Before/After ~ Theme Thursday

Fun! We get to see some before and after photos today over at Theme Thursday. I have had a few inquiries about what I do to my photos lately, so this was perfect timing.

Here are a couple before/after pics from the park this past weekend.

Before:

After:

What had to be done:
I know all of the photography rules – the rule of thirds, framing, etc…but trying to actually follow the rules while chasing the girls usually proves impossible. So frequently I crop and remove unwanted stuff from the photos. How much time I have usually determines how much I actually do. But you can see I cropped this one considerably to get the focus on the “follow the leader.” And I took out some of the distractions in the background as well.

I also bumped up the color and contrast to make the color pop a little bit more. I added an unsharp mask and ran it through an Imagenomic filter because I am usually not a fan of the “noise” in digital photos – well, I think it looks great in some photos, when it can add to the mood of the photo – but I liked this photo a little “smoother.” And then I put a black border around it. I actually do this with all of my photos (I’m sure you have noticed) I think it just makes them stand out a little – kind of like a mat for traditional printed photos.

A few others.

Before:

After:

What had to be done:
Again, bumped up the contrast, color, ran unsharp mask and the noise filter. I also applied a vignette on this one (the dark shadow around the edge). I am trying to not be so heavy-handed with this since I have been known to use this A. LOT. But I do like, again, how it draws the focus into the middle of the photo – and I’m all about focusing on my cute girls. I am aware of my compulsion for the vignette, so I’ll try to keep it in check. I sent someone a little tutorial on how I do the vignette, if you’d like a copy of it – leave a comment and I’ll send if off to you, too.

After, b&w:

I kinda like this one as a black & white, too. I use LightRoom for easy b&w conversions. Sometimes I really hate to lose the “color” of the photos, but the light wasn’t that great on Sunday – and I think this one doesn’t lose anything by losing the color, but makes it a little more dramatic.

Before:

After:

What had to be done:
Oh, I love this photo so much. I cropped it in, did the color/mask/filter thing and then “matted” it. I really like the balance and motion in this shot. And, I love Em’s expression. And, I love the peek of pink shoes coming down the slide.

Before:

After:

What had to be done:
The same as with the others – cropped, bumped color/contrast, noise filter, unsharp mask, vignette, matted. Done.

Don’t forget to stop over and see what other before/after magic is happening at Stacy’s today.

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13 Responses to “Before/After ~ Theme Thursday”


  1. 1 megan April 24, 2008 at 6:58 am

    great examples of what photoshopping can do — love that b&w!

  2. 2 MelodyA. April 24, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Wonderful on the first one, no tree and house. Very nice. And great bw. Very dramatic. I too prefer color over bw these days. But sometimes the colors are what distracts. Beautiful as always.

  3. 3 Christine April 24, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Great job!! I like all of your edits but especially the b/w one! Precious expression!!

  4. 4 Stacy April 24, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for sharing your process! I love seeing how others change your photo. I had to LOL about your comment on vignetting. I do that sometimes too, where I go a bit wild with the burn tool. 😉

  5. 5 Christina April 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    I was too busy today to participate, but I love seeing your before/afters! Your processing is very similar to what I do on most photos – right down to a tendency to overdo the vingette, and a preference for color lately! Your more industrious with the clone tool, tho, I’ve been lazy with that lately. How do you like Lightroom? You should post your vingette tutorial here – I have my own methods already, but I love seeing how other people do these things.

  6. 6 armywifeforlife April 25, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Beautiful! I’ve never done a vignette before, could I get a copy of the tutorial? I love what you do with your pictures 🙂

  7. 7 Kim April 25, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Great photos – beautiful as always.

  8. 8 Maya April 27, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I love the way you make the color pop! So cool!

  9. 9 Golightly April 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Awesome! I love your photos! And I admit, I’m addicted to black matting (you may have spotted it), vignetting and color saturation too.

    I would love to know what you set your unsharp mask levels at. Sometimes mine are too strong, I think.

  10. 10 Maggie April 27, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I LOVE all of your examples – they are fantastic! And you are so great at using photoshop – I am definitely taking some notes!

  11. 11 Sassy April 27, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    SO IMPRESSIVE Obi-Wan Kenobi. Can I just be your understudy? Your photos are great, and the editing, well, I have SO much to learn.
    Thank you for sharing.

  12. 12 Andrea April 28, 2008 at 7:04 am

    LOVE these examples! Thanks for sharing.

    Do you do all your work in Lightroom? I haven’t invested in post processing software yet, (currently using free online stuff), but I’m ready to take the plunge soon. I too, am addicted to the Vignette and need to keep myself in check. 😉

  13. 13 killlashandra May 1, 2008 at 7:03 am

    I love the second set! You brought her hair so well it looks so soft and delicate. Great job. I think you’ve got this bring out the color thing down really well. 🙂


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