A Long Way From My Back Porch

For the past month and a half I have been working as a Maker Intern at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. Throughout this internship I have had the pleasure of learning the production side of agency life.

One of the biggest things I have learned so far from this job has been that Photoshop can only do so much. When it comes to creating high quality work, you have got to be smart about the equipment you choose and decisions you make during the set up and shooting. Editing should be used to enhance an image rather than to create it. This is simply referring to photography, not graphic design.

When I freelanced before this internship, I never used high quality lighting or backdrops. I would shoot outside on my back porch using no light source but the sun. I would only use a white backdrop and photoshop it the color I wanted because of how expensive a seamless is. Today, for one shoot we changed out the seamless twice, and switched out the surface three times. We used five different light sources, some with diffusions, all of which were wirelessly triggered by the camera. Never could I have ever imagined I would been able to have so much control over light and background.

Through this I have learned how much you can manipulate an image with its surroundings and lighting. It is so important to learn this in an agency because the vibes of entire sets change with the client. Before, I accepted where the sun was pointed in the sky. Now I know that lighting should be a creative choice.

When it comes to editing, it’s been really interesting to see the process of retouching. Photoshop is used to clean up images, adjust lighting, and contrast. Obviously the level of editing changes for the concept and client. However, I have learned how Photoshop should not manipulate the photo, it should enhance the product.

The collection of seamless backgrounds

One comment

  1. Hi Libby,
    I am not familiar too much with production however I have found your blog post very intriguing. I am finding that there are so many interesting ways of completing tasks that occur at agencies that are only revealed when thrown into the ‘real world’ environment. I also liked your perspective of how Photoshop should enhance the photo and not manipulate the photo.

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