Editing a Photograph

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We commonly are asked at Photo Camp how much editing we do to our photographs and what software we use.  I thought it would be fun to show an example of my process in post production.  For my personal photographs, I use iPhoto for basic editing and then open the images in Photoshop if they need a little more work.

This week for my 52 Project, I wanted to capture Caleb after bath time.  I love the pink cheeks, wet eyelashes and bare skin.  I laid him in the white towel right on the shower floor and stood directly above making silly sounds so that he would look at me.  The color image directly above is straight out of camera (SOC), which mean no editing has been done.  I believe my photos are stronger and are less grainy when I get my exposure and crop correct in camera. I rarely adjust these things in post production, except to slightly bump the exposure. The top image is my final color edit.  There are many different ways to accomplish the same results in either Photoshop or iPhoto.  Here are the steps:

1) Increase brightness.

2) Slightly increase contrast.

3) In Photoshop, use the brush tool or clone tool to even out the red blotchiness a bit.

4) Crop.

5) Optional: In Photoshop, use the burn tool to accentuate the eyelashes.

I didn’t use any fancy filters or photoshop actions, although there are many many available online that you can play with.  I was also careful not to go too far with smoothing the blotchiness in the skin because I don’t want a plastic look.

Finally, I turned the image black and white because my vision for the 52 Project is all of my final images will be in black and white.

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