Some time ago the wonderful images of Elena Shumilova went viral. Suddenly there were dogs, rabbits and cute children everywhere. And I have to say – these images are extraordinary – we instantly begin to dream and to fell fuzzy. Something is going on with us while looking at these images. In some way, her work is magical.
After a while threads started popping up in forums, asking about the secrets and post production in Elena’s work.
The stuff I usually do is definitely different from soft warm portraiture, also I am not the photographer on the team – my job in the process has to do more with the technical planning of shots, lighting and retouching.
As a father of a two-year-old girl, owner of a DSLR and with a girlfriend who’s blogging, I had to expand my principles. So I started analyzing Elenas images and wrote some key elements in her images down. I did not want to copy her compositions, or wanted to recreate her image ideas – which is technically not possible, because I don’t have a big dog, or rabbit around.
The idea was “applying some of her key elements on a normal family trip”.
- use shallow depth of field
- never shoot hairs without backlight
- avoid colorful clothing
- watch the background
- if you see some sort of road – use it
- be ready for some serious photoshop-work
So I shot about 150 images while my little one was playing on a little lake and this here is my favorite image from that afternoon. It’s called “Walking through life”
The processing was quite straight forward, but it was way more than what I would usually do for a “family snapshot”.
I added some notes to the images, so you can just browse through the gallery and get a pretty good idea what’s going on. The techniques involved in the actual retouching are pretty basic, so I am focusing on on the what, rather than on the actual button pressing. No need for another boring photoshop-tutorial…
First, here is a quick run through the process:
And another one, only a bit slower
There are some more images on my girlfriends blog, so if you like it, you can visit the article here.