Friday, June 29, 2007
Strategies for selectively lightening and darkening an image
This is the first iteration of a new Digital Photo Pro column from John Paul Caponigro, a master photographer and artist who teaches workshops, writes books and lectures on Photoshop technique. In each installment of (R)evolution, we'll examine a technique for improving your photographs. By focusing on a single problem in each column, we hope to show you the depth and power of some of the tools at your disposal in Photoshop.
There are several classic strategies for dodging and burning, or selectively lightening and darkening select areas of an image. Any of these techniques can help you to guide the viewer's attention within an image:
• Accent a small but significant area of an image by lightening or darkening it.
• Accent a small but significant area of an image by lightening or darkening the areas surrounding it.
• Catch the attention of the eye by accentuating contrast in an important area of an image.
• Drive the attention of the eye away from edges and toward the interior of a composition by darkening edges.
• Accentuate contrast between broad planes that define essential areas of a composition.
• Create or accentuate variation across one or more broad planes to add interest.
• Accentuate contrast in areas surrounding contours that separate different planes within a composition.
• Increase edge-to-edge contrast accentuating contours within an image.
• Create or accentuate variation in an image area to emphasize spatial recession and/or volume.
You can use these strategies in combination with one another.
1) Edges darkened linearly.
2) Edges darkened circularly with the center lightened.
3) The subject lightened with the surrounding area darkened.
4) The subject darkened with the surrounding area lightened.
5) Contours accentuated.
6) Volume accentuated.
7) Gradation in planes accentuated.