Being a photographer, I think it’s fun to post some “before” and “after” photos. It gives readers a glimpse inside the editing process for a photo.
I must admit that my editing skills are probably elementary at best, but a good edit can enhance any photo! While a good edit helps a photographer, it is always key to get the lighting, composition, focus, etc right in-camera. The best recipe for a good photo is good in-camera work and touch up with post-production editing.
I thought it would be fun to look at a recent photo I took at a rock band shoot. The photo below is SOOC (straight out of camera). I am fairly pleased with this photo SOOC. I had a flash unit (off-camera) top-right of camera pointing down and about 45 degrees to the singer. I like the warm tones and “grungy” look of the background. Overall, I think it’s a fairly strong photo of the lead singer. But, I really want to “play up” the warm (red) tones in the background and “grunge” the background up. As a photographer, I sometimes like taking chances in editing.
Like most photographers, I usually start with a simple color/exposure edit. Mainly, I am looking to enhance the exposure of the photo. If the exposure is nailed SOOC, then this is a minor edit. In this photo, this edit “spotlighted” the subject a little more and made him “pop” from the background. It also slightly increased the red saturation of the background.
In order to “grunge” the background up a little, I used a Photoshop plugin called Topaz Adjust 5 from Topaz Labs. Specifically, I used the “Detail Medium” filter. I like the extra detail it gives to the background! I thought this effect was too strong for the lead singer, so I brushed the effect out of him at about 50-65%.
For my taste, the photo was lacking a little something. So, I ran the “Photo Pop” action in Topaz Adjust from Topaz Labs. Finally, I sharpened the photo for the web and cropped a little to my taste. The final product is shown below.
And there you have it! That’s my before and after.
The beauty of photography is that it is subjective. Other photographers may have done it differently. What do you think?
If you like this image of the lead singer in a rock band, please visit my portfolio where I show more images from previous photo shoots.