Photo assignment week 2 ( before and after )

This week’s assignment is SOOC vs AFTER.  SOOC= Straight Out of Camera.   Of course, real photographers strive to get everything just perfect in-camera. ( I am not a “real” photographer )  However,  even the most amazing digital photographer needs some knowledge in the Photoshop “digital darkroom”  even if only to sharpen for web or print.  I spent a lot of time, years ago, wondering why MY photos were not as vibrant and “sharp” as other online photographers that I admired and then learned the truth after joining an amazing website called ILP.  ( )  Sure, great exposure/focus etc, in-camera, is the goal but those amazing colors that are shown as the final product? Editing software.  That amazing sharpness on the website? Editing software.  If I wanted to learn how to be a digital photographer I needed to learn Photoshop.

Confession: The first day I loaded up Photoshop CS2…I cried. I cried because nothing had ever made me feel so stupid so quickly. I really thought I would never EVER figure it all out but I am glad I pushed through. While I still appreciate the amazing things that Photoshop can do…I think, this Spring, I am going to focus on getting everything as close to “perfect” in-camera and create a work flow, in post-production that is “clean” and more natural. Time to learn to be that “real” photographer…*sigh*

But for now…here are a few of my entries for this week’s assignment. The first photo, in each frame, is SOOC…I do not think I even remembered to sharpen them for web…and the second is “after” a result in keeping with my “style” of results.

Once upon a lifetime ago I had the time to rent some lenses and play around with macro photography.  It was a beautiful lens(Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM) and felt so amazing on-camera…it felt “real” with it’s metal body and smooth movements…but, alas, I had to return it.  The SOOC shot is not bad…probably a half step underexposed, maybe? The way I processed it, AFTER, now that I look at it…the processing has removed the detail on the droplet and on the flower petal. A lighter hand would be a better idea on this shot.  I should have masked the flower and brought back some of the detail. Here is a link to another photo using the same lens.



The second is a photo that I took the other day of Connor’s hands. I am amazed at how quickly he is growing and was struck by how long and lean his fingers are. I liked the way he was holding his hands as he was “talking” with Corrigan on the floor.


The third is a photo I did with Monika this past summer. My SOOC shot is underexposed ( but obviously not the SOOC the white on her dress is blown, losing important details) which I tried to do deliberately because the room we were shooting in was empty and flooded by the most amazing natural light. I underexposed in hopes of not losing too much detail. However, you can tell that I got the white balance wrong here…we were moving all over this grand old house with multiple lighting conditions and I do believe that I simply forgot to change it when we found this empty room on the third floor. You can tell by the wall behind her not being white…and her skin having a bit too much “blue” to it.  The after I processed to be a sort of Sepia black and white. Not a true orangy sepia…but a slightly warmer traditional black and white.


The final is a photo of Corrigan that I took this week. This is the way I like my black and whites.  I know that the trend seems to be much lighter, almost blown out, black and whites and that is nicely suited for newborn portraiture etc…but I like my black and whites to have more depth and use more tones.  Having a second look at the final result, now, I think that it probably could use a bump in contrast to give just a little more light and make his skin less gray. I like black and whites for photos that have skin issues such as too much red. Sometimes I see Critiques given that the black and white is “too muddy” and I think that my AFTER, here, might be too muddy.  I do like what black and whites do to both Connor and Corrigan’s eyes. They have such light eyes that they show up so contrasted in B&W.


That is all I have, for now, though I do have this before and after on my Flickr page


Today, if you have a moment, will you pray for Kayleigh? Her story can be found here.


2 thoughts on “Photo assignment week 2 ( before and after )

  1. Hi Mindy! I love the photos you came up with, and I think my favorite is your photo of Connor’s hands. I love hand shots. That and shots of feet. Not mine, but the kids’ feet, because they are so little and cute. Anyway, it is amazing what you can do to your photos to “clean them up.” You always do an amazing job! What next?


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