences within his paddock. This Gypsy Cob stallion had such wonderful gaits and it wasn't easy to pick a favorite. However, I chose this one because of the position of his legs combined with the light on his coat, the light strip behind him and the complementary green trees defining the "horizon". Let's have a look at this one "SOOC" (straight out of camera):
As you well can see, I've removed the fences and brightened the photo quite a bit. These are the main adjustments. If you look a bit closer you can see that the bottom is quite "tight" making the composition a bit off. So I have simply added a small border (only at the bottom) and cloned in grass from the surrounding areas. I wanted to have more space between Golden Boys hoofs and the edge. Then again, to reflect what the eye sees and that the camera missed, I've added a bit of warmth - but only at the top of the hill in the background. This compliments his coat very well and emphasizes that the photo is shot during the golden hour. And to finish it, a few enhancements have been made: I have selectively removed some of the yellow tones on his right front leg and added a bit of highlights in his mane :) Technical specifications:
Shutter speed: 1/1600 sec
Focal Length: 170mm (with a 70-200mm lens)
Flash: None, only natural lighting
Thank you so much for reading! I hope it was helpful and that it can inspire you on your next adventure :)
Want to learn more about equine photography and photo editing? Join one of my workshops!
PORTUGAL 2019 : https://www.serenataphotography.com/workshop-portugal
NORWAY 2019 (2):https://www.serenataphotography.com/workshop-norway
Photo from the Equine Photo Workshop "Discover The Lusitano", May 2018.