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Before + Afters [sunset at the park]

click photo to enlarge

I love digital photography! And I’m so thankful for all that I’ve learned on the editing side of things over the last two years too!

I thought I’d share with those of you who are interested the steps to making a picture go from before to after. It’s really a great process!

First, here’s the camera settings:

Rebel XS body
Canon 50mm lens
ISO 400

You might be surprised by that Rebel XS, and I’ll be honest–one day I’ll upgrade. But I’m here to tell you, that you can still get super duper pictures with an entry level professional camera body. Just in case any of you were worried. I saw huge improvement when I went for the 50mm.

The first step is to get the right exposure and color tone. I increase the brightness all the way, and lower the exposure to the place I like it. There IS a difference between brightness and exposure. But that’s a different post. I adjusted the temperature to be warmer, and the tint to be a tad bit more jewel toned.

The setting sun and all the grass in this photo really lend themselves to a green/yellow/magenta feel!

I usually increase the blacks quite a bit, pump up the vibrancy, and nudge up the clarity. I sharpened a tad and reduced the noise similarly. These first 5 steps or so are all pretty standard across all my photos, so I have them saved to a preset in Lightroom. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a good place to start.

I love to add some sort of color burning vignette, but it just depends on the photo. I like the way the edges of the grass are darkened in this one.

What about you guys; are there certain things you like to do to photos right off the bat? And I love to talk to people about their editing woes, so if you have any questions about editing, I’m your pal!

February 3, 2012 - 12:04 am

Travis Ammon Green - Usually, I just click the "Make It Look Better" button in Photoshop. Man, photography is so easy!

February 3, 2012 - 12:05 am

Travis Ammon Green - Actually, I'm still looking for that button. Until then, I just have to do it bit-by-bit, like you did. But that's okay. It's why it's art.

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