Some people have a philosophical approach to photography to protect the ‘truth of an image’ and would display an ‘authentic’ image as it has been captured rather than a ‘romanticised’ or ‘idealistic’ version by removing unwanted or obtrusive elements unless it is through composition using the camera or cropping in the lightroom or darkroom. I agree with and generally follow this approach, but there are rare occasions where I consciously deviate from this. The example on the next two pages of removing power cables and removing a crane are two examples of such occasions.
It is very important to note that, although I am providing two cloning examples on these pages, I rarely use this approach. In fact, you can count the number of occasions where I have used this approach in the last year on one hand, and these two examples are, by far, the most radical.
The need for this approach can often be avoided by scanning the scene thoroughly before capturing the image to ensure that there are no unwanted elements in the composition. I would then alter the composition accordingly or remove the unwanted item(s) if possible. For example, if I am capturing an image of a tree and there are empty crisp bags thrown at the foot of this tree, I would remove these crisp packages (and bin them) before taking the image.
An alternative approach is to take an image, discover unwanted elements when viewing the image at home, return to the location and retake the image after re-adjusting the composition or removing the elements. I remember reading the story of how Charlie Waite captured a well published image of a cottage, after returning to the scene a week later and moving the wheelie bins out of sight (with approval of the owner) before re-taking the image.
In addition to these two examples of cloning, I also provide examples of using Photoshop to correct perspective, to correct tilt & shift and to stitch panoramas. I use Photoshops photo merge funtion to stich multiple images together into a panorama with the exception of virtual realities and in those cases where manual adjustments are needed, when I use PTGui Pro. Due to the seemless integration with Lightroom, I prefer to use Photoshop for sticthing panoramas unless it’s automated photo merge fails to deliver the quality results I desire.
In the Lightroom
I use Adobe Lightroom as the main software for processing my digital images, from the raw files delivered by my digital SLR to the final image, whether this is a photographic print, for onscreen viewing or for publication on the web. In addition to Adobe Lightroom, I also use Adobe Photoshop for occasional image editing that cannot be achieved in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or PTGui for stiching a sequence of images together into a panorama, and PTGui and Garden Gnome Pano2VR for the stitching and prodcution fo Flash virtual realities. Examples of these can be found on other insight pages under the categrories Photoshop Magic and Virtual Reality.
These pages will provide examples of all the lightroom processing in Lightroom that I apply to digital images. I deliberate used the word lightroom twice, as the processing I carry out are the lightroom equivalents of the traditional darkroom, and as I use Adobe Lighroom for this processing. These lightroom techniques could well be applied using other software such as Apple Apperture.
It is key to note that I rarely edit images beyond the equivalent of traditional photography techniques carried out during the film era, ranging from film choice through to darkroom printing. I must admit though, that the lightroom equivalents are generally much easier and less time consuming than the traditional darkroom techniques.
As a start, these pages provide an example of creative camera use. I aim to expand these pages over time with more examples of the lighroom techniques that I use.