a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop

by Sara Seeton

Every photographer has their own unique style as well as their own way of processing images.  There are so many different ways to achieve certain looks whether it be in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), Lightroom, Photoshop or a combination of these.  I don’t claim to be a Photoshop genius by any means.  A lot of what I have learned has been from trial and error, tutorials from other photographers just like this one (there are TONS right here on the CMblog and also on the photography forum in the tutorials section), and just practicing on my own and seeing what works for me and my workflow.  By the way, if you want to learn more about my workflow be sure to check out my mini breakout session available for purchase in the CMstore which includes my exclusive Color Boost + Haze action.  Or you can just read all the way down to the bottom for a chance to win it!

Before Image:

This is my image SOOC (straight out of camera).  Thank you to my gorgeous daughter for modeling for me!  I shoot in auto white balance so my images automatically come out very cool.  The image was shot close to sunset and was taken with my Canon 5D Mark ii and 85mm 1.2L.  My settings were f/2.2, 1/640, ISO 400.

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

ACR Edits:

I pulled the image into ACR and made the following adjustments (mainly just warmed up the white balance):

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

temperature +5150
recovery +11
contrast +26
clarity +3

Photoshop Edits:

Then I pulled the image into PS (I use CS5) and made the following adjustments:

I ran my own color boost and haze action (you can buy it here in the CMstore), reduced the color boost layer to 55%

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

To add a little more haze, I created a new levels layer and changed the output levels on the RGB tab to 15

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

Then I wanted some more warmth, so I changed the output levels on the red tab to 31

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

This was a little too much, so I then changed the opacity of that levels layer to 64%

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

The image was needing a little more contrast, so I added a contrast layer and bumped up the contrast to +16

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

Then I duplicated the background layer and selected the burn tool, set the exposure to 20%, and started burning the background a little bit.

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

Almost done, I just need to fix up some of the stray hairs, etc. on her forehead.

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

So again, I duplicate the background layer and using the spot healing brush, I carefully went over the areas I wanted cleaned up.

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

Voila!  All done…and super simple!

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photo

Thank you Sara for the awesome tutorial!  We appreciate you sharing your method with us!

a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop photoSara SeetonTexas
CM Mentor
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Sara may be Canadian but she lives the Texas life with her husband and two daughters.  A long time lover of photography, it wasn’t until her children were born that she realized it was her passion.  She describes her photography as “fresh, modern, fun + simple” and says, “my photography style totally reflects who i am as a person.  I tried for so long to find my photography style, but when I finally realized that I just needed to be ME that is when everything fell into place and just ‘clicked’.”  Having a design background she also loves to spend her time working with branding and logos but also enjoys chillin’ on the couch, eating junk food, catching up with her DVR, her iphone, cinnamon dolce lattes, and vanilla coke.

Read more tutorials by Sara Seeton.

winner update!

Congratulations to Taryn who said, “I love your work! Your style is so clean and fresh. Thank you for sharing on techniques. I shared this post via Pinterest!”!  Taryn, contact me at april@clickinmoms.com and I’ll get you set up with your prize!

Would you like the opportunity to win a free copy of Sara’s Speed Up Your Workflow breakout session?  This is your lucky chance!  Sara is offering up one free copy of her breakout to one random person.  All you need to do is share this blog post (you can use the share buttons below or in the top right corner of the sidebar) on twitter, Facebook, and/or pinterest and then come back here to comment and let us know.  A random will be announced next Thursday September 27, 2012 at noon EST on this post so make sure and tune back in next week to see if you’re the big winner!

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50 Responses to “a before and after processing tutorial using photoshop”

  1. Kelly K
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Tweeted! https://twitter.com/kelkendall/status/24880348325
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Ronda Meyer
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:21 am #

    lovley work ! first time on this site ! thanks for sharing !

  3. Alayna
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I shared on Facebook!

  4. Alayna
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:25 am #

    I also pinned it!

