I recently posted on Flickr a shot I took a while back in Leicester Square in London. I and another photographer had been walking around Camden looking for inspiration and found our way to the west end to finish off the walk.
Sitting at one of the bars I noticed these ladies walking to wards me. I rested my Canon on the table in front of me and fired off this shot. It was taken with my 50mm f1.8 lens. A chanced shot considering the auto focus could have settled on the chair in front but it paid off quite well.
A couple of things bothered me about this shot:
- The bokeh at the back left was nice but a little two strong and draws the eye away from the couple.
- There was a strong yellow cast to the scene which I wanted to take out.
- Nothing I could do about the chair in front of the shot.
- The figure on the extreme right is also distracting.
After throwing the shot into Lightroom I dialed back the yellow and deepened the blacks and upped the blues to add a little contrast. The image was softened slightly and an adjustment brush was used over the main couple to sharpen them up and bring them more forward than the rest of the scene.
Something still wasn't right. They looked deep in conversation when they sat down. They seemed to be oblivious to everything around them. As if for them, time had slowed down. I wanted to reflect that in the shot.
Throwing the whole thing into Photoshop I created two copies of the frame and created a mask of the couple and copied that to the other frame copy. Named them Radial Blur and Oil Paint. I used the oil paint filter ten times to blur and merge everything behind the couple, this blurred out the bokeh and softened up the chair in front, doing this so much darkens the image so I had to apply an exposure layer over the top before saving. The radial blur was applied to the other copy of the image with only about 5 points of spin dialed in. The masking left the couple untouched by the effects.
This is the final image, I used Lightroom to blur the edges and bring some more detail back to the couple and the whole frame was warmed up a little, it looked too cold.