I managed to combine two challenges into one photo this week with the 52 Weeks theme of “My Day . . .” and an informal food challenge of “Coffee break”
After finishing the 30 Days to Better Food Photography course, a few of the participants have set up a new Facebook group so we can carry on critiquing each other’s images and setting some fun challenges. The first challenge was Coffee Break. At the same time, the 52 Week theme was nice and open-ended as “My Day . . . “ and so, as I toasted some crumpets and made a cuppa I realised I could combine both into a single shot.
Having taken a couple of angles I decided on the best view and brought it into Photoshop. My aim was to give the impression of a lazy afternoon, low sun, relaxing and perhaps a sense of reminiscing and so I decided to add some cross processing.
Cross processing is an old darkroom technique where you develop a film with the wrong set of chemicals to give a different look to the image. Here’s a more detailed explanation and some examples.
These days it’s easy to do digitally in Camera Raw. My preference is a yellow/ blue cross process as in the shot above although sometimes yellow/ red works well too as with the telegraph poles shot further down. These are the settings I typically use to get the look that I mostly go for;
You can also achieve a similar effect using curve adjustments in Photoshop or Lightroom.
The advantage of doing this digitally is, of course, that you can see the results of the experiment before you commit. What was also interesting was that on Flickr, the cross-processed shot was well liked but amongst the other Food photographers the natural shot (below) was preferred.
This wasn’t something I’d thought about before but there seems to be a distinction between the photographers looking to create a more artistic image and the foodies who are looking at the photo more as a ‘product shot’. Interesting.
But I have to say, I like the cross process technique very much so here are a couple more examples;
And combined with some Photoshop trickery . . .