The Onion Seller - Processing Workflow

September 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I visited the Dubai Central Fruit and Vegetable Market for the first time this week, and initially had a walkabout with my Carl Zeiss 2/35 Distagon.  It was nice to visit somewhere fresh to shoot, and there are plenty of photo opportunities.  I came across this guy standing beside his Onions stall, and knew I had to take his photograph.  The light on his face, combined with the beads of sweat, make for an interesting portrait.

 

Conversation was impossible as he understood very little English, so I composed to insure that nothing too distracting was going on in the frame (quite difficult in a bustling market) and took the shot.  f3.2 was enough to get most of his face acceptably sharp while blurring out the busy background.

 

Here's the shot straight out of the camera, apart from cropping to 8x10 format in Lightroom:

 

Firstly I added a little Tonal Contrast, using a weaker version of a preset in Color Efex.  This drew out a little more microcontrast on the subject.  This layer was limited just to the man.

 

Then I used a little selective sharpening, just on the man again:

 

This created a nice finished colour shot, accentuating the heat and sweatiness of the subject.  Moving into Silver Efex I then converted to Black and White using a Neutral Preset, with a light vignette and my standard type 14 border at 85%, complete with a little adjustment to the dynamic brightness and fine structure.  A little dodging and burning to reduce the emphasis on the highlights in the background (which couldn't be avoided whatever I did while on site) and the finished B&W shot was complete.

 

 

 


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