In this blog I'll show how the images got out of the camera and the final result after post process. I'll mention what I've done and why.
The main importance with narrative images is that you show what you want to tell. In this image I wanted to tell how the buses are a very common sight in the streets of Dakar, so I wanted to highlight the pattern of the buses, but also how the colors of the building behind were sort of reflected in the buses as well. So I cropped the distracting elements, cranked up the exposure, lightened up the buses, leveled out the undefined whites and blacks, added more contrast to the sky, which gave it a nice yellowish look.
The theme of this image is the hand that's painting the word. That is what I wanted the viewer to look at and be led to. So I cropped out in such a way that the brush and hand are covering the thirds of the image. Besides that, I lightened up the hand and brush, because the eyes are drawn to the lighter areas first.
I cropped out the left side and top of the image, because I wanted the focus to be on the entrance of the shop, the words and items that are on the floor. This way they take a more central part in the image and are placed on the lower thirds line. I lightened up the shadows, even more on the right side so that one can have a slight idea of the size of the room inside. Besides that, it makes the image more interesting as it leads the eye in and away of the main subject. I adjusted the white balance a bit to get rid of the blue cast and make it a bit warmer. Next to the original it maybe looks a bit yellowish, but I think that when you look at it separately it's ok.
This image clearly needed more clarity and more contrast to make it striking. I cropped a bit, straightened and corrected the lens to get the focus on the lower part, the Alhamdoulilah, eyes and face, of the image.
I doubted whether I should leave the couch in the image, because it is quite typical to find furniture everywhere in Senegal. But it was too distracting from what I wanted to show, which is obviously the bus, but also the painted face on the wall looking at the painter. So I cropped it out, lightened up the wall, retouched the white line of the face and straightened the image to show that the bus is declining and therefor explaining the little blocks under thew wheels. I added clarity, lightened up the shadows and saturated the bus a bit.
First of all, I cropped the image so that the face of the painter would become more visible. Then I brightened up the shadows, especially the shadowy part on the painter. I added more contrast to the cap and shirt and adjusted the whitebalance a bit to get rid of the blue cast. In images that are made in difficult light like this I find it hard to see when photos are over processed, because it tends to look like that when lightening up the shadows. It is a bit bright to the eyes, but the light is really bright at that time of day, so maybe not such an unnatural reflection of the moment after all.
In this image I used the same techniques as in the image above. Especially because there's a white block of sky on the upper left side I had to make sure to get the shadowy parts bright and light enough. With the crop, the bus covers a bigger part of the image and the lines are more accentuated.
I wanted to show the painter's expression, eyes and posture, but also the colorful background. So I added contrast on the wall, downed the highlights of the shirt, so that the paint would become clearer. I upped the shadows of the face, lightened the eyes to get a better gaze and desaturated the yellow in the shirt a bit, because this was a bit distracting. Again, I adjusted the white balance a bit, to make the image somewhat warmer.
To make the writing clearer, I leveled out the blacks and whites, cranked up the contrast and upped the clarity. The fly is also a bit more visible, which I like.
I cropped the image a bit, just to get the paint cans a bit more to the foreground. I added contrast, brightness and a little bit of saturation to let the colors speak even more.
It's been only a few months that I started to use photoshop and I'm really becoming aware of all its possibilities. It's exciting to make small, but impacting changes and process the image in such a way that it conveys what I want to show even more.