Before & After :: Edit

It’s time for a new Before & After photo. I super seriously believe in getting every photo as right as possible “in camera” – that means that the lighting is good, the color is right, etc. – before I click the shutter. I get it right most of the time. Sometimes in tough lighting situations it’s tough because you want to get it right and you’re fiddling with your camera settings but your clients are standing there feeling bored. This was one of those situations. I had Adam and Anna out on the dock in the marina in Anacortes and they were back lit with bright, bright sun. In order to get focus on their faces, I was having to hold my hand up to shield the sun, get focus, then move my hand away and take the photo. Plus I was trying to get a moment that wasn’t all posed and stiff feeling. It was a challenge, but I like a challenge.

This is the straight out of the camera photo (SOOC). It’s pretty good. A bit cool, too red on the skin and a bit faded out due to the bright back-lit sun.


And then the final image I gave to Adam and Anna.

In Lightroom I ran my standard Starting Point Preset which sets the slider controls to Lightroom 3 sliders (which I prefer), desaturates the entire photo a bit, sets a medium contrast curve, desaturates reds, oranges and yellows a bit more but adds back in luminance in reds, oranges and yellows (for the skin), and performs a basic lens correction. Then I always, always, always take the tint down to -10, sometimes more because of the magenta tones I don’t care for that come out of my Canon camera. I adjusted the white balance and the brightness, but took down the exposure and adjusted the shadows.  Finally I used the Recovery slider to bring back a little bit of detail in the highlights. (Sounds like a lot but it took me about 20 seconds to do all this)

Sidenote: I have found that in Lightroom, the Exposure slider just brightens even more the already bright spots. I don’t want that. It ends up leaving the photo too contrasty. I use the Brightness slider to brighten the mid-tones of the image and I like that a lot better. And most of the time, I take the exposure down just a touch.

Then I run all my images through Photoshop to bump the curve a tiny bit and sharpen the image. It’s just an action I created that I like.

Total editing time on this image – maybe 2 minutes. Maybe!

What a gem!

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