Yup! Editing images can be sexy! The big difference here is how each of us define sexy. Oh please, please, please... don't get me wrong. As a man I definitely appreciate a good looking woman. However! The absolute hordes of selfies in mirrors by ladies in their panties and bras now a days on Instagram leaves me saying... "Yeah, so what? You took a selfie. That doesn't make you sexy because you took your own picture in your underwear."
As a Photographer I'm looking for art. Something special. Now... give me a dancer in point shoes, and a cool Leo within awesome light? Now that's hot! And typically that image won't be a selfie "snapshot"... that image will be created by the beautiful connection of the Photographer and the Dancer working together within their own respective arts, to create an exceptional blend of the two. However I digress.
When I do Photo Safaris with my clients, a Dancer is not typically with us, believe it or not. I wish a dancer was... however most of my clients say they would simply rather Photograph the Landscape, because if I place a dancer or a model in the mix, it scares the crap out of them. Me personally? I think the Dancer adds to the Landscape.
Awhile back I was on a Photo Safari to the Grand Canyon. No Dancer or Model, just the people I was teaching. The day wasn't great. We can never pick the weather ya know, however you simply can't believe how many Photographers let the weather or other factors affect their experience! Also few people realize that the Grand Canyon is almost always "hazy."
If you really think about it, it should be hazy. It's a Canyon! That means the air in the bottom is lower, (lower pressure too) so this causes things to settle within it. It's our fault that haze is there, some of it from as far away as Los Angles, and some of it from nearby mining and power plant operations. However most "tourists" who book me to teach them to Photograph the Grand Canyon, don't know this. Why? Because we Photographers are in the habit of showing only our "best" work, so are the many publications out there that do the same.
Today I'm going to show you one of my crappy shots.... and the resultant sexy edit. With this exposé I wish all to realize that all Photography is not "perfect" right out of the camera. It takes dedicated professionalism and a lot of study to capture what the camera "sees" and what is actually there. Are we "altering" images. Nope! (I'm not trying to be conceited here, I'm simply saying someone who is professional at what they do, works hard at it)
The reason golden hour images appear nicer is because the light is not as intense. Shadows are created. Colors become more saturated. Texture is defined. It's known that the worst time of day, light wise, is during the middle of the day. However most people do not actually know it's because of the intensity of the light, which washes out the colors and the shadows of the landscape, and totally removes most texture. They simply don't care enough to study the why,.. they just understand this to be. No insult intended. I've never cared to study why Henry David Thoreau was a great writer, I simply know he was.
The image in this example is NOT designed to be an award winning image. As a matter of fact it's one of my "throw-a ways". (an image I wouldn't normally spend the time and effort required to edit) It's does not have great composition, or any other factor needed to give the impact necessary to be award winning. It's simply an example of what most people would consider a throw-a-way image, or something not so good, or even think "man I'm a terrible Photographer." Those other guys out there are FAR better than I am....
Well not necessarily so... they simply might be better at sexy edits! This image was captured right in the middle of the day, at 12:45 pm. It truly was designed to be a "throwaway"... I took what we Photographers affectionately call the "walk up image"... Where someone gets out of their vehicle, walks up to what ever the view might be, snaps a shot and gets back into the vehicle. "Serious" Photographers will use a bit more effort to actually capture a compelling image.
Captured at 12:45 pm > Nikon D-800 (which I've always thought was too noisy) > Hand held > ISO 100 > 12-24 Nikon Lens at 24mm > 1/160 sec > f/11... Now some might say, crap Garrett that's some pretty top of the line equipment, and they'd be correct. However my old Nikon D-200 or D-7100 would have taken just as "good" an image. I was definitely not pushing the capabilities of my equipment here.
From the above to this... the "Sexy Edit"
Understand now... the above image is far from award winning in my humble opinion. However it does show that with a little knowledge, and playing around in LightRoom and Photoshop more than you might currently do... You can change an old Photograph that you thought was "crappy" into something most people would be happy to accomplish. If you click on one of the images it will expand and you can click with the arrows to view all the images in this post. Click off the large image and you'll be right back here.
Thanks for reading. As usual pardon any typos or spelling errors. I'm a Photographer, not Henry David Thoreau....