Ok, here are both images….I’ll explain now how I got from this in-camera shot to the finished image you see here!
So, basically, all I did was walk up to the TOP of the LA Dodger stadium (uhh very scary). The field was covered in white tarp (because it was raining) so I couldn’t shoot towards the field, very ugly. I had to compose the shot with the stadium seats in view to capture the essence of the stadium. I was shooting the canon 5d mark2 with the 24-70mm canon L lens, very wide. I brought out my off camera flash, canon 580ex2, and underexposed the ambient sky, and exposed my flash for the subjects, in this case the engaged couple, Cary and Anissa. I was actually going to turn this image into a spotlight effect, but it turned out better this way.
I went back home and uploaded the image I knew I liked, and fixed it up in RAW. I dodged and burned this image in Adobe Photoshop CS4. I have CS5, but some of my plug-ins do not work in CS5 yet, so CS5 plug-in people, word on behalf of us photographers, get your plug-in’s updated.
As you can see, the stadium in the BEFORE image was underexposed, and I dodged (brightened) the stadium seats and used the sponge tool (saturation) to bring out more colors in my seating. In one tweek, I had brightened them too much, and I didn’t like it. I burned (darkened) the seats back down a little. I don’t like to overuse to sponge tool in my images because it looks too fake sometimes, but in this image, it was totally appropriate. I then dodged the sky in a layered light view so that it didn’t look like one glob of darkness, cloudy and all. I sharpened the whole image only so much, and then smoothed out the couple. I also pushed the contrast a little to make the darks darker and the lights lighter. Lastly, I used a plug-in that brings in more definition to the image, and then adjust it down a little. I added a slight vignette, and that was it!
Charleton Churchill Photography Tips