One of my favorite local restaurants is Evvia at 420 Emerson St. in Palo Alto. A long time favorite, this restaurant serves up great Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to the great food, the setting is also superb – with lots of texture, color and ambiance.
Here’s a shot from a lunchtime visit last August when I happened to take along my then-new Fujifilm X100S. I happened to have a table right across from the oven – and loved this scene with the bread and bread baskets piled high and the copper cookware hanging from the rack above.
This image is straight out of the X100S (shot as a JPEG) with a bit of vignette added in Lightroom 5.
I recently took a 1:1 workshop with Jaime Ibarra – wanting to learn more about his technique for post-processing images. His approach to post-processing is strikingly different – and one which I enjoy. And he’s also an amazing photographer as well!
Jaime and I spent a couple of hours together via Skype video talking about both his approach to photography, some new challenges for me, and then his approach to post-processing images in Photoshop. I’ve been to several photography workshops over the last couple of years – but this one was really unique and different – and I learned a lot!
Frankly, I expected our time together would focus mostly on post-processing – but we spent a lot of time upfront talking just about photography, what it means to us, how we approach it, how we’re challenged by it, etc. That discussion was surprising for me – and enlightening. Great fun. Perhaps even more useful to me in terms of my wanting to learn about portrait shooting than the post-processing techniques Jaime subsequently shared.
So, what did I learn? Here’s an example of an image I both shot and post-processed earlier today using some of what I learned from my workshop with Jaime. The colors are different – not exactly unusual, but different. Different enough to matter and capture the mood. The venue is the California Avenue Farmers Market in Palo Alto. The image is titled “Karmel Korn” – shot with my Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 135mm f/2 lens.
Maybe it’s the visit to the Ansel Adams show with Chris on Saturday that has sent me over the edge, but I’m continually intrigued by how one can take a color photo and turn it into a much more powerful black and white image.
Frankly, I didn’t spend much time on this photo – the point was to provide it (a traditional HDR post-processed shot) as a point of comparison with the new in-camera HDR feature built-in to the S95.
As I was looking at it, I wondered how a conversion to black and white might look – now that I’ve become acquainted and familiar with Lightroom 3’s excellent Black and White Mix controls.
So, I gave it a shot – here’s the result – after about 10 minutes of tweaking in Lightroom:
Obviously, it’s the same subject as the original photo – Rodin’s Gates of Hell – but it’s been transformed into a more powerful photograph through the conversion to black and white.
I also experimented for the first time using the new Lens Correction features in Lightroom 3 – to remove the distortion in terms of angle, etc. that I had in the original image. It now looks very close to a direct, head-on shot at the scuplture.
Finally, I tweaked it in Flickr – using Picnik to add a museum frame around it – dressing it up a bit.