Earlier this week I had the opportunity, along with photographers from the Cleveland Photographic Society, to photograph the Parade of Sail as about 7 tall ships sailed into Cleveland Harbor for the annual Tall Ship Festival. We were on the Charter boat Holiday and had fantastic access to the tall ships. The day was rather gray and hazy making for fairly low contrast photos, but with the help of Adobe Photoshop and Nik Software plug-ins, I was able to cleanup and enhance a few photos to something I really liked. I posted a couple of photos on Facebook and was asked how they originally looked, so here’s the before and after.
In this first photo I was looking for more of a vintage look, wanted the motorboats out of the photo and wanted to emphasize the haze with the tall ships in the background emerging out of it.
This photo, a ship’s portrait in my mind, was enhanced to bring out the color of the ship, it’s flag, and the sky to give it a painterly portrait look. As you might also notice, distracting elements were removed from the skyline at the stern of the ship and the tour boat Nautical Queen, which extended under the bowsprit was removed as well. I decided, as I sank the Nautica Queen, to save the passengers standing on the top deck! So in the enhanced version, they appear right where they were, but now they are spectators standing on the shore above the new breakwall that I had to construct!
Post production in the age of digital photography can take up a lot of time. But it’s similar to time taken in the darkroom with traditional photography. The tools are different and the capabilities multiplied many times over. Sometimes it can be grueling and frustrating but other times, like this one, it can be fun and rewarding!