I am a big fan of before & after photos for a couple of reasons. First, I like to see what someone got “straight out of the camera” – what did it look like when they took the photo. Was it exposed properly, what was the original composition, what did the background look like? Second, I like to see how much a photo was edited. So many photos these days are edited like crazy. Eyes are glowing, skin is plastic-y, textures and vignettes are applied everywhere. The photo ends up being more about the editing than the subject. And lastly, I like to compare and contrast what I like better. Do I like the edited version or the original version and I always think about what I would have done differently.
Here is a photo of the gorgeous Elizabeth, one of our bridal models a few weeks ago. The “straight out of the camera” image (SOOC) is on the left. The edited (AFTER) image is on the right.
My editing of this photo:
Lightroom 4: Adjusted white balance to warm it up a tiny bit, bumped up exposure, straightened the image, and applied my standard editing preset which does a whole host of tiny adjustments
Photoshop: Softened under-eye circles, brightened eyes, touched up a couple tiny spots like the fleck in her hair.
Total Editing Time: Maybe 5 minutes
What I Would Do Differently: Nothing. I love this image.
What do you think?