Before & After Tutorial, Save It! | Oahu Family Photographer

We’ve all done it, right? Photographing at an odd time (I am pretty sure this was taken around 11:00am) with less than desirable lighting. Analyzing this image now, I could’ve most definitely lowered my shutter speed and even aperture (I don’t remember the last time I shot at 3.2!). You live and you learn, right?

I’m just really glad I shoot in RAW, because I don’t think I would’ve been able to save this image if it was a JPEG. Want to read more about the differences and benefits to shooting RAW? Check out this article HERE and let’s get started!

SOOC: ISO100 f/3.2 SS 1/800 on a Canon 50mm 1.4

Step 1. Up the exposure, most definitely! As usual, I apply what I do with all of my images. I should really make a preset, but I never really understood those ;).
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerBefore and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerSee, there’s already a huge difference!

Step 1a. Brighten up her eyes and teeth a little bit because her back was towards the sun on camera-right and shadows were cast on her face due to the time being nearly high-noon.
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerStep 2. This is by far my most favorite step whenever I edit images. I HATE yellow foliage/grass and it’s just so unnatural the way digital images capture that when in reality your eyes see it as more cool/blue. That’s one of the reasons why I started shooting film, but I’m not going to go off on a tangent ;). So, here are the steps I did to combat my yellow leaves along with brightening the purple flowers.
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerStep 2a. I brightened up her skin a bit by raising the orange luminance slider and added some peachy reds to the overall image with split-toning.
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerStep 3. Now here is where Photoshop really comes in handy. My adorable model had a few stray hairs in her face that were distracting (to me), and Lightroom just doesn’t cut it when it comes to cloning and healing. So I hit CTRL+E to open up the image in PS and cleaned up her face a bit with the Patch tool. Oh, on a duplicate later (CTRL+J), always.
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerAll done!
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerStep 4. I examined the image some more (sometimes it’s good to take a break and come back to it) and decided that I wanted to brighten her up a bit more, so I opened up a Curves layer, raised the midtones, hit CTRL+I to invert, and used a very low flow brush on her skin. After that, I flattened the image, hit CTRL+S to save, and then CTRL+W to close up the image and it automatically goes back into LR, awesome!
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerStep 5. Sharpening and vignetting :).
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family PhotographerFinal Image:
Before and After Image Tutorial, Oahu Family Photographer

I hope that was helpful for you, I am trying to find images with different lighting scenarios and such. Next week I think I will edit a maternity image and start being more diverse with amount of people, head-swapping and such. As always, if you have an image request or questions about the steps, just let me know!

1 comment
  • Caroline Wilhite - Many thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! 🙂ReplyCancel

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