The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action. Adobe Lightroom Tutorial: Before & After Photo: Old Cuban Men

Before & After Photo: Old Cuban Men

This is the first of a weekly post I plan on doing showing the Before & After of a picture that I take.  I often read other photography blogs/websites and when I see their work I always wonder how it originally looked compared to after it had been post edited.  It can get really discouraging to the new photographer when he sees work that looks perfect 24/7 but odds are most of the time it’s been edited to get it to that point.

The first two things I always want to know about a photo when I first see it are:

  1. What was the photo info: If you highlight over my photos on my website you will see this info (it will look like this: Canon 5D | 24-105mm | 1/100 sec | f4.0 | ISO 100).  This lets me know what type of gear he/she was using, ISO, speed exc and helps me to learn about how to set-up for a similar shot in the future when the situation arrives.  Most people won’t add this info because frankly it takes time to embed.
  2. What did it originally look like:  I want to know what it looks like so I don’t get frustrated and want to throw my camera out every time I see someone using the same camera as I do but always has better stock.  Odds are he/she doesn’t capture better images than you but rather is better at post-editing than you.  But it does help reinforce the positional of a shot and will help motivate you to learn more post editing techniques.  You will only see a before and after shot when someone is trying to either A) teach a technique or B) sell a product.  I have rarely ever seen anyone who posts both pictures because most don’t want to show what they did and it takes twice the time to do so.

So this is why I will be starting a once a week before and after shot with a little info on how I edited it.  Feel free to ask questions,give suggestions or leave comments in general as I hope this will fill a void for a lot of people.  We all do better if we learn from each other so I hope people will like these posts.

————————————————————————————————————–

This was a great picture I took while in Cuba but knew as soon as I took it that it would need some work to make it pop even though the framing was great.  As you can tell below there is a big difference between the before shot with no editing and the after with heavy editing.  I say heavy but to be honest it only took me about 3 minutes to edit this picture in Adobe Lightroom.  I adjusted the exposure down some and raised the black level up to show the deepness of the photo and make it pop.  Then I started working on certain sections.

Before & After Post-Edit

Above highlighted in red is what I selected to add detail to in the photo, using Adobe Lightroom.  My #1 tool when editing is the “Adjustment Brush.”  I normally will select someone’s face and color correct the skin tone, raise the contrast, up or lower the exposure and adjust the clarity.  I always select the face nearest to the camera, then work my way back if needed, always finishing by adjusting the background last (see the 3rd photo with the most red).

I threw this picture in to show you the detail when cropped.  You can see what kind of camera gear I use here, but it goes to show you how a DSLR will kick a pocket cam butt any day of the week.  If you’re only going to post pictures to Facebook or a travel blog then they work awesome.  If you want to ever print something larger than an 8×10 though it starts to get complicated.  There is software out there that will allow you to increase a photo size without loss of detail but it’s best to have the detail to start.

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  • http://blog.babeltech.de/ Babel

    great shot and work! :)

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ Anonymous

    Thanks Babel and hope more people like this weekly series. if so I’ll be doing a lot more and showing all my tricks of the trade. Come to think of it I guess I should make an eBook like everyone else has been doing! lol

  • http://bikeandboots.com/ Brian

    Great idea for a series. Its something I’ve wondered about before and not seen a lot of information on. I don’t use a fancy camera or software and have still seen how easy it can be to improve a photo. Perhaps this will end up inspiring me to do a bit more.

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ Anonymous

    Very true, you don’t always need an expensive camera to take good photos, esp if it’s just for the internet. One program can make a world of difference in your photography portfolio and hope to show more people that it isn’t rocket science to edit photos anymore. Before with Adobe Photoshop it was as it took someone a few years of training to be good at it. Now with Adobe Lightroom just about anyone can quickly edit a photo and bring back a lot of that “pop” they remember seeing when they took the shot. Thanks for commenting and stay tuned weekly for me on this series!

  • http://blog.babeltech.de/ Babel

    great shot and work! :)

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ foggodyssey

    Thanks Babel and hope more people like this weekly series. if so I'll be doing a lot more and showing all my tricks of the trade. Come to think of it I guess I should make an eBook like everyone else has been doing! lol

  • http://bikeandboots.com/ Brian

    Great idea for a series. Its something I've wondered about before and not seen a lot of information on. I don't use a fancy camera or software and have still seen how easy it can be to improve a photo. Perhaps this will end up inspiring me to do a bit more.

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ foggodyssey

    Very true, you don't always need an expensive camera to take good photos, esp if it's just for the internet. One program can make a world of difference in your photography portfolio and hope to show more people that it isn't rocket science to edit photos anymore. Before with Adobe Photoshop it was as it took someone a few years of training to be good at it. Now with Adobe Lightroom just about anyone can quickly edit a photo and bring back a lot of that “pop” they remember seeing when they took the shot. Thanks for commenting and stay tuned weekly for me on this series!

  • Anonymous

    Ok that is pretty awesome. I am really sad that I don’t travel with a DSLR when I see photos like this. Unfortunately not financially feasible right now, but this shot, and seeing how you are able to enhance it into such an amazing photo is inspiring. I’m looking forward to this series and also sad that it will show me just why I need to get my own more professional camera :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Ok that is pretty awesome. I am really sad that I don't travel with a DSLR when I see photos like this. Unfortunately not financially feasible right now, but this shot, and seeing how you are able to enhance it into such an amazing photo is inspiring. I'm looking forward to this series and also sad that it will show me just why I need to get my own more professional camera :-)

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ Anonymous

    Shannon- You don’t need a DLSR to take great photos, esp if your using it to post for the web only. DLSR come are better though when you want to go larger and zoom in more. I can take a full frame shot and not have to worry as much about composition as much because I know I can crop it later and not loose any quality vs say a point-and-shoot where you would.

    It all boils down to what you want out of it. Some days I hate having the big camera because I’m afraid to take it out and thus miss good shots, whereas if I had a little point-and-shoot I would have it on me 24/7. Plus people aren’t afraid of a little camera.

    So don’t be discouraged as these post are designed to to encourage people more I hope. :)

  • http://www.foggodyssey.com/ foggodyssey

    Shannon- You don't need a DLSR to take great photos, esp if your using it to post for the web only. DLSR come are better though when you want to go larger and zoom in more. I can take a full frame shot and not have to worry as much about composition as much because I know I can crop it later and not loose any quality vs say a point-and-shoot where you would.

    It all boils down to what you want out of it. Some days I hate having the big camera because I'm afraid to take it out and thus miss good shots, whereas if I had a little point-and-shoot I would have it on me 24/7. Plus people aren't afraid of a little camera.

    So don't be discouraged as these post are designed to to encourage people more I hope. :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for that – at this point I think that my point and shoot works for
    the blog, but I do have a passion to really learn photography and would love
    a DSLR – but you’re right, a big reason I haven’t indulged in getting one is
    because of the extra precautions it takes to carry it around. Looking
    forward to this series though! :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks for that – at this point I think that my point and shoot works for
    the blog, but I do have a passion to really learn photography and would love
    a DSLR – but you're right, a big reason I haven't indulged in getting one is
    because of the extra precautions it takes to carry it around. Looking
    forward to this series though! :-)

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