Monday, October 25, 2010

Before and After: The Pond

The day I went to the pond to capture the fall colors, the sky was overcast and the grey seemed to seep into all of the colors. The original photos were bland and washed out.

Rather than deleting them, I opted to fool around with them creatively and see what I could salvage.

The second photo is the "altered" one, which is a bit over-processed for me, but still fun to see what you can do with a washed out photo. I actually didn't even do a lot. I adjusted the white and black points (always my first "fix"), then heightened the saturation a bit. Using the unsharp masking tool, I crisped the photo up just enough to bring out the individual leaves. The sky, being flat white, would either have to stay that way, or be replaced. I opted to do a graduated blue across both the sky and the reflection, a much easier change to mimic in the water than trying to replace the sky with another prettier sky.

The picture looks processed, and not well-done at that. It would have been much better if it had been a sharp, vivid picture to begin with. But when you hope for great pictures and download them only to find they didn't turn out the way you'd seen them through the lens, it's nice to know you don't have to leave them that way.


  1. That shot is gorgeous Heidi. Capturing the scene is a big precentage of photography too! And I believe processing is just as important. In the old days, it was the dark room for photographers and they spent a lot of time there! Now, it's our computers but there's noting wrong with that. The art of photography is creating in the post processing procedures, I believe. Kind of like alot of writing is about the revision.