Thursday, July 14, 2011

Before and After.

Lately some people have been asking if I edit my photos and how much I edit them. So since that's not really something that can be described in words, I thought that I'd show you. For those of you out there that know a thing or two about cameras, I shoot all of my photos in a format called RAW. It's a format that stores way more color information than a JPG file. You can really push the exposure and color balance without ruining your photo. And I love the feature where you can reduce or increase just one color out of 8 (i think) colors, which is perfect when shooting in horrible florescent orange light or at concerts. So if you look through the settings on your camera and notice that you can change the format to RAW, I highly recommend it, you will need another editing software though like Lightroom, Photoshop, or Apeture, there quite possibly be other programs out there that it works with too that I'm not aware of. So after I've tweaked any obvious fixes like exposure or color in the RAW editor, then I open the photo in Photoshop where I have a bunch of actions. Actions are a multiple step editing process that's all wrapped up into one click of the mouse. You create or buy an action, click play, and watch your computer run through all of the steps on it's own. It was definitely pretty amusing the first few times I used them. Currently I use Formula One Actions, and I LOVE them. In the past though I've used various actions from Paint the Moon. She has lots of different actions for creative coloring and textures and even offers some for free sometimes. After I've picked the right combination of actions, I save the file and then resize it for blogging.And sometimes I do a little bit more work in Photoshop removing pimples and under eye circles and stray hairs. This isn't done on every single photo, but I know that no one likes seeing themselves with pimples on their face, so if they're obvious I take them off, always. I always have and I always will. As you can see, a lot of the editing that I do is just to enhance what's already there in the photo. If it's a bad composition, really bad lighting, not a good pose, or just not that great of a picture for whatever reason, editing is not going to make it good photo. Sure, it could make it somewhat acceptable, but I work really hard to get it right in the camera. If that takes a couple of tries, I'd rather do that than have the mindset that "oh I can just fix it later in Photoshop". I learned that the hard way when I was first starting out, and I'm never going back to that.






If you have any questions about editing, please let me know. I can't guarantee that I'll have the answers. I feel like I finally just had that "Ah Ha" moment with editing my own photos, but I will certainly share what I've learned.

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