One of the many virtues of digital photography is that you can shoot to specific post production techniques you’ve mastered (at least in your own mind, he adds).
In this photograph (above), I knew I wanted more than the safe option of just a silhouette of the kids jumping which I could have got by simply focusing manually and exposing to the sunset.
So I chose to override my camera’s auto settings and shoot a relatively fast ISO (1000), set the camera’s aperture to F5 and concentrate on the children splashing. I needed to be careful – too high an exposure and I’d blow out the sunset; too low and I’d lose the detail of the children, yet I needed the speed. If I went too fast with the ISO, chances were the picture would be too grainy.
Still, despite the obvious darkness I could see on the back of my camera, I continued to shoot, confident I could pull the highlights back and draw out the details from the shadows on the computer to get a half-way reasonable shot.
In summary, without being familiar with this technique in the post production process and being prepared to override the cameras automatic exposure, I would never have confidently shot for this picture.
I did most of the post production work in Lightroom and completed the process with some dodging and burning in Photoshop before warming the overall temperature to bring back some of the colour of the sunset. For an extra bit of punch, I duplicated and overlaid the layer then drew back its opacity to about 18%, before merging the two layers and sharpening the picture.