Gradients for Portraits?

October 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

When it comes to portraits, most photographers try to get as much right in camera as possible. At times though there are limitations during the shoot such as time or equipment. Sometimes it takes a little creative thought in post production to make something just a little different. The image above is ok in its own right, but we can work to make it a little more dramatic. 

First, lets make the image a little darker by adding a brightness/contrast layer and reducing the brightness just a little. You will see in a little bit why this makes the image work just a little better. 

Now add a Gradient Fill adjustment layer (not a gradient map). Choose the second option where you see the dark corner fading into a checkerboard pattern and check OK.

Here you can see the the lower potion of her body fades into shadows, giving a little more dimension to the image. Could this have been with the proper lighting? Of course the answer is yes, but always remember that there are many ways to achieve a good image. This is one quick and easy way to give some pop to a portrait shot during post production.


- Bob Barford is an award winning photographer based in Southern PA.



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