Before & After Image Tutorial, Caleigh | Kailua Family Photographer

Hello and welcome to my first ever tutorial on this blog! Because it’s summer, I thought I would start off with an image at the beach. Let me preface this by saying that there is no right or wrong way to edit, we each develop our own preferences to how we adjust colors, contrast, etc. in whichever editing program we use. I just love to share what I’ve learned along the way! These tutorials are geared towards readers who are proficient in Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop but if you have any questions about what is going on, just comment and I will try to answer it as best as I can. With that being said, let’s start!

Here is the before and after:
SOOC settings: Sigma 35 1.4ART | ISO400 f/1.8 SS1/640

So I usually shoot a bit cooler and slightly underexposed when photographing at the beach because I want to preserve as many details as I can.

Step One: Graduated Filter adjustment (I <3 <3 this feature!), and warming of the image to brighten my subject but preserve details in the sky.
Before & After Image Tutorial, Kailua Family PhotographerStep Two: Warmed up the image and bumped up the exposure.
Before & After Image Tutorial, Kailua Family PhotographerStep Three A: Warmed up again, and applied my usual Clarity/Vibrance/Saturation combo along with a bump in the Tone Curve panel to lighten my subject, and added a slight vignette to pull it all together.
Before & After Image Tutorial, Kailua Family PhotographerStep Three B: I always do some sort of brushwork as well, here you can see that I brightened my subject a bit more with a VERY LOW flow brush so I can work up to it. There’s also a pinpoint by the rocks on the right of the image, I lowered exposure and highlights there with the same low-flow brush.
Before & After Image Tutorial, Kailua Family PhotographerStep Four: Sharpening. I mask. All. The. Time. Gives you that nice outline without over-sharpening too many features. (Psst, hold down the ALT key [PC users, not sure about MAC, sorry!] while you’re masking to see what is being sharpened)
Before & After Image Tutorial, Kailua Family PhotographerFinished Image:
Image tutorial, Kailua Family Photographer

I hope you enjoyed that and if you have any image requests or questions, please comment and let me know! Don’t forget to check back every Monday for a new tutorial.