Sunday, September 04, 2011

Raindrops of Colour


I love walking around with my camera just after it has been raining, where everything is so fresh and clean. While wandering around the local common after a rain shower, I took a few photos of flowers and leaves with raindrops on them. While reviewing the photos I came up with the idea of using selective colouring on the raindrops. I have never been a major fan of this technique but if it is done right it can be very effective. I opened up Photoshop and played about with some of the photos but none of them looked right. Either the focus was wrong, the raindrops were the wrong size or in the wrong place or the angle was wrong.

Luckily it rained again a few days later (it has rained a lot in the UK this year), so off again I trotted to the common. I knew roughly the type of shot I wanted and took loads of shots of raindrops on the leaves, flowers and grass. When I got home I previewed the photos and this one leapt out at me. I opened up Photoshop and started to work. I made a new layer and then desaturated it. I then carefully used the eraser tool to bring out the colour of the raindrops. As you can imagine, it was very time consuming working on each raindrop. When I had finished, something about it did not look right. I decided to leave it overnight and review it again with a fresh pair of eyes the next day.

When I looked at the photo again I realised that the raindrops on the back leaves were too bright and needed to be faded a bit. I made separate layers for all the leaves and adjusted the brightness and saturation accordingly. It was looking much better but I felt it was still not there and was unsure as to what was needed.

I uploaded the photo to Google+ and posted it in the Behind The Lens – Photo Critique group. The overall consensus on there was that it needed cropping a bit. I looked at the photo again and realised they were right. After doing the crop I felt the the end result was just right. Since posting the finished picture on Google+ I have had many “+1's” and comments praising the photo. I myself am very pleased with it. I may even do a series some time in the future, who knows.