Post Processing – Before and Afters

April 2, 2010

When I was first starting out as a photographer I would look at other people’s pictures and think: “how the heck do they get them to look that way? So sharp! So crisp! Colors popping off of the page!” As I’ve moved forward I’ve mostly figured it out and certainly developed a style of processing my photos that (I feel) brings out the best in the images.
A lot of times when people hear I’m a wedding photographer they say: “How awesome – you only work one day a week and have the whole week off!!!” I laugh and try to explain that that is definitely not the case….in fact Jeff can attest to the fact that I work way more now than I ever did when I worked for someone else…but that is a post for another day 🙂
Before digital you sent your roll of film off to the lab and they delivered finished prints. With digital – you could say that an image is never truly finished – there is always more that you could do or ways you could interpret it.
I try not to get too caught up in post processing and don’t spend hours in Photoshop. The editing I do aims to bring out the emotion and feeling in each image. I’ve assembled some before and afters below of various photos so you can see the progression from straight out of camera to finished product.
Everyone has a different style to how they want their images to look but these are mine! For colors I am aiming for bright photos with colors that pop. For black and whites I’ve moved towards lighter images with deep blacks.
On to the eye candy!
You can see that the original image was very dark. I began by lightening it up and changing the crop so that Anna is a bit more centered and fills up most of the frame.
Again here I lightened up the image, deepened the blacks, and popped the color!
This image was taken in the middle of winter at night so there was zero natural light coming in. In addition the bathroom lights were quite yellow so I made the decision to shoot it as an in camera black and white. I ended up lightening it and bringing out the blacks.
When you look at the picture on the left that isn’t how I remembered this beautiful light in my head. By brightening it up and saturating a bit I can now picture that glorious light!
This is a pretty dramatic before and after and in the final image I added a tiny bit of blur because I wanted to evoke the magical feeling of painting on a summer’s day!
More color! More pop!

I am now leaving the computer and heading out into the beautiful weather – Jeff’s Mom is flying in and we are heading up to the lake! I hope this post has been helpful or at least interesting – have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

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