Before & After: At the Bag

There was an idea brought up among photographers over in a Facebook group. The idea was to share images showing “before” and “after” retouching. I thought I’d also share it here on my blog as well.

For me the next best thing after shooting is the editing stage. I use Lightroom and Photoshop in my workflow. In this image I adjusted the levels to punch up the contrast and toned it much warmer. I also edited a few areas in the skin and took out the logo on the bag. The edits enhanced the mood and creates a better impact.

Even if it’s a minor levels adjustment – no image goes untouched from the RAW stage.

Get Your Own Atmosphere

I love to shoot on an overcast day when mother nature is providing me with a giant soft box. Unfortunately, many times that means you’ll end up with a big white sky which is not usually what you want. Here is an image I chose to use for stock – a little girl playing tennis. I really like her emotion in this frame but the atmosphere isn’t quite there. I remembered shooting some moody clouds just after a storm earlier in the summer – I found a good wide shot to work with that matches the light of my original photo(that is absolutely key). Yes, matching the light on all images you are using to composite is KEY. All too often I see images that look “weird” and more often than not, if you look at all the elements carefully, you will eventually see that the light is in varying directions. So I was saying…

After finding the right photo to composite in for the background, next I had to match the DOF of the image(another absolute KEY thing to get right). The sample above shows you just how much of a difference you get with the right atmosphere. Once my masking was done and the backdrop was to my liking I decided to bring in the tennis ball that had zoomed by my head several times while shooting this. Once all the elements I wanted were in, I further enhanced it with tones – in this case I warmed it up using a gradient map. The final image certainly has much more punch.

Changing the original photo took me under an hour and that’s about right for a stock photo that you hope will become a great seller. But that’s another story for another day 🙂 Here is the final image.