Before & After | clean up.

I really love simple images.  Whenever I'm in the editing process I invest a lot of time in perfecting the image.  In the "before" image below, I couldn't avoid certain distracting elements.  So in the post-processing stage I spent some time making them disappear.

Drew

For those of you interested, this is how I edited the image - To give it a little more pop, I adjusted the curves to make the blacks black and the whites white. - Then I cropped in. - From there, I selected the picture and fixed the perspective under transform, as well as, warp to adjust the stripes. - I didn't like the blue stripe on the far right, so I copied one of the blue stripes from the left and straightened it. - To remove the reflections of me and the dad, I used the stamp tool at 37% opacity and the patch tool to make us and the reflection of the window disappear. -  I then used the stamp tool at 37% again to soften the wrinkles. (A trick I learned from Blogshop and Bri/angela!) - Then I was done!

Before & After | the wide angle shot.

I'm always proud to post my before and after pictures because most of the time I don't think I can achieve those after pictures.  Those "after" pictures are serious accomplishments for me. Before I start an editing project like this or one that requires a lot of work (like a disappearing man), I'm not always sure I can accomplish what I set out to do. It's very challenging for me, so my pride comes from "I really didn't think I could do it." Leigh Erin and her mister's maternity shoot was a lot of fun on the streets of soho. The problem was that I like to shoot really wide shots and there were so many cars on the streets that day, that I couldn't get the shot I wanted (the "after" picture). Instead, I photographed the left "before" picture and a couple days later shot the right "before" picture when the street was empty. When I tried to merge the two pictures I came across problems.  I eventually figured each out, but at certain points I doubted the "after" picture could be done. - Because the pictures were taken at two different times, the color and lighting was off. - The images were shot in two different perspectives. - Leigh Erin's feet are missing in the original picture

AFTER

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BEFORE

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Before & After | Disappearing Man!

There he was in plain sight.  That bright blue shirt taunted me.  I stared at the picture, kicking myself for not noticing this man when I shot the picture.  In an otherwise cute picture, there sat a blue-shirted man directly behind Stef.  I was ready to give up on the picture when Richelle volunteered to edit the man out.  As I watched, I saw Richelle so creatively manipulate the photo.  I began to get a headache just watching her.  Editing the man out posed a difficult challenge, but Richelle did it!  She made the man disappear. I was inspired!

I continued editing the rest of the pictures in the series, meticulously editing out the blue-shirted man just as I had watched Richelle.  The best tip I could offer after watching Richelle and editing a few pictures myself is, mask off small areas to work on before using the stamp tool to make unwanted things disappear.

The final picture (Below)

(Below) The picture with the man | The blue-shirted man distracts from the couple, so I obviously had to get rid of him or else I would have tossed the picture.

(Below) The original picture | The day of the engagement session, San Francisco experienced a rare 80 degree afternoon.  Harsh light made color balance and blacks particularly ugly. In editing the picture I adjusted the white balance, exposure, fill light and tone.  

Before & After | Erin!

For the most part, I don't do a lot of editing on my pictures, if anything just color and white balance.  However, when I saw this picture of Erin, I knew it need some umph!  The first picture is the finished product. The second one is straight out of camera.

Here's what I did: - Shooting in raw, the picture is really flat, so for pop I fixed the white balance. Increased the blacks and the whites and added some contrast. I boosted the vibrance a bit, as well. - The grass was very ugly so I cleaned it up with a combination of the stamp tool, patch tool and the good old cut and paste. - The combination of the pose and my angle made Erin look bigger than she was, so I tweaked her body a bit to make it look more like her. - I wanted Erin to stand out, so I brightened her hair and darkened the grass. - It still didn't look dynamic enough. I wish I had shot the picture from a higher vantage point. I compensated by increasing the canvas size and adding in tons of grass. Now that you know you can probably notice a pattern in the grass. Woops. :)

So that's what I did!

Before & After | warm, summer seattle sunset

Below is an edit of picture from the Golf Course at Newcastle right outside of Bellvue.  The picture straight out of camera is decent.  I loved the colors, but thought it was too blue and wanted to see more of the golf course.  I don't know how to technically take a picture that could expose the sky and ground to my liking (or if it's even possible), so I relied on my editing knowledge.   I can't exactly remember how I got the "after" picture, but I accomplished what I wanted.  The picture is warm and subtly shows off the foreground.  fun! Before

After