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
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Mentoring | Ask a Pro
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!

50 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)