Feather Fascinators are chicI had no idea what those feather things were called until I did some searching on the web.
Why am I not surprised to find that feathers are the new chic for Spring 09? Trust our continental friend to show the way!
Anyway, I made the shot of the natural pose I wanted, showing off those cascading, glorious brunette locks and the beautiful feathers she had chosen.
In the digital darkroom
The bw conversionI was fairly careful in the treatment of this shot. Sylvia was wearing a red coat and the bw conversion I needed to use for the rest of the shot was making the red too dark -- as processing continued I was losing the shape and texture of that area.
There are a few ways to deal with this. Before conversion you can change the red hues of that area to something that works best when using the settings needed for the rest.
Alternatively, if you're too far down your processing when it becomes obvious this is the case, as I was, you can select the offending area with the lasso and a smallish feathering, and then change the saturation (using a saturation layer) of the range of colours that need it (within the selection). Fine tune the result by backing off the opacity of the layer.
Other tweaksI did the usual slight contrast adjustment using curves, a nudge on the levels and a soft-light vignette.
Dodging and burningI created a duplicate of the background layer to do some dodging (lightning) of the highlights. When I was happy that I'd done justice to the hair and the feathers, dodge-wise, I copied that layer so I could do the burning (darkening) on the new layer. That way, if I messed up the burning, I'd be able to delete just that layer and not lose the previous one where I did the dodging.
I burnt the mid-tones, often in the areas where the dodging had brought the mid-tones too close to the highlights, providing richer tones for those areas.