Has there ever been a moment when we haven’t wanted to go back in time?

Back To The Future” was such an awesome movie when I was a kid. Michael J Fox was famous from the show “Family Ties” (which I loved as a kid, I think I even imagined myself as him.. ) which, for me, made the film more appealing. I remember talking to everyone about the miniature guitar and the wall sized speakers he plugs it into. It made me want to be a guitarist… almost. The car looked so cool, and the ‘flux capacitor’ became  imbedded in our pop cultural language. In fact, I still tap on a random knob on my 12 seater Toyota Hiace dashboard and make a random comment about getting the flux capacitor to work.. to no avail..

Probably the two most disappointing aspects of the movie was that 1) is wasn’t real and 2) the sequels..

So today, I’m revisiting a past portrait. No need for a flux capacitor, or a crazy scientific genius, or even a modified DeLorean .. Though I wouldn’t mind the occasional help from a crazy scientific genius..
I’m revisiting this portrait because I really like it, and wasn’t particularly happy with the post processing of the original. I’ve been doing some research on other photographer’s post processing erm, processes, and was inspired by an old post by Jake Garn Photography on Photo Retouching: Dodging and Burning.

Despite the dramatic difference his technique made of the photo, it made me think about being more subtle with the whole post process.. process. (yes, some of you have told me this already.. I work fast, listen slow..)

The result has been for me to work lower on the camera to try and get as much ‘right’ as possible. Lighting, contrast, colour.. and then using fewer tools in photoshop with more subtlety to achieve more pleasing results. Sounds obvious huh? yeah, well..

My original intention was to emphasis the blue walls of Ang’s room. I used a Blue gel over my 430EXII and placed it behind her facing the wall. (Dom you’re a champion!!)  I suspended my SB24 fitted with a Lumiquest Softbox III above Ang’s head, and then reflected the light with the gold side of a reflector.  I used my nifty fifty on my 7d. (OT. I love how the 7d focuses in low light, even with the 50/1.8 which has been renown to search long and hard in low light situations)

Ok, I like the contrast, and the intensity of the original, but feel that I lose ‘sight’ of Ang as a result of the contrasty sections around her eyes.. My solution? I amped up the exposure a tad, and worked contrast back in with the dodge and burn..

I’m happy (-er) with the results as it still maintain the complementary colour effect, the intensity of the blue background, and good detail and tone in her face..

I generally don’t like revisiting the past and working on older photos. It kinda alters how I measure my improvement.. It’s never really a good idea to put two identical photos, with different post processes, next to each other.. It makes me continually want to tweek it more and more..

If you have thoughts about which is your preferred portrait, or what you would do in post processing, feel free to leave a comment..

Despite this very short trip dow re-memory lane, I think it’s time to get back to the future!..