  5. Kellie Bryan
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Great tutorial – thanks for sharing! Shared on pinterest :-)

  6. Davina
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial, Sara. I happily shared it on Twitter!

  7. Sep 20 2012 at 11:31 am #

    THANKS! I shared on facebook and Pinterst!!

  8. Angela
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I shared on Facebook :) Thanks for sharing!

  9. Lesley @ Rural Route
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:35 am #

    tweeted :) https://twitter.com/LesleySeitz/status/2488069682

  10. Greta
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I tweeted it :)

  11. Greta
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I also Pinned it!

  12. homedinerproject
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Pinned this to my Photography board on Pintrest http://pinterest.com/pin/121104677451071952/

  13. Sep 20 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Posted on fb :)

  14. Sep 20 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Great tutorial! I love seeing how others do their processing! Thanks Sara! Tweeted!!

  15. Ellen
    Sep 20 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I tweeted! :) https://twitter.com/stevellenk/status/24881808369

  16. Ellen
    Sep 20 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    I tweeted! :) https://twitter.com/stevellenk/status/24881808369

  17. Judy
    Sep 20 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Posted on FB. Thank you for the chance to win!

  18. Sep 20 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Shared on fb! It’s a really nice Tutorial ❤

  19. Rachel Dale
    Sep 20 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    pinned this great blog post!!! thanks for the awesome Tips Sarah!

  20. Sep 20 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Love this tutorial Sarah! Great tips!

  21. Sep 20 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Shared on Twitter, thanks!

  22. Sara B
    Sep 20 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I pinned it!!! Now, I can come back to it later when I try it out on my own photos! Thanks!!!

  23. Amy
    Sep 20 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Pinned it! http://pinterest.com/pin/26458716532021032/ From a fellow Canadian living in Texas-thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  24. abbie
    Sep 20 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    face book!!

  25. Sep 20 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I shared on FB!!

  26. Jenna Stoller
    Sep 20 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Love it!

  27. julie H
    Sep 20 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    thanks for the tips- I 'pinned' it :)

  28. Sep 20 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Tweeted! Thanks for the chance! :D
    https://twitter.com/PuppetMasterx11/status/248958

  29. Flo Dupuy
    Sep 20 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    I posted on Facebook!

  30. Dana Foley
    Sep 20 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Pinned it! Thanks for the giveaway and all of the tips, Sara!

  31. Sep 20 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Thanks so much for this great tip. I was wanting a little more haze and now I know how to do it!

  32. photogirl
    Sep 20 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    tweeted @ejoyphoto

  33. Taryn heck
    Sep 21 2012 at 12:17 am #

    I love your work! Your style is so clean and fresh. Thank you for sharing on techniques. I shared this post via Pinterest!

    • Taryn heck
      Sep 21 2012 at 12:20 am #

      *your techniques

  34. Sep 21 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Share it on my personal FB page!

  35. Sep 21 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Shared it on Twitter – @Mother_Matters

  36. Sep 21 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Shared it on my Mothering Matters FB page!

  37. Sep 21 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I shared this on my FB fan page

  38. Monica Diaz
    Sep 21 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Shared on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/monica.lulediaz

  39. Sandi
    Sep 21 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Shared on facebook. Thanks!

  40. Rebecca
    Sep 21 2012 at 10:00 am #

    pinned it! Thanks so much!

  41. amyforehand
    Sep 21 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I shared on Pintrest!

  42. Monica Nettle
    Sep 21 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Shared on FB! :)

  43. Sep 21 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you for this opportunity! https://twitter.com/SongsKateSang/status/24935100

  44. TinaJCarson
    Sep 22 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Posted on Pinterest! Thanks for the lesson!

  45. melt003
    Sep 24 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Definitely a yes! Thanks for the chance! I shared on fb and tweeted.

  46. Kathy Thorson
    Sep 24 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Thank you Sara for taking the time for this tutorial. Extremely helpful.

  47. Michelle
    Sep 25 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I shared on FB!

  48. Janeen
    Sep 26 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    I shared via Twitter. Great information! https://twitter.com/wildvanilla/status/2510721794

  49. Oct 15 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

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