Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I did not post a pic of the week last Sunday, or join up with the My Sunday Photo linky. The reason why is quite boring I’m afraid. I was simply on a very long motorway journey that day. By the time I got home, cooked tea and sorted the laundry it was 10pm and I was falling asleep in front of the TV. It’s the first Sunday I’ve missed since first joining in, over ten months ago.
Developing a Vintage Father Christmas
I used this vintage style photo of Father Christmas in last Friday’s blog post. I thought I would re-visit it for my pic of the week today because he really does look quite vintage. I’ve noticed that the electric radiator in the original shot spoils it.
The original shot is just a snap, very unplanned or posed. I was just trying to grab a picture to show my children. When I looked at it again later I noticed the way one side of his face faded into blackness. The one-sided lighting is really effective on his fluffy beard too and his gloves are shiny. I was reminded of old Victorian Christmas card images so I decided to see what I could do in post-processing.
In Lightroom I cropped in and tried a vintage preset. It was too yellow and dark so I tweaked it a bit more by lifting the dark areas and reducing vibrance.
The above shot is the one I used for a recent blog post, but today I’ve gone on to get rid of the electric radiator. I used Photoshop to clone it out. I also decided to get rid of the wall even though it is a nice old texture. The wall is a light area and a distraction, especially as it is on the right hand side. It leads the eye off the edge of the picture as you “read” it. I used a couple of layers in Photoshop to achieve neat cloning, and cut out Santa’s shoulder to do that area with precision. I rarely clone anything as it is hard work to make it look natural. The fact that there was a big vintage colour cast on the image actually made this easier to clone because the colour range is more limited.
I was genuinely quite surprised to be able to achieve a vintage Father Christmas image from this shot. It only took a few steps. Do you think it’s worked?
Read more – another Christmassy blog post from last year about the nativity.