When I teach, one of the items I voice time and time again is a need to have ‘sparkle’ in a photograph. It can be from how the light strikes the subject, how it affects the location and background or the final look within the image. But something that makes you feel something in the photograph beyond the ‘look’ in the eye of the model or the image’s composition.
In many of my images I find this sparkle another layer to enhance the image. One of the ways to achieve this is with flare. It is either induced by allowing light to enter the camera’s lens directly during a shoot or afterward by using a filter inside Photoshop. This image I’m sharing here was done by using both, in the camera flare and Alien Skin Software’s filter suite, Exposure 7.
I’ve been using Exposure for a few years now and I love all of the variables it offers a photographer. Exposure mostly works to mimic the look and feel of a film type. I, being from a film background, have always felt digital to be a bit too clean, too sanitized for my taste. So when I discovered Exposure I felt I had found an old friend. That being film.
They’ve taken great pains to look at nearly all the film types that were of the rage back in the days of film and recreate them digitally. From so many of the color print films, to slide and transparency films, even Polaroid films, to a huge array of B&W films, you can find something that can take an image and add something special.
With this shot I had used some intentional flare in the original photo. Yet I wanted to enhance that even more, so I took it into Exposure and added the tweak of film type and added flare all within Exposure 7. It gave me what I wanted so wonderfully well.
In closing, unlike so many filters that are out there doing similar effects, Exposure is completely non-destructive to a file which is also very important.
So when you’re looking for adding some ‘flare’ to an image, besides thinking about the light you produced or how you’ve posed the model, or propped it, given it great feeling and attitude, try Exposure.
David Mecey - David Mecey’s Ultimate Photo Workshop™
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