Photo Friday – before & after!

Every week or so, I get emails from people with questions about photography, how I edit images, my cameras, lenses, etc. I thought I’d give photography a bit more prominence here, and I’ve been posting a lot more. I was wondering if anyone had any questions?

As a professional, I shoot with a Canon 5D (two of them, actually) which I also use for many of my personal shots of my son, vacations, and other family photos. While out and about, I tend to stick with my iPhone camera, since it’s always on me, but I keep my Canon G7 with me or use my dad’s G11 for higher quality snapshots. I also utilize iPhone apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram for fun, artsy mobile shots, and edit my mobile images using Photoshop Express, Camera+ or Best Camera.

I’m always happy to help others with photography questions. I’ve taken many years (and spent a lot of money on workshops/classes/seminars) furthering my education and making sure I shoot with appropriate professional gear, but I love encouraging my friends to be the best they can be when enjoying their photography hobby. So, if you have a question, you can leave a comment or use the contact link to send me a message, and I’ll try to do a new post every week!

Here’s a before and after, this is one of my favorites from our recent trip to TN over the holidays… let me know if you want to see more of these!

before and after edit

What I did:
Totally Rad Lightroom Preset – Exposure
Totally Rad Lightroom Preset – Shadows & Blacks
Totally Rad Lightroom Preset – White Balance
Totally Rad Lightroom Preset – Highlight Hero, Lite
Increased contrast
Increased clarity

This image was completely edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. LR is an amazing editing tool and I rarely delve into the full Photoshop program anymore unless I’m doing texture work or heavy retouching. Even then, you can still manage some degree of skin softening using tools in Lightroom. I own Totally Rad‘s LR presets and Photoshop actions and they have a number of amazing tools in the  Lightroom set, including a skin softening adjustment brush.

As you can see, the edit itself was pretty simple, but the effect it had on the image was huge! It transformed it from a cloudy, snowy day, to a lovely, bright image highlighting the beauty of the birds and their actions. I’m really pleased with this shot!

6 thoughts on “Photo Friday – before & after!

  1. Lovely!! Thanks for sharing!

    I do have a question, if you are able to answer without too much trouble… do you think there is a significant difference in speed and image quality–for someone who mainly takes pictures of their kids and is not planning to get a camera with a full frame sensor–between the Canon Rebel series and the xxD series? (I currently have the Xti and I’ve been looking at the t2i versus the 60D.) Thanks in advance for any wisdom you might have! 🙂

    1. Thank you Melissa! The image quality of the Rebels is fantastic, as is the 60D, but the XXD series lends more professional-type control over the camera and image creation, while the Rebel is definitely built for an amateur, but gives plenty of control for those who just want a basic DSLR. Personally the couple of times I’ve tried out a Rebel, the camera behaves great, but the only loss of speed is in the lack of controls in comparison to a more pro-series camera. However, once you get used to it, it may not affect you. and really, I think that if you don’t want to go pro or semi-pro, the t2i will be a great camera for you. Also, just so you know… the only full frame sensors that Canon offers right now are the two versions of the Canon 5D as well as the 1Ds Mark III. The rest all have a crop sensor, I believe it’s 1.6x or so. Hope this is helpful!

  2. This is great – thanks so much for sharing. My sister recently gave me a copy of lightroom and I’m trying to figure it out…thanks so much for sharing!
    amber 🙂

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