Hi guys! My name is Erin Cobb and I’m so honored to have been asked by Laura to guest post here on Rock the Shot. I’ve been “rocking the shot” professionally for just over four years now. My child and family portrait business is located in Huntsville, Alabama, although I regularly take travel commissions around the country. I want to talk a little today about post processing, and the power (and danger) it holds for your photography.
When I first started learning about photography I spent hours everyday studying the work of other portrait photographers I admired. And do you want to hear something funny? I thought they did it all in camera. As in, I had no idea Photoshop even existed. And that naive assumption ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me. I studied and practiced night and day trying to figure out how in the world to make my images as sparkly and dynamic as what I saw in the work of others. Naturally this led me to focus on light and the way it plays around us all the time. Light is, after all, the very definition of sparkly and dynamic.
Months later when I finally realized that all of the images I was seeing had been post-processed in some way I felt like the biggest dummy on the planet! But I also felt incredibly empowered. Because those months of trying to make my unedited images look like their (unbeknownst to me) edited images worked entirely in my favor. My photography basis was solid because I relied first on my skills in camera before I learned the first thing about a Photoshop layer! As my photography progressed I started playing with different recipes in Photoshop. Of course I went through the actions stage (doesn’t everyone?) but I quickly determined that actions just weren’t where it was at for me. I’m endlessly curious and it bothered me to no end that I didn’t know how to create on my own what those actions were doing for me. Plus, nine times out of ten I didn’t love the end result. Thus began my two year long journey toward developing my own personal post-processing style.
Staying true to my very clean, sparkly, dynamic roots I finally landed on a process that was (and is) perfect for me. And after fielding hundreds of emails about what that process entails, I decided to use screen share software to document the entire thing. And that is how my Clean Color video tutorial came to be.
Clean Color is a workflow video tutorial designed to show you my image editing process from beginning to end. There are two versions – one for Full Photoshop and one for Photoshop Elements. There is also a bundled version which contains both the Full Photoshop video and the Photoshop Elements video. In addition to the comprehensive videos (each are roughly two hours in length) you’ll also receive the shortcut actions I’ve created to use in my editing process, all of the image files showcased in the video so you can play along at home, and an appendix detailing how to get the most out of the video tutorial and where to go for additional resources. It covers almost every topic in Photoshop that you can think of – color balance, levels, curves, skin retouching, liquifying, cloning, cropping, sharpening, and much, much more. And in a nutshell, it shows you how to do this…
Here’s the thing about Photoshop, guys. It’s like makeup. A little goes a long way. The goal for me – both when it comes to makeup and Photoshop – is to always look like I’m not using much of either. I want people to see my images…not the wild Photoshop layers that covered them up. Just like I want them to see me, not the makeup on my face. If you’re still on the path toward discovering your own look, I would encourage you to really spend some time in Photoshop tinkering. Grab those actions that you love so much and deconstruct them. Turn layers on and off, ask questions, crank up opacities. Don’t just use them, see what they do. And if a program like Clean Color – that actually gives you an inside look into my action-less process – sounds like it’s up your alley then by all means check it out.
My final thought for the day is this: in this industry the only unique thing you really bring to the table is your point of view. No one has the same vision you do. Spend some time getting comfortable with that vision, and then hone a post-processing style that brings you as close to the vision as possible. Only you can rock the shot your way.
About Erin: Erin has been a mama for six years, a blogger for five, and professional photographer for four. She hopes to be all of those things for at least another 50. She’s passionate about her family, her friends, bright colors and shooting jpeg (what?!). Erin is also the creative force behind the highly acclaimed Clean Color video editing tutorial. Those are the things that feed her soul but Erin says writing about them feels like the dessert. Erin makes her home and runs her business in Huntsville, Alabama. You can read more about Erin on her personal blog -The Pigbear, her business blog, her twitter feed, or her Facebook page.
Use the code “rocktheshot” through the end of the month to enjoy $20 off our Clean Color for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
Here’s How Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a Clean Color Photoshop and Elements Bundle ($170 value) from Clean Color by Erin Cobb. Please leave ONE comment for each item you complete. You have up to SEVEN chances to win:
1. Follow Rock the Shot on Facebook.
Extra Entries (Optional): Please leave additional comments on the blog for each of the following items you complete.
2. Follow Erin Cobb on Facebook and if you like, let them know Rock the Shot sent you.
3. Become a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum
4. Sign up for our Newsletter!
5. Follow Rock The Shot on Twitter
6. Follow Rock the Shot on Pinterest
7. Share about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Type the following: “Go check out @rocktheshot at www.rocktheshotforum.com & enter to win a Clean Color Photoshop and Elements Bundle from Clean Color”.
There you have it! 7 chances to win this FABULOUS Giveaway from Rock the Shot and Clean Color!
Hurry! Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 5th at 11:59pm CST. Winner will be announced on Friday, June 8th, 2012.
LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.
Congratulations to Jessica Sudusky on winning a Clean Color Photoshop and Elements Bundle from Clean Color. Jessica, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org in the next 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you all for participating and have a wonderful weekend!