Edits tips that can save your photos! - {TUTORIAL}

1:23 PM
I believe that it's always best to try and get your photo as perfect as possible in the camera.  Because if you start with a perfectly exposed, sharp photo with the correct white balance, #1, your picture will look just that much better and #2, you will have far less to edit.


To be honest, sometimes, for whatever reason, I just don't get it perfect out of the camera. Depending on how "off" it is, I will either just trash the picture or try and fix it in editing. Today I decided to do the latter and show you just how you too can fix a sloppy picture.

Let start with this one... This is the edited version...

Here is the before, straight out of the camera shot:
ISO 400, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/100th sec.

I wanted to take pictures of her earlier in the day, however, that wasn't in her schedule. :) So it was after 4pm before we started. Which isn't that bad but there wasn't as much light as there was earlier. As you can see the photo isn't super sharp which could be because of the slow(ish) shutter speed of only 1/100th of a second. But such is life with a baby!

As you can see in the photo below, I positioned the chair in front of this blank wall. Ideally, I would have positioned the chair on the wall to the left of the picture in order to get the light coming in from the window displaced evenly over her. But as it turns out, there was already something on that wall and I didn't have the time (or energy) to move it all!

Notice the chair isn't pushed all the way up to the wall. Again, ideally, I would have placed it even further away from the wall but then I wouldn't be able to get far enough away to get the entire frame in my camera. The reason I like to be far away from walls (background) is so that it will all blur out and you wouldn't be able to see any detail on the wall.

And here is a picture of what was going on behind me as I took this picture...Maddie and Lyndon building a fort out of the Christmas bins. (Which are still just sitting in the dining room waiting for someone to take out the Christmas stuff and decorate. I hope it doesn't stay that way too far into December! Again, such is life with a new baby. :) )

And here are my edits: 
(All edits are done in Lightroom)

1- I first cropped it to a square to get rid of the front entry way on the left.
2- Increased brightness to +17
3- Increaded fill light to +72
4- Increased blacks to +16
5- Increased vibrance to +36
6- Increased the temperature to +6
7- Increased the aqua saturation to +51 (I increased just the aqua color instead of increasing saturation on the entire photo because I didn't want the over saturate Lily. She was already looking a little too saturated because of the other edits.
8- As noted, Lily's skin was a bit too saturated, so I opened the brush tool and decreased saturation to -24 and brushed it over Lily's skin.
9- Last I applied the LR preset for sharpening called, "Sharpening-Wide Edges".

The following photo was created using the Lightroom preset called, "Lilac Love":

Now for one more example... The following photo is the edited version:

In my haste to take the picture while Lily was looking straight at the camera, my settings were a bit off. As you can see in the original photo below, the white balance is too warm and the photo is slightly underexposed. Keep reading to see how I fixed it!
ISO 400, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/400th sec.

Here is a pull back of what the area looked like for this shot. This shot was taken about 45 minutes earlier than the previous photo thus there was more light coming from the sun. AND in this room (you can't see it) but there are more windows even higher up. So there was lots of light which is evident of the higher shutter speed of 1/400th of a second.

And here are my edits: 
(All edits are done in Lightroom)

1- Decreased temperature to -22
2- Increased brightness to +11
3- Increased blue saturation to +53 (this was to enhance the blue in her eyes. You could also use the brush tool and increase saturation of her eyes by brushing over them.)
4-After I performed these edits, her skin was the correct white balance but the rug was still to orange/yellow. So because the rug was black and white already, I used the brush tool to decrease saturation by -100 (which is taking all of the color out) and brushed over just the rug.
5- Last I applied the LR preset for sharpening called, "Sharpening-Wide Edges".

The following photo was edited using the "Lilac Love" preset.

And there you have it. I realize these photo's don't look as good as they could have looked had I got the setting correct right out of the camera, but at least I saved the picture! Try using some of these techniques to edit and save your photos!

Have a great weekend!

(NOTE: Want a step-by-step cheat sheet for crisper, colorful and eye catching pictures? Download the Key to Pictures Cheat and stop guessing on your camera’s manual settings.) landing-page


Kiley said...

oh my goodness...thank you for sharing this honest look at how editing affects your shots i think i'm well on my way to taking decent pictures in manual, but WOW, if i only owned an editing software and knew how to use it!!! often times i feel disappointed with my shots i.e. colors more dull than i want and other touches that you used to enhance your photos. but i'm beginning to realize that some of what i appreciate in other's photography comes from the editing/enhancing process. maybe there's still hope :) what editing software would you recommend for a mama that just wants to capture these precious days with her children?!

Nichole Gaertner said...

My biggest struggle with editing and cropping is knowing if the shot will look great and not pixelated if blown up. Do you have any suggestions or advice on how to crop a shot that may not have been framed correctly when taken?

muslin backdrops said...

I like your idea.. you did great in editing.. Thanks a lot for this tutorial. As a novice sometimes, I find it hard to edit and make choose of the right backdrops to use.

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