Saturday, June 20, 2009

Before and After

The other day Cindi Barker posted a before and after photo of a young girl that she photographed, and there was a comment by Barry Armer about how interesting it was for people to see both images -- so here's mine. This photo was taken in March at Popular Photography's Digital Days model shoot in Houston. I was never really happy with the lighting of the original raw file (on the left) and thought it was underexposed to the point of being unusable. So, I challenged myself to make a printable image out of it. My retouched version is on the right. One major change was to shift her blouse color, which I thought was too distracting, from yellow to brown. I also retouched and brightened the face, and then added an emulsion edge.
Barry's right -- it is interesting to really compare the two; and for the photographer/retoucher there is a certain amount of satisfaction about rescuing an otherwise flawed image.


  1. Nice work Steve. You definitely ended up with a "printable" image, and then some!

  2. I agree that you improved the image. The dress is a better balance to her hair.

  3. I doubt if I would ever have thought to change her dress color but it really makes a difference.
    Your retouching is very nice --- it even looks like you added highlights to her hair and intensified the color of her lipstick and changed the tone of the background...but I would probably have left her "beauty mark". I am kind of surprised you didn't change her catchlights ala David Cuerdon! You really thought your original shot was too underexposed to be useable? Boy do I have a long way to go to get the correct exposures. Really nice post processing.

  4. Steve, on first look I didn't see much difference until I started studying. I like what you have done to the face shadows the best. As a brunette who wears primary colors, I like the yellow! Great job on the face.

  5. Nice post-processing Steve! I never would have guessed you changed the dress color and the work you did on her eyes, though subtle, is a great improvement!

    Well done!