Here’s an image I recently took. It’s technically a perfectly fine photograph but it wasn’t to my taste. So I took it into Photoshop to make some changes.
Adding a curves adjustment to add more contrast helped but I still wasn’t satisfied. So, staying in the curves layer, I chose to affect specifically the blue channel to add a blue hue into it. It started to look much better!
I added more vibrancy and saturation and a few tweaks and crops later, this became one of my most favourite images I’d done so far.
Did I change the truth of the image? It’s a little hard for me to say. The core of the photograph has stayed the same – we still see a tattoo artist doing her job. But now the lighting looks more dramatic and is more interesting to look at.
Ultimately, it has to come down to personal taste. I may have made this photograph appear more cinematic – almost like something out of a cyberpunk dystopian movie? – but it draws our interest a lot more this way. The lighting looks less flat, the greys aren’t overpoweringly boring as they are to begin with and the crop definitely helps too.