Before and After



Just so you know, I don’t even feel bad that I haven’t blogged in awhile…

Ok, so I was in bed while Janese was getting ready to go run in a little 5k somewhere in our valley (Notice the difference between Janese and me?). I was looking through some photography on Pinterest (actually, here is another difference: Janese doesn’t have a Pinterest and I do…). I kept noticing a certain type of picture that I liked; kinda desaturated, kinda monochromatic, a but over exposed, with some backlighting. I could see through the blinds that the sun was up, ┬ábut a bit hazy because of the minimal cloud cover. Also, I could hear my daughters talking in their room. So, I jumped up, got dressed, and ran into their room to see if they were up to a quick photoshoot…and they were (because they didn’t know how cold it was outside… says it is 34 degrees outside…)!

One key to getting good images of your own children is to rarely do a “photoshoot” like you would with a client. I just take my kids out whenver I want and promise them that they shoot “will only take a minute”…and it usually does.

So here is a “before and after” shot of my girls. I only took 8 shots, and only edited one of them. This one. Here, check it out:

I’m not saying this is some great shot (even though I like it). I was just going for a certain look, as described above. Here’s what I did in shooting and editing:

  1. First off, notice the girls are backlit. The sun was just over their backs, and I kind of shaded the lens with my hand so that I wouldn’t get any sun flare. Sun flare is great…I just didn’t want it here…
  2. I used Apple’s Aperture for editing. I always do. I love it. Best $80 I’ve ever spent (I think).
  3. I started with the general warmth of the image. White Balance went from 4660K to 7946K. I really warmed it up. It was originally too cool for my purposes.
  4. Next, I reduced the Vibrancy. I noticed they seem to do that in a lot of commercial magazine images that I like. Took it from ZERO to -.73. That desaturates certain parts of the image.
  5. I may have desaturated it a bit. I can’t recall. Yes, I’m sure I did. Kinda sure, anyway.
  6. I usually up the contrast, but tried to reduce the contrast this time. I think I increased the mid-tone contrast and reduced the overall contrast. I was just experimenting…
  7. I bumped the Brightness and the Exposure a little. I wanted things to be kind of bright and even a little overexposed so that the backlighting would be obvious…
  8. My original subject placement was horrendous, especially for the look I was going for. So I cropped in a bit closer and sent the girls’ faces to the top third of the image. Much better.
  9. Because the contrast was low, the vibrancy was low and the saturation was low, the White Balance change caused the image to be more monochromatic…which was exactly what I was going for.
  10. I sharpened in Photoshop CS2. I don’t think I’m going to shell out to upgrade Photoshop anymore. But I like the way it sharpens, so I use it at the end.
  11. I added my website copyright so that little internet weirdos don’t steal my stuff…

Ok…hope this is helpful for any photographers out there. Once again, this isn’t going to win any awards, but I was picturing a certain kind of image and was able to get it through planning ahead with my directional lighting and then going into Aperture and controlling what needed to be controlled.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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