This blog post will be evaluating how well I edited my images in Photoshop. I edited images from the three shoots from the studio. Editing these images has given me quite an insight into preparing and ensuring the quality of shots is there before preparing the images for editing. The more you shoot in camera is better than editing in or out after.
Blue Curacao Bottle, Malibu Bottle and Experimental Smirnoff Bottle (Based of the image from Eric Michalski(Visual Research))
When I shot the test shoot I did some initial editing to understand for the first studio shoot where I would need to start. As I was using a college computer to edit I needed to convert my Sony RAW files to Adobe DNG files, to be able to work with them on the computer. So I ensured that they were all converted from each shoot to ensure no compatibility issues.
As the test shoot images were very simple they were only images of the bottle on white Perspex and the background being a studio flash with a soft box attached. So the images were processed in Adobe Camera RAW. I adjusted the white balance using the eye dropper to determine a white point for each image. I then changed the exposure toggles adding in some more contrast and took down the highlights in some of the images as they were slightly blown out. As I took shots of different bottles the processing on each bottle was subjective. When I added the lens correction I made sure to add each image into Adobe Camera Raw again to synchronise the Lens Correction on each image.
I then experimented with my shots of the Smirnoff bottle and splashing of liquid (after seeing the Smirnoff image from Eric Michalski). I decided with the images I had shot that I would have a bottle of Vodka with a glass by the side and have another image placed (top of the bottle pouring into liquid into the glass. I encountered a few issues with the approach when trying to get the white balance the same; I used a studio flash with a Soft Box to light the bottle and glass. To freeze the water in place I used a different flash which gave a different lighting. The White balance between the two shots made getting them to look the same was quite complex this way in hindsight, I encountered a similar issue with my Absolut advert.
When creating this image, I should have used Paths for cutting out the liquid which would have helped me when compositing the two images together.
In the image below, you can see the difference in the backgrounds, which detracts the quality of the overall image.
These were the images created from the test shoot, the shots of the blue Curacao and White Malibu were simple to process looked clean if a little dull and plain. The horizon line was too high I should have shot lower down for the images for these bottles. The final experimental image of the Smirnoff bottle was a bit too much for me to chew as a first attempt. This did give me some insight into the amount of Image Manipulation that is taken to produce these images.
Malibu with Coconut Image Evaluation
For my first studio shoot I shot the Malibu with coconut image and the overall shoot went alright apart from giving myself a lot of work cleaning up the Perspex. I first had to process the two images that would be put together to create the image. I used the white-balance tools in Adobe Camera Raw and added some contrast, I also increased the clarity. I also used the synchronising settings to make sure both images have had the same settings as the lighting didn’t change the exposure and white-balance. I also used the Lens correction to make sure the images were of the best quality.
Once the images have been processed I will be layering them and cutting out the different components and them replacing them onto the final image. After the first attempt to edit and create an image from the test shots didn’t go as planned. I made sure to try and implement the use of Paths in this image. This made it easier to cut out the objects I needed, as once a path is created you can make a selection and then refine edge, the same way if you had made the selection using another tool. The results were a lot better than my first attempts with rubbing out the excess.
The image below is the progress I had made with cutting out the objects, when using Paths I would use a two-step process, the first step would be to get the object roughly cut. On the second attempt, I would cut further into the object to get the exact the shape of the object.
The layers on this image started to pile up as I also needed to bring the reflections of the pieces of coconut.
Here is the final image, I didn’t finish it because I wasn’t happy with the reflection from the Perspex. It wasn’t as white as the original, this might be due to there Perspex and how it reacts with the studio flashes. There bottle also had no number on the glass which wasn’t to challenging on the bottle but on the reflection of the bottle. The image was very similar to the original but I still would have needed to make it brighter and alter the white balance. Compositionally the image is very close they had slightly different coconuts and I could not break them to mimic the broken pieces in the original.
Absolut Vodka Image
I started with the background of the image and chose an image to be used for the background, I then duplicated the layer and added a Gaussian blur. This was to make my image shot of the background as close to the original as possible.
The next component to be created was the magazine with the Absolut bottle on the back page. I had to cut the image with bottle out and place onto an image of the magazine. So I first had to choose an image of the position of the magazine and cut it using Paths and Place it on top of the magazine. Once the positioning was sorted I then had to cut through image to make sure the magazine spine was visible on the image. This was done with Paths as it makes drawing straight lines very easy. Once this was sorted I did a few tweaks to the bottle image making sure the image was clean. Then saved the image and placed it on to the final image.
Now I was going to start on the glass which had the most retouching done, once the image was processed in Adobe RAW where I increased the contrast to make sure the water droplets had more definition and were more prominent in the shot. I then had to clean the glass from excess water and scratches. Once that was done I placed the image onto the final image so I could get the positioning right. When this image was shot I used a high speed studio flash which meant I was going to have to cut away the background. I was going to be using Paths to cut away the background from the Martini glass. The water droplets were individually duplicated and had the excess cut off. This also meant we could manipulate the location of the water droplets. I had a puzzle at hand which was how to get all the components to match the white balance of the background image, this became problematic as the different components were shot with a range of flashes to achieve the qualities of the original shot. The other issue was we used glass to create the reflection of the Martini glass and lid of the bottle. In the shot it looks like Bronstein used a veneered dark wood with a texture that gives the look and feel of water. So the glass we used gave of a green tint which was causing me issues when trying to alter the white balance. I decided to come back to the issue and finish other aspects of the image because altering each individual component was not the right answer. I then duplicated the layer with the Martini glass and created a darkened layer to mimic the lighting on the wall, I used the rubber with a big soft edge to create the effect that the light from the wall was reflected onto the glass.
Before moving onto the white balance issue I added my text, which I used the Font “Futura Condensed” this looks very close to the original, it might not be the font used but is very close. To solve my issue of the images all looking slightly different when trying to get the white balance the same. I merged all the layers to do with the martini glass and water droplets and the background. I then went to Image, Image Adjustments and De-saturate, this took all the colour out of the image meaning it was all black and white. I then went to Image, Image Adjustments and Colour Balance, and added the white balance in and the image looked right there was no conflicting colour issues.
The original image shot by Steve Bronstein is on the left with my recreated image on the right. Overall I am very happy with my recreation of Bronstein’s Image and I feel it comes very close to the original. There are some issues such as my background light is a larger spread and the angle of my camera is different and feels tighter. The other glaring issue is the bottle design changed to a shorter fatter design which meant the magazine had to be higher and less of it in shot, or you would see the clamps on the bottle holding it in the angled position. The process of creating the image has been challenging all the way through this project but to come this far and achieve a good image in the end has been rewarding and to learn more about photoshop.
There you have it my evaluation of my images and how they were edited. Overall I am pleased with the final image submitted from the third studio shoot. The Absolut Vodka shot is clean and looks sophisticated yet when edited together was very complex but the final image yet looks simple.