Smile for the Birdie

Street…where would you be without the candidness of people. Like animals in their own habitat they do the silliest of things. This shot isn’t silly…just think of the concept of a photographer taking a photograph of a person taking a photograph…sounds like some sort of perversion.
Anyway – the processing. I dropped this shot by 1 full exposure in Lightroom and then applied a preset called WOW-d_BnW_02…it’s the most contrasty of the 10 WOW B&W presets. Then export to CS3. I applied a macro I developed to give the image some contreast. It involves creating a mask from a 50% gray layer and the background copy of the layer, then applying this as a mask to a curves adjustment (S-curve). I removed a couple of bits of white and then ran the white dropper from a curves layer onto the ladies scarf…this brought it up nicely.
I got the lasso tool and loosely marked around the edge of the image (press Alt when you’re doing this and you can go off the side of the image too). I applied a 250px feather (that’s why you go outside the edge of the image). Ctrl-J and you have a new layer made from the selection. Change the layer property to multiply and you have a selective vignette. Duplicate it if you like to increase the strength and play with the opacity (I used 2 layers with the second on 70% opacity).
But I had too much noise…the ladies face was splotchy. As always when I’m converting images to B&W I tend to get noise…not to worry. I ran the Octave sharpening routine (as previous blog entry) and removed the 500%/1 radius/50% layer and flattened the image. I then ran a noiseware removal piece of software to clear the image on a duplicated layer. They say you should do this before sharpening…it depends on the image. I would normally check for areas where definition was lost after noiseware removal but this was fine.
You can see the before/after on my site.

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