Before & After Photoshop Friday

13 March 2020


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It's finally Friday! That means it's before and after photoshop day! I wanted to share with you guys a little about my process after I get home from your session and start editing. I will try not to make it too detailed.

Before I start my editing, the straight out of the camera (SOOC) image is to the left. You can see it's rather dark and just bluh. In fact, it's so dark you can barely see any details, but we will fix that in a moment. 

First, I pull my photos from my camera into Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom converts a RAW file (the file system I shoot in instead of jpeg) into other file types. Shooting in RAW allows me to have more control over my photos. Lightroom also keeps my photos nice and organized so I can easily find them. On top of all that Lightroom allows me to adjust settings of my photos in this magical RAW format before exporting the photos to your albums. To summarize, I pull my photos into Lightroom in order to organize them and do some basic edits before exporting the photos without losing any quality!

After my photo has gone through Lightroom it looks like the photo to the right. But what exactly do I do in Lightroom? Well in Lightroom I start with my white balance (the overall tone of the photo) I can either warm it up (more orange) or cool it down (more blue), then I adjust my exposure (lightness and darkness of the image), followed by tweaks to contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, and clarity. I also adjust the tone curve and noise in a photo. Following my Lightroom workflow, I then pull my images one by one into Photoshop.

So with all the adjustments you can make in Lightroom, why do you need Photoshop? Well, Photoshop is a very powerful tool for any graphic editing, allowing me even more control and creativity when it comes to photography. I bring my Lightroom-edited photo into Photoshop and begin by adjusting the curves (another tool for adjusting highlights and shadows). Following curves adjustments, I can begin to retouch a photo. I remove blemishes on both the subject and the background, whiten teeth, fix clothing, and adjust the exposure in certain areas of the photo. After I get the background the way I want it, and the subject looks their best, I begin working on the color of the image.

After Lightroom

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I use a mixture of different actions (a series of instructions that can be played to adjust color, contrast, add layers, etc). When I am happy with the overall color of the image I can move on to adding overlays. This is not something I do for every photo, but for this one in particular, I wanted to add a "ring of fire" overlay since I didn't have a copper pipe with me at the shoot (ring of fire refers to putting a copper pipe in front of your lens in order to achieve a pretty circular light flare). In this photo, that was the last thing I needed to do, and now the photo is complete!

After Photoshop

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