Tag Archives: photoshop

Boston Common – Surreal Spring

Visited the Boston Common yesterday and was completely blown away by the beautiful blooming trees, tulips, and multiple weddings going on in the park. It was teeming with life and almost surreal.

In editing these, I was really going for something different. My aesthetic is a constantly changing thing, and inspiration can come from anywhere — even a new pair of sunglasses. That’s right, my sunglasses. When I put them on, the bright green leaves against the deep blue sky just popped. When editing, I wanted to mimic this look, and the result made me think I also got some inspiration from fellow WordPress-ing photog Infraredrobert. His work at Digital Infrared is pretty great, and if you like my work here, you’ll certainly get a kick out of his gallery.

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Portrait Processing Step by Step – Before and After

before after

482301_607650002581713_437070477_nWhen processing a portrait, it’s really the subtle things that count. Human portraits are probably one of the things I photograph the least just out of the simple fact that I’m a perfectionist. I really like to take my time when looking at the portrait as I work with it, and I’m going to quickly walk you through my processing step by step, with Adobe Lightroom. I’m not going to get too technical, but this will give you a little understanding behind my workflow.

If you want to see some of the street portraits I have done, you can check them out here:  The Faces of Worcester   and here:   The Faces of Worcester II

Adobe Lightroom really changed how I process most photos. I don’t use it for everything I do, though. Things that I really want to cherish, or things that I plan on printing — those go to Photoshop for the fine tuning work. But for the shots that I just want to enjoy for the time being, or work through for a blog post, Lightroom is great.

manderBlack and White or Color?

After you have your photo and are pleased with the shot, your first decision is a tough one — black and white, or color? Some photographers I’ve met have really limited themselves here, only choosing to do one or the other. Well, it’s not so “black and white.” Usually, I’m a huge fan of letting loud, awesome colors shine in your work, but if they’re not the focus and not adding something to your portrait, forget them… but that’s not saying you should completely desaturate your portrait… More about that under Selective Saturation…


I’m a huge fan of a really crisp, clear image. If you’ve looked at much of my work, you know that already. I sharpen the hell out of everything, usually. But unlike rusty urban decay, unlike my cat’s whiskers, and unlike the harsh, weathered faces of strangers on the street, I wanted this portrait to be soft, and decided to only go for local spot clarity in the eyes, mouth, and other points of interest.

Selective Saturation and LuminosityIMG_4243

One of my photo professors, Frank Armstrong, taught us the art of the “black and white” photo. I say that in quotes, because the image, while it appears desaturated, is actually alive with warm tones. When I’m processing a photo and desaturating it, I take it color by color in Lightroom, and handle each one separately, adjusting the luminosity and saturation as I want.

In this shot, I took down all blue, green (to make the wall in the back unnoticeable), purple (the shirt), and magenta completely, adjusting the luminosity for each. For example, I lightened up the desaturated green to make the model’s hair stand out from the background. For the warm tones, I took them down, but left some nice warmth in there. I added an over all warm tone to give it a little more depth.

Spot Work

In this piece, I wanted to make sure the eyes, mouth, and texture in the hair were prominent. Go through and decide what it is that really makes your portrait unique. What is it about that person’s face that is really pulling  you in. Eyes are a given, and are captivating on their own; here, I wish I had some catch light, but to compensate, I lightened them up.

This technique can work the opposite way. The collar here was blending in a little too much with the face, so I selected the area and brought down the brightness. If something is distracting, deal with it on its own.

To Vignette or Not to Vignette?

Vignetting is a nice way to put a little more emphasis on your central elements in the photo, but before you go crazy with that nice dark ring around your work, pay attention to the edges! Here, a dark vignette would have really diminished the night light coming into the frame, and would have kept the hair from standing out from the background.

A Little Bit of Design for Good Measure II

Photography at this point is second nature to me, but design on the other hand, is something I’m just starting to get familiar with. Working with Adobe Illustrator wasn’t as intuitive as I thought it was going to be, and was much more complicated than its cousin, Photoshop.

Right now, I’m taking a course as a part of my masters — Communication Design. (Previous assignment can be seen here…) Our second assignment was to create an advocacy poster. At the time, the DOMA and Prop 8 hearings were going on, and I wanted to create something about gay marriage and human rights… But as you can see, that’s not exactly how things turned out…



For my advocacy poster, my original idea was much different. My first poster design was for human rights, specifically in relation to the Supreme Court’s hearing on gay marriage. After class, I was mulling over my concept and thought it was just too complicated. My cat was being very photogenic, and I captured the image for the poster that night. Immediately after looking at the image, the idea popped into my head.

I decided that with the image effects, and the concept of an abandoned, shelter pet, a grungy, bold typeface would be the best choice to capture attention and keep with the theme of the poster. The simple statement, “Adopt a Shelter Pet,” drives the message home, to make sure the idea is clear, and I added the logo of a local shelter to make it a little more real.


Fall Planets

Copyright Ashley Klann. Not to be used without consent.

360 degree panoramic planet of Downing Street, running through Clark University’s campus in Worcester, MA. Copyright Ashley Klann. Not to be used without consent.

Fall is such a dynamic season. Took this panoramic shot yesterday when the skies were very overcast, making the leaves pop right off the branches.

If you’re looking to learn more about this technique, visit http://www.photoguides.net/photoshopping-tiny-planets

If you’d like to see more of my planets, visit http://aeroartist.deviantart.com/gallery/39738882

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Day/Night – My Attempt

So, as I expected, attempting Stephen Wilkes’ tactic of blending the day and night in NYC was severely less interesting when done from my front porch. Oh well. It was a fun try. If you check out his photos, he does a couple things where nicely, one being what he uses as a transitional point. The Flatiron Building makes a perfect object. I found it tough to do this gracefully.

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My first attempt is simply blended left to right, and for the second, I used the horizon as the point of transition, blending front to back. Let me know what you think!

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Just showing off what I’ve been working on lately – 360×180 degree panoramic planets. They’re really satisfying when done right… and by done right I mean for days. It usually takes a lot for me to finally be happy with the end result, but this one came out pretty cool. It’s of Woodland Street, Worcester, MA, by Clark University. A lot of the houses on the street are department offices and classrooms. The President’s house and various other important sectors of campus are here also.

This link has one of the best tutorials. Tiny Planets Tutorial