A reality check came for me this week. Unfortunately a good friend of my wife died last week, taken well before her time by cancer. Her family got in touch with me to see if I could help as they had no recent photos of her. A quick look through my archive and I managed to pull up 20 or so shots of her from the shoot I did at a wedding. Upon looking through them, this seemed the best shot I could find:
Before - A proud mum with her two boys.
Its a nice enough shot, but the family were looking for a simple head and shoulders shot. It was time to fire up Photoshop. Not for the first time, I was really grateful for the 21 megapixies who live inside the 5DmkII. All that resolution allowed me to crop much more than I would have ever dared before. Then it was some cloning, painting in a new background and added a vignette. The final result was this:
After - gone but not forgotten
I printed it using the qimage rip to force my now tired and exhausted megapixies, back up to a 10x8 print. Framed and mounted it looked OK.
I popped the picture round to the family and was absolutely blown away with how grateful they were to see a nice picture of their mum/wife/daughter., To me it had become an exercise in masking, reducing pixelation getting a good print and doing the best job I could. Suddenly I realised that all the technical stuff wasn't worth a hill of beans compared to the memories and love it evoked for them.
Do yourself a favour - make sure you have plenty of pictures of the people you love.