Before & After - Tips, Tricks & Tutorials Tuesday - Elizabeth City Photographer
May 30, 2017 | By: Michelle Kirnan Photography
Today I'd like to share a little behind the scenes - a little of what goes on in my mind and world when creating clients' images. Whenever I've shared before and afters on social media in the past, it has seemed that people are very interested. I thought it might be a fun to share a bit more about the process, bringing it here to the blog where it's easier to share more. ;)
Last week we had a session with Brandi. I was a bit worried. Why? Well, all of the rain had us cancelling sessions for weeks! This time of year my schedule is a bit tight to begin with due to more to schedule (spring is of course popular). The rain is not my friend, for sure! And of course it was raining the day of Brandi's session. Then there would be times of clearing, with dramatic cloud-filled skies - something I love. Brandi's mom and I were in contact throughout the day, and we decided to go ahead with the session.
As I was loading the truck about an hour and a half before our session was scheduled to begin, I could see another storm moving in. It rained...again. Then cleared...again. And as I loaded my camera bag to get on the road to Elizabeth City, it began to pour! I held out hope that it would once again clear. And it did.
As it turned out, we had a lovely evening for a session! It didn't rain again until we were leaving. Yay!
I brought my lighting gear, as I always do. I also brought umbrellas and rain gear. I have some ideas for images in the rain! ;)
The extras were not necessary.
We met at the waterfront park in Elizabeth City. I had planned to do some images there as well as other areas downtown. We didn't make it anywhere other than the waterfront....this time. Brandi brought several outfits that were lovely.
I'll of course share Brandi's images later, but for now, I wanted to show a quick before and after. Why did I think to do this? Well, this is the first session where I utilized off camera flash through the entire session! Ask any of our clients and they will tell you that we have and bring our off camera lighting to each session. However, it is used for just a few images. I have found myself using it more and more because I like the control, particularly with seniors. It's more difficult to use with an entire family or children.
When culling Brandi's images, I found similar shots with and without flash. I thought I would not utilize the flash when we moved to our second setup. But when I compared with and without flash, I decided to definitely use it! It should be noted that the location was great for natural light portraits. Brandi was facing the water, which acted as a natural reflector, although she was set back a bit. There was very even, what we call "flat", light. This was a lighting test shot, so Brandi is not posed. She still looks fabulous, don't you think? The image is a tad underexposed.
The image above was not retouched. However, I had not set the custom white balance at the time this was taken. Again, it was a lighting test shot. Therefore, I did correct the white balance to match the images below.
And now I'd like to share a similar image, with Brandi posed, utilizing off camera lighting. This image has not been retouched. However, the colors pop a bit because I had run my color checker software.
For ease of comparison, here they are side-by-side. This is a screenshot from Lightroom on my computer, so the quality is of course lacking. ;)
Do you see a difference?
And here is the final, retouched image. You probably won't notice much except for the cloning in the top corners of the image. The white corners were distracting, so they were eliminated. We also did some minor retouching on Brandi.
And this last one is again a screenshot (low quality) of the three images for comparison. The final image is in the middle.
I hope you've found this little before and after fun! Before and after flash. Before and after retouching. What are your thoughts? Would you even know we had utilized off camera lighting if we hadn't shared?