This past week, one of my favorite friends and clients, HCA, approached me to freshen up images for the landing page of its new website-to-be. Each of these images will represent one of the core programs that HCA provides across its whopping portfolio of 70+ apartment communities!
For those of you who may not know, I worked full time with HCA for several years before I turned freelance. Though my responsibilities grew during my tenure, content creation – writing, editing and photography for a myriad of print and online platforms – formed one important part of my role. Needless to say, it’s tough to always find the editing time your inner Virgo desires when image creation is not the only item on your checklist.
…But then, as if in answer to that small creative voice that never quite accepts the 80/20 rule, this opportunity arose for me to return to many of my own photos and make them even better than before. Who could say no to that?
The original image had a really unappealing yellow tinge to it that lent a certain antique feel. The colors of the chalkboard and rug were also not as punchy or primary as the palette that HCA desired for its landing page. Using some crafty selections adjustment layers, I was able to make the back wall a nice bright white and give the chalkboard and rug the lift they needed. I also downplayed the orange hues of the teacher and student’s skin tone from before…Check it out!
This is not your typical humdrum image (PUN! I love puns…). A great action close-up, this shot needed some love on a few different fronts. For the final edit, I warmed the white balance, bumped up the exposure and punched the colors towards a more primary palette. It’s subtle, but I also burned the drum surface a bit to really bring out the textured surface and that sense of disciplined use.
Drums aren’t just for dudes. Karen Carpenter, Cindy Blackman, Sheila Escovedo, Moe Tucker (to name a few ), and now this little lass below, have all touched the beat of our hearts. Like the drum shot above, this image errs a little on the blue side. The subject is also underexposed, as is frequently the case when shots are backlit by daylight. I punched the colors and added a touch ‘o’ sharpening to give us that nice crispy, stock photo feel.I also turned up the temperature and used some selections and levels adjustments to better expose our musician-in-training.
I also want to note here that I always try to do my best to be a socially responsible editor, particularly when it comes to race. Perhaps you remember a while back when a lifestyle magazine was widely criticized for “whitening” their cover celebrity, Beyonce. Bringing up the exposure in this photo did lighten the subject’s skin (as it would for anyone), but I gave my best effort to do so across the board in both the foreground and background, so as to maintain the integrity of her skin and race.
Stay tuned for the new HCA website, where you’ll see my work on their landing page!