Using Photo Filters in Portraits

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with various filters in Photoshop and other image editing software. With the photograph above, taken last year with my friend Lindsay, this is the original version of the image. In editing the picture the first time around, I used a fairly traditional approach. The soft overall studio lighting was emphasized to provide a very flattering and feminine look for the portrait.

Today, I went back to this photograph to try a different approach. In Color Efex Pro, a “plug-in” filter for Photoshop made by Nik Software, I made a number of changes. Primarily, the tonal contrast was increased and the overall color saturation was reduced. The resulting image below has a somewhat “gritty”and dramatic feel and is a very popular look today, even for portraits of women.

The options of editing with filters today are unlimited. There’s no right or wrong way to to do this work – it’s a matter of what you are trying to achieve with the photograph.

Which of these two versions of the portrait appeal to you? I’d love to hear from you!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.


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