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What do you do when you have a customer call you and say, “You know, I really like that photo of the long line of red Angus cattle, but I really wish they were black Angus. Could you shoot that scene again, but only with black Angus cattle?”



Some really do think my ranching photos are staged. And they must think ranchers have a herd of each breed tucked away somewhere. They don’t realize my ranching photos are candid, documentary shots for the most part. Recreating any of these scenes would be difficult, if not impossible. Luckily I have a few tools available for situations just like this. Yes, and that tool would be called Photoshop.

I had never done something like this before, but I was pretty sure I could use Photoshop to change the color of the herd from red to black. What I did was desaturate the reds in the herd of red Angus. I then repeated over and over again until most of the red was gone. But then they looked like gray Angus (no, there’s no such breed). Then I adjusted the expose a bit, added some contrast, darkened them a bit, and I suddenly had a herd of black Angus cattle. That pleased the customer. But I’m confident it would not please this particular ranching family who prides itself in raising red Angus. So I have already apologized to them in advance.

But the important thing to remember is that Photoshop can’t fix everything. In other words, don’t ask me to turn a herd of BLACK Angus into RED Angus. That’s not happening.

Three Buffalo
New Ways to Make Photos

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