August 2, 2012

Creation of a Image: Before & After

When I first posted this image I got several “how-to” requests.  I’m so sorry for my delayed response, but better late than never, eh?   The biggest piece of this image “equation”, and the main ingredient that gives it this unique “look”, is that I shot it with my fish eye lens (15mm) – super wide angle.  The other stats are:  Canon 5d, iso 200, f/5, 1/800 sec, jpg setting.  I manually exposed on the dark side because I wanted to retain as much cloud detail as possible, and I’m sure I was picturing in my head that this would be a silhouette-y image.  I closed the aperture down to f/5 because I didn’t intend to blur out any fore- or background; I wanted all that sand, ocean & cloud detail as well as everyone in focus.  before

What surprised me when I started editing, was that I didn’t end up wanting this image to be a silhouette.  I liked it bright and cheery and sunny.after

So here are the editing steps I took: 


1.  added .57 exposure

2.  warmed it up by adding +11 yellow to the white balance

3.  Applied Vibrant preset & Festoon Haze (from One Willow’s The Palette Collection)

4.  Pulled highlights down to –75 (preserve clouds) and brightened shadows to +49.

5.  Added +8 clarity and bumped vibrance to +28.

6.  Cloned out a couple of the obnoxious sand footprints (probably mine).

7.  Added a darkening gradient at the bottom to better show their long shadows.

8.  Pulled down the blue luminance (again, to make clouds pop).

And that’s it.  From silhouette to sunshine & shadows.  Smile

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Megan said...

Hi Susan,

First, I have been admiring your photos for months now! Love!! Second, my question is - do you mostly shoot in jpeg or RAW? I know the rule of thumb is always raw since you have more control, but I seem to get better colors out of jpeg than raw, no matter how much I try to play around with the white balance in Lightroom.

Thanks! :)

Megan said...

Oh no! Ignore my comment! I found your post about jpeg vs. raw.

Life with Kaishon said...

I love this picture Susan.
Thank you for walking us through the processing.
I am glad it turned out light and lovely!

Anita Johnson said...

Beautiful either way...I just love that this is on a you know how fortunate you are? (o:

Andrea said...

thank you for sharing! always fun to see the thinking and processing behind the photo. :)