I’ve recently had several e-mails from people asking how I “do it” or if I teach any workshops. I’m very flattered, but no, I do not at the moment. I’m always open to getting a group of photographers together to share ideas and network, though.
I think it is extremely important for photographers to know how to edit the images they give to their clients because the editing is half the image. It takes a lot of time and practice to be able to tastefully and creatively edit images, however, here are a few examples of my editing process, which I hope is helpful.
This image of the beautiful Natalie and Josh is straight out of camera (SOOC), only resized and sharpened for web. It was shot with a Canon 85mm 1.8 on a Canon 5D Mark II, manual mode, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/1000, spot metering mode.
Here is just the edit I did in Adobe Camera Raw 5.3, or ACR (I switched back to Bridge from Lightroom, just my preference). I changed the color balance, contrast, blacks, added a vignette and lightened up their faces a bit with the brush. This would be considered a proof, or the basic edit, and is good for smaller prints.
Here is the final image, or a “fine art” image. This editing would be good for an album, large print or gallery wrap. I used the Totally Rad Actions (I have both sets) to smooth out their skin, the Jesh de Rox Colorshift Actions, and the Kubota Image tools. When I took this image, I knew I’d have to do something to the sky, so in editing I added a Jesh de Rox Fine Art Texture. So, to answer someone’s question that was e-mailed to me, no, it wasn’t a filter on the lens. I played with the opactiy of most of the actions and the texture because they can sometimes over power an image instead of enhance it.
The next image is from a model shoot with the lovely Lavenda. I used the same camera and lens, but my settings were: manual mode, ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/160th, spot metering. Here it is SOOC:
Here is the basic ACR edit before I take it into Photoshop. Slight exposure bump, color balance, contrast, vignette, and the brush tool.
With models, the editing is a little more extreme since they are judged on their looks, although I still like to keep them life-like. So, I used the Totally Rad Pro Retouch, lightened and sharpened the eyes, and I believe I used a Colorshift Action at a low opactiy, but I can’t remember exactly which one.
After Lavenda got the image, she thought she needed a little liposuction, so she did this, although I think it makes her look a little too thin. But, I guess in the modeling world you can never be too thin.
Lastly, here is an example from a wedding back in January. This was shot with a Canon 5D, 24mm 1.4L, manual mode, ISO 200, f/4, 1/250th. SOOC:
I bumped the exposure +45, white balance, recovery slider, fill light, contrast, and added a vignette. Here it is at the proof stage:
I have two final images. One is more extreme than the other. When I do this, I don’t expect the couple to print up the more extreme version as a 4×6 to give to grandma. I am thinking more along the lines of a large gallery wrap, which is why I include a less extreme version. I used the Colorshift Actions, Totally Rad actions and Fine Art Textures on these, btw.
A little more color shift than the basic image, but not as extreme as the one above.