Photographing on location often provides multiple challenges.
For example, I was recently asked to photography a new offshore fire training facility. It was an immovable date due to the fact they were having a “grand opening” with demos and wanted images of the great and good enjoying the demos that also involved the local fire brigade crew.
Three problems in one
- The day of the photoshoot started wet and gray – it wasn’t event an entertaining, stormy sky. This meant the light was very flat as well as having a very dull sky in the background.
- The training centre is in the middle of an industrial estate and backs on to a pipe storage yard. On the day of the shoot, there was work going on in the yard, for which they were using a very large, bright yellow crane, covered in logos, that stood out nicely against the gray sky, but had nothing to do with the training facility, nor were the training facility being paid to advertise the crane manufacturer/supplier.
- The fire training unit is very large, but there were only six fire crew present – one supervising, one off to the side as back-up in case anything went wrong, two went inside the unit, which left me with a large rig with only 2 guys on it.
I’m a firm believer in getting it right in camera, but sometimes there are factors outwith your control. If you are working in an office environment or warehouse, there’s the opportunity to add lighting in there, but you can’t always guarantee machinery won’t break down, or that key people won’t be ill that day. When you’re working outdoors, you certainly can’t guarantee what the weather will be like, or what other businesses nearby the site will be doing.
Levels and layers
Before – only 2 fire crew in shot, colours flat:
After – some simple level adjustments have added punch to the colour and by layering shots together there are now 8 fire crew visible, creating a much more interesting and informative image:
Crop and Clone
Before -Again the colours are dark and flat. There are distractions in the top left (bright yellow crane) and bottom right (onlookers):
After -With some levels adjustment, the colour has been lifted, some cropping and half the crowd have been removed as well as making the fire crew more dominant within the images and a little cloning has taken care of the crane and the remaining onlookers:
If you’d like to know more about how to achieve this, or how to use other aspects of PhotoShop or Lightroom, please have a look at the tuition page.