Touching up strangers.

First off, if you’ve arrived here looking for something kinky, I appoligise yet again for another misleading red top style title. (In The UK, the term “red tops” is used in reference to tabloid news papers).
There is nothing remotely kinky here and this blog is just about my photography and the need to make adjustments; touching up the image. In this case, one of the strangers I photographed for a personal project.

I’m not a big fan of overworked photography. Some of it looks great and yet the best stuff tends to be the images that do not look like they have had much done. 

I’m aware of programs like gimp, photoshop and lightroom. I used to use aperture but it just kept crashing so I changed over to lightroom for cataloging my images and it also allows me to make subtle changes. 

I might add a bit of vignetting, change colour saturation or crop an image. People used to do this in dark rooms with film. Used to! They still do!
It is accepted that this is an okay thing to do. 

Although I don’t like photoshop when its over done or when a photographer uses it all of the time, to the point that their work becomes gimmicky rather than standing on its own. I am thinking that I now need to learn how to use some sort of photoshop program that will allow me to add layers. 

In a previous blog I photographed a stranger for my 100 candid strangers project. If you look at the image you will see a floating hand. I’m at the stage where I am feeling comfortable with the camera settings and as stated previously, I am getting a better success rate at capturing images on the streets but there are the small things that I have no control over. Such as the floating hand!

I should really be starting to remove these small distractions to move my images on to the next level. I have already shown you an example of dodging an image. This is simply the selection of an area on an image and making adjustments to exposure to darken the selected area. That was done for modesty reasons.

This next set of images however have been adjusted because I think they generally improve the picture.
Coincidently this lesson by Photofocus also popped up on my reader as I was getting this blog ready. 

Image one has already been cropped. I should have moved a wee bit closer as I was using a prime lens but it would appear that I forgot, just for a moment how to use my feet.
Stranger 64.1jpg

The changes are very subtle in image two but they include a little vignetting, the overall contrast has been increased just a smidge and the exposure brought down a tad.
Stranger 64.2

Finally, touching up of the stranger!

The little bit of sunlight hitting her leg has been dodged and healed. I think it adds an evenness and hope you would agree that this small attention to detail improves the image.
Stranger 64.3
I still feel that I have a lot of practice ahead of me in regard to capturing images but these small adjustments are what is hopefully going to help the images look a little more aesthetically pleasing. 

Tips, hints and comments welcome. 

Thanks for visiting.

Jim Jimmy James. 


  1. It is noticeable jimmy, and well-worth doing to improve the shot.
    Now, what are you going to do about the older woman’s feet in the foreground?
    Cheers mate, Pete.

  2. Hi Jimmy,

    Looks like you’re learning Lightroom quick! It has become my favourite tool these days, although I think that the cloning/healing brushes work better in Photoshop. And Photoshop also has a blur tool I use sometimes. I’m also a big fan of the Lightroom catalogue. It makes it really easy to find photographs. And it has a great name.

  3. I worry that I might become to reliant on Photoshop but I really think I’m going to have to get involved with using it.
    Lightroom is great.
    Not that I have much in there. (I probably delete far too much).

    1. I know what you mean. It’s always beneficial to get as much right in the camera as possible. But there is always (and always has been) some things which just have be done in post production.

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