Photography/Photoshop “How-To” (desaturation)

Ashley and I had about 30 minutes this afternoon with nothing to do. So, we grabbed the camera and headed to find some good places for future photoshoots. Found one. And, the more I got looking at the situation, the more I decided this was a chance to shoot some good desaturated shots. I love this particular look. When shots are desaturated, the textures seem to come out a bit more.

Here are some tips (as far as I know…I’m sure there’s more to know than this…):

Earth tones work best as far as clothing goes. Neon clothes don’t desaturate very well…

Diffused lighting works better for me for this look. The sun was covered by light clouds, so we had good lighting, but nothing “direct”.

ISO was 250

I was using my 35mm 2.0 fixed lens. I like this lens because there is a little wide-angle look, but nothing too drastic.

Photoshop editing: I shoot in RAW (always) and started in Adobe Camera Raw. My first step was to take the saturation down to about 50%. Then I bumped the contrast and warmed the image up just a bit.

In Photoshop I added a slight vignette and tightened the shot where you can see Ashley’s face. I didn’t do any cropping on the one with her hands as the focus.

Here are some “before and afters”…

Before

"Before"

Now, before I show the “afters” I just need to say that there is nothing wrong with the “befores”. I was just going for a desaturated look. That was the goal. I could take these and work with them and have some really nice color, etc. I was just in the mood for a little different look. That’s all…

"After"

"After"

Another thing. There are other ways to do this. Probably better ways. And at times I’ll throw in the “Lux (Hard)” Totally Rad action for good measure, but I just didn’t think these needed it, so I left it off. Either was, I guess.

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