IOTW: Davie Street Theatre

Street Theatre (edited)

Much of my portrait photography sources from spontaneous, of-the-moment interactions. When it happens, the essence of this spark in time is often of the briefest instances. Capturing these human-to-human, soul-to-soul moments is very special and very beautiful.

Firing off quick, live-scene shots like this don't allow for extra lighting or reflectors to lift darker areas or even the use of a fill-flash. Camera RAW can fill in for a lot of those techniques in post-processing ...

Taken during Davie Days (2009) in Vancouver's West End community, this street entertainer instantly connected with me. I had neither the time nor the gear to set this shot up so I fired off a couple, hoping for the best.

Street Theatre (capture)

Before edits

At first glance this shot is so poorly lit it didn't rank high on my first pass. All the spots that should be bright(er) are dark and all the parts that shouldn't really stand out make up large bright distracting regions.

There is also significant discrepancy in exposure/brightness as we move left to right.

And yet, there are a number of composition styles inherent (thirds, golden spiral and diagonal) that I took a second look and started to play around in Lightroom's Develop module.

Street Theatre (edited)

Post edits

After a few hours, here's the result!

The shading from left to right is more even and the bright spots have been tamed down significantly.

To pop the shot up another level, a few "beauty techniques" were also applied.

The biggest challenges were trying to get the skin tone even across her face. The nose and shoulders were the trickiest and I'm not sure I could have done much more in Lightroom.

I suspect the Photoshop frequency separation technique could prove beneficial here ….

Let me know what you think! Constructive suggestions welcome.

One response to “IOTW: Davie Street Theatre

  1. Hey John: I love what you have done with this photograph and it shows the shots we sometimes ignore because of the lighting present at the time but Lr can change everything. I sometimes go into Ribbet to get good skin adjustments and I know Kim uses it almost exclusively.

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