Before and After Photos

Here are some before and after photos and how I fixed them.

I wanted to take a nice picture of the Las Vegas Ballpark stadium.  The day before I scouted the location and determined I needed to use a pretty wide angle lens since I could only back up to the middle of the road in front of the ballpark.

Here is the original photo straight out of the camera.

Las Vegas Ballpark - Straight out of camera
Las Vegas Ballpark – Straight out of camera

As you can see there are a few problems.  The photo needs to be cropped, straightened, color corrected and most importantly some distracting items needed to be removed.  Here is a close up of the items to be removed.

Las Vegas Ballpark Remove Items
Las Vegas Ballpark Remove Items

It took quite a bit of work to remove the items especially the bike racks but after awhile I got everything cleaned up.

Here is the finished photo.

Las Vegas Ballpark at Magic Hour
Las Vegas Ballpark at Magic Hour

and here is a before and after.

Las Vegas Ballpark - Before with croppingLas Vegas Ballpark at Magic Hour

This photo took a bit of work to fix.  Here is the cell phone picture I took of a church 7 months before I took the real picture.

Cell phone picture of church
Cell phone picture of church

I wanted to see what lens I would need when I took the real picture.  You can see many problems with the cell phone picture.  I couldn’t get back far enough to get any landscaping included with the church because there were houses right behind me.  Also, you can see how the church appears to be tilting back.  In addition, there are telephone wires in the shot.  This is about as wide a shot you can get with a typical cell phone.

Here is the original unretouched photo I took with my DSLR, a Canon 5DS camera with a Canon 17mm tilt/shift lens.

Church with cars, telephone pole, wires, etc.
Church with cars, telephone pole, wires, etc.

The picture is wide enough now but there are still many problems,  There are two cars in the picture, a telephone pole and wires.  In addition, the church needs to be straightened out a bit and I needed to do some color correction.

Here is the final finished image.

Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church – St. Mary’s, PA

Here is a before and after split screen comparison:

Church with cars, telephone pole, wires, etc.Sacred Heart Church

As you can see a lot of editing was needed.  After the cars and telephone pole were removed, parts of the trees, grass and the curb had to be reconstructed.

This photo is of a beach house at sunset.  The sky was unbelievable and I wanted to keep all the detail in it so I had to underexpose the rest of the picture.  Also, all the lights were off so that didn’t help.

Beach House before color correction
Beach House before color correction

This is the beach house after color correction, after adding lights to some windows and adding the moon for good measure.

Beach house with color correction and compositing
Beach house with color correction and compositing

Here is a shot of a living room.  It is all natural light.  The outside is blown out, the hallways are dark, the living room is dark – it’s just not a very appealing shot.   It would have taken a lot of time to bring in all the proper lights and light the room correctly, but it wasn’t in the budget.

Living room before color correction
Living room before color correction

Here is the same shot after some work in Photoshop.  The outside view was fixed by compositing in a separate shot with the correct exposure for the outside.  The rest of the shot was “digitally lit” in Photoshop.  As a final touch, I turned the TV on (using Photoshop again).

Living room interior
Living room interior with color correction

Here is a before picture of a log cabin.  I took numerous different exposures to make sure I would get a good picture to work with.  I thought I would have to composite multiple exposures together but I didn’t have to.  I chose this before picture because it held all the detail in the sky.  Using the raw codec of my Canon 5Ds I was able to lift the shadows to the proper level.

Log Cabin Before Color Correction
Log Cabin Before Color Correction

Here is the same picture after all the color correction.  This would not have been possible if I had started with a .jpg image.

Log Cabin - Deep Creek, MD
Log Cabin – After color correction

Below are the two shots I combined for the final image.  I was on location and did not have enough time to pull out all the strobes