Before & After – Thanksgiving Evening on the Beach

2011_02 Copyright Bree Herbert Blog_07


What initially drew me to this picture was its wonderful “rule of thirds” composition – horizon line along the top third, kids on the bottom third. And the casual arrangement of the three kids on the beach was nicely balanced. But overall it was too dark and too uniform in blue tones throughout the picture, and subsequently felt a bit flat. I really wanted to bring out the feel of a sunset on the beach and the pleasant happiness of the kids.

My first step was to check the white balance of the photo, and by doing so the picture took a big step toward the warmth that I was looking for. Next, I adjusted the S-curve of the photograph to create the right balance of highlights, midtones, and shadows in the photo and I increased the contrast to a nice level. I then masked off the upper 1/2 of the photo from these tonal adjustments (I wanted it to look a little more “washed out”) so that I could keep the focus on the kids and sand on the bottom half.

Next I ran a warming filter action and reduced the opacity until it represented what I felt was a nice, waning fall sunset at the beach. Lastly, I applied selective sharpening to the bottom third of the photo and it really helped accent the kids and the sand on the beach.

Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

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And a lovely side-by-side for your viewing pleasure.

2011_02 Copyright Bree Herbert Blog_09


Do you want your pictures to change from “How??” to “WOW!”? I do post-processing work to help give your photos the impact you were looking for. Contact me through my website for info and pricing.

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