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Those Pesky Limbs

Before and After

I’m sure you have heard the cliche, “the devil is in the details.” That is certainly true in photography.  Those pesky limbs, or evil tree branches that pop up out of nowhere in our photos.  What can we do?  Often we resort to Photoshop, Lightroom or some other form of photo editing software to fix our mistake. As a novice photographer we might just leave the photo as shot, or not even see the offense at all.  As a pro, semi-pro or serious hobbiest, this mistake mortifies us because it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

The fingers appear
click to enlarge

Take, for example, this photo.  The couple you see is one of two couples in the shot. I cropped out the other couple for illustration purposes. It looks nice enough until you see that alien hand creeping up around the woman’s neck.  Fingers coming out of nowhere.

It looks incredibly unnatural since his arm seems to be laying against his body in a downward positions, yet these fingers appear. CREEPY!!!

In this example, I edited out his fingers but in an actual shoot I would scan my scene for things like this; anything that might be growing out of the heads, like a tree limb, light pole, or. . . These sort of things are pretty easy to spot but, when shooting, you have to keep your eyes out for missing or hidden arms, hands or legs.

If you’re subject places one arm behind their back, in the photograph, it will look really strange.  Granted, most people will assume the other arm is there but it still doesn’t look right, nor professional.  It’s far easier to fix things like this before you shoot versus spending time in Photoshop trying to fix your mistake.

Be aware of your subjects, their surrounds and their pesky limbs.


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