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Photo Manipulation

Digital manipulation of photographs has become so commonplace that we no longer give it any thought but, at the same time, making do with an unsatisfactory digital image because creating a good image is seen as costly, time consuming and require specialist bureau services is also a widespread practice. The service that I offer aims to fill the gap between 'making do' and a costly specialist. Sometimes taking the only available image of something that can't be re-photographed or can only be photographed against an unsatisfactory background and making it look a bit special.

A number of recent projects have involved making subtle alterations to sets of images so that they can become the basis of computer based human perception experiments. The two images above are 'before and after' views which were part of a trial to assess pedestrian perception of street furniture They demonstrate what can be achieved in a cost effective way and how images can include features that are not present in real situations.

The background for the image on the right was a typical laboratory environment: Concrete block walls, racks of equipment and electrical fittings. Careful choice of camera angle, lighting and then digital replacement of the messy background has produced this striking image.

Another laboratory shot with an untidy background but this time, it was important to give the impression of movement which is actually surprisingly hard to achieve by other means because the bits you want sharp move and the bits you want to blur stay sharp! Introducing motion blur digitally overcomes all these problems whilst, at the same time, producing a dramatic picture.

This very ordinary car was parked in the corner of a workshop surrounded by clutter with very little space around it. It had to be lit with a number of small hand flashes as there was no room for anything else. Again, the cluttered background has been digitally removed to produce a result that is of a suitable quality for publication. The end result cannot be compared with a full-on bespoke studio shot but it can be achieved at a small fraction of the cost!

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