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 stadiumafter 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


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Orange County Wedding Photographer, Engagement session, Ronnie and Jessea

Ronnie and Jessea came up for the weekend from southern California and didn’t know they would return with killer engagement session photographs.  We photographed for a little over a few hours, while entertaining almost the whole family, who was along for the ride. My daughter Janae, who is six, went along for her first photography assignment.  She brought her point-and-shoot camera along to be my back-up photographer, but somewhere along the way, she just wanted to play with the older girls.  Beautiful sunny day, time to get wet. Here they are…

engaged couple in old truck

couple on the swing

couple downtown Volcano

hugging couple downtown St. George Hotel

bride groom posing

couple kissing by old truck

couple spraying water during car wash

couple in old truck engagement session

couple swinging together

couple laughing together in old truck

engagement session Volcano, ca,

engagement session St. George Hotel

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Named Among the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the United States and Canada


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