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The Art of Post Processing

These days being a good photographer isn’t enough, you have to be a good photographer and a wizard at post processing. To demonstrate what a difference master post processing can make, I went to my friend Aaron Rosen out at Pixel-Mesh in sunny California to see how they turn a somewhat ordinary photo from drab to fab.

The products Aaron used for this transformation were Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. Here is the photo he started with and the final at the end.

This is the photo Aaron had to work with


1. Open in Adobe Camera Raw and align horizon with the straighten tool

Step 2 - White balance








2. In the basic tab change the white balance to daylight and adjust the various sliders to suite your look

Next come the graduated filters








3. Use the graduated filter to add some filter effects. Aaron wanted some dramatic lighting on the sand and the sky to the left.

Adding tone curve








4. On the tone curve tab click over to the point sub-tab and change to strong contrast









5. In the detail tab adjust to your liking

6. Save

7. Open in Photoshop

Next come the adjustment layers








8. Add two curves adjustment layers

B&W adjustment layers








9. Add a BW adjustment layer then paint out, or in – depending on your point of view.  In this case the adjustment layer was to preserve the color in the bouquet

Crop for effect








10. Crop

11. Resize for e-mail presentation and add the sharpen filter

The final image, color isolation on the bouquet adds a focal point of color. This shot is much improved over the original.

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