Photo Editing (Sunshine Edition)

I’ve received several questions about how I edit my photos. To give you all a break from my endless Disney photo conglomerations, I’m going to tell you about my editing process. This particular post deals with outside conditions that you may come across on a sunny day.
If you enjoy this post, let me know, and I’ll be happy to share some more.My general philosophy when it comes to editing is that if the shot isn’t good enough SOOC (straight out of camera), then it’s not good enough to publish. Editing is a form of enhancement, not recreating what you would’ve liked the shot to have been.

My materials are Lightroom 3.5 and occasionally Picnik. If you don’t have Lightroom (I highly recommend it), then Picnik is the best online editor I’ve come across. Just don’t overdo it on the effects.

For sun

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I recommend setting your SLR or DSLR to a higher ISO setting. I currently have mine at 200ISO, which is perfect for the colorful, sunny conditions in Florida.
When editing these kinds of photos, remember that you don’t need more brightness/exposure. Instead, choose to up your contrast, and increase the black clippings. This way the lines in the photo are defined.
For Lightroom users: Up your clarity settings, and if needed, increase the vibrance.

For shade

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When I took this photograph of my sweet friend Cara, it was very bright outside. She was facing the sun, but using my shadow to shade her. When taking these pictures, be sure that your subject is in clearly in focus (especially important if you use manual focus like I do).
Edits: Increased brightness, increased black clippings, increased clarity and increased vibrance.

Backlight In Sunny Conditions. 

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Backlighting is pretty tricky. You must be in focus, and you must be able to deal with having photos not turn out. At least, in my experience.
Edits: Decreased brightness, increased contrast, increased clarity (to the extreme), and increased black clippings.

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