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Before and After – from Camera to Photoshop process – Photography tips 101

Ok, here are both images….I’ll explain now how I got from this in-camera shot to the finished image you see here!

before image dodger stadium after image dodger stadium finished
Before I explain these photography tips, if you don’t have Photoshop, or you’re not a photographer, this may sound gibberish to you, but I’ll explain it as best I can.

So, basically, all I did was walk up to the TOP of the LA Dodger stadium (uhh very scary). The field was covered in white tarp (because it was raining) so I couldn’t shoot towards the field, very ugly. I had to compose the shot with the stadium seats in view to capture the essence of the stadium. I was shooting the canon 5d mark2 with the 24-70mm canon L lens, very wide. I brought out my off camera flash, canon 580ex2, and underexposed the ambient sky, and exposed my flash for the subjects, in this case the engaged couple, Cary and Anissa.  I was actually going to turn this image into a spotlight effect, but it turned out better this way.

I went back home and uploaded the image I knew I liked, and fixed it up in RAW. I dodged and burned this image in Adobe Photoshop CS4. I have CS5, but some of my plug-ins do not work in CS5 yet, so CS5 plug-in people, word on behalf of us photographers, get your plug-in’s updated.

As you can see, the stadium in the BEFORE image was underexposed, and I dodged (brightened) the stadium seats and used the sponge tool (saturation) to bring out more colors in my seating. In one tweek, I had brightened them too much, and I didn’t like it. I burned (darkened) the seats back down a little.  I don’t like to overuse to sponge tool in my images because it looks too fake sometimes, but in this image, it was totally appropriate. I then dodged the sky in a layered light view so that it didn’t look like one glob of darkness, cloudy and all.  I sharpened the whole image only so much, and then smoothed out the couple.  I also pushed the contrast a little to make the darks darker and the lights lighter.  Lastly, I used a plug-in that brings in more definition to the image, and then adjust it down a little.  I added a slight vignette, and that was it!

Charleton Churchill Photography Tips

  • Steffani Abercrombie - I love how you end with “that was it”, line it was a snap 😉 You should teach a class on this stuff. I’d be the first in line!!!October 21, 2010 – 9:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Charleton - Thanks Steff, much appreciated comments!October 21, 2010 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Amy Martz - I agree with Steffani about the class, reserve the second place in line for me.

    This was a lot of work and a lot of time, as a photoshop CS5 owner who is just learning the ins and outs of the program I am amazed as well as inspired.

    Once again your work is brillant!October 22, 2010 – 6:59 amReplyCancel

  • Mindy - Thanks for sharing – I agree a class would be great, this would have taken me forever in CS5 as I’m just not that PS-savvy!October 22, 2010 – 10:32 amReplyCancel

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