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Before and After: Bridal Portrait Editing

The days of Photoshop are coming to an end. I do 95% of my editing in Adobe Lightroom 2.4, it is a highly streamlined and powerful tool to process thousands of photos efficiently. The only time I open Photoshop is to make major changes to an image such as removing unwanted elements or adding textures using layers. I come from a fine art background, so I am kind of a purist when it comes to editing. I like to capture the image in camera as best I can to minimize any major editing. In today’s digital age we have so many options on how to handle and process our images to produce the final product.

The image you see below is a great example of the pre-visualization I had in mind for the final product. I knew I wanted to capture the colors in the sunset behind Lynette so I had to under expose the ambient light. I set the 430exII flash to High Speed Sync and put it off to the left with a white umbrella, fired at full power to light up the subject in the foreground. I used the High Speed Sync in order to use a higher shutter speed to underexpose the background.

As you can see from the original file, the sky looks blown out, but with the magic of Lightroom and the flexibility of the 14 bit RAW file from my 5d MarkII, I was able to save a lot of the color and detail. All I did was use the Exposure Brush with the auto mask function to paint in the sky to bring down the the exposure of the sky and add some saturation back in. I then added my basic curve and contrast settings to even out the image.

If you care about the geeky side of things here are my camera settings for this image. ;)
Canon 5D MarkII 24-70mm 2.8 Lens at ISO: 800 F: 2.8 1/2500th sec

By the way, this image was taken in New Orleans on a recent meet-up of photographers from all around the country. We all had a great time and I really enjoyed meeting everyone. I can’t wait for the next one! Lynette J was kind enough to put down her camera and model this lovely Bridal Dress for us.

wpid1465-Before_After_Bridal_Portrait_Photography_GodkinPhoto-1-of-1.jpg

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment!

Austin Wedding Photographer Ben Godkin

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