Dramatic Before & After | What Editing Can Do

Many of you saw the image I posted “my olivia” (which I am in love with) but you will fall out of your chair when you see what it began as…but first let me explain. I have had this idea in my head because I saw a similar image but with a few key differences. This afternoon I thought it would turn out to be a pretty sunset and a calm day on the bay (I really want to do it on the beach but it is hard to find the seas that calm). So I loaded up Olivia and we raced around the corner to the bay (we were low on time because Jon was running a little late from work).  So we get down there and I get everything in place (I must have looked like a wild woman trying to beat the sunset). Without checking my settings I clicked a shot to get my composition and this is what it looked like:

Oh yes….I never delete an image until I have completely edited the “session” so I didn’t delete this one and went on to take many that were actually correctly exposed/white balanced and all that jazz. But when this one popped up on my screen in Lightroom I took it as a challenge. If someone held a gun to my head I could not tell you what all I did to this image now. You see, at some point lightroom & photoshop have become almost second nature to me. Do I know all there is to know? Hell no (and I say that with such gusto because we all know photoshop is limitless and I think no one knows all there is to know)! But I do know I did some things, because they are, well obvious:

1. removed the tree

2. removed the stakes

3. added some balloons (as calm as the bay looked apparently the current was swift because within minutes all my beautiful props were leaving)

4. white balances on the warmer side, as always

5. brightened it with exposure/curves

6. ran a few actions and tweaked them-including Michelle Kane (several different ones very much tweaked) and even a newborn action from Kelley Ryden

7. dodged and burned some things

8. and Lord only knows what else

I haven’t even touched the properly exposed images because I like this one so much-and it started off as a throw-away. That just goes to show you that shooting in RAW and having a few editing skills can dramatically change an image…here was my final product:

Is it perfect? Nope but I like it and for this image, I am the client…hehe;-)

And, just for fun, a little more of an edit:

  • angela king - September 24, 2011 - 8:49 am

    gorgeous edit! so clean and pretty. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid - September 25, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Holy smokes!! That’s amazing. I bow to your editing greatness. :)

  • Diann - September 27, 2011 - 5:13 pm

    “A few editing skills”… pshhh, girl I wouldn’t even know where to bein with this! LOL I hope someday PS will become “second nature” to me too… before I’m 60!! LOL
    Great job- beautiful & inspiring as always…
    Your kids are so lucky to have such amazing pictures to look back on someday. :)ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - January 31, 2012 - 9:01 am

    Found this per your recommendation! Wow! Great work and inspiration! Thanks for sharing, Kansas.ReplyCancel

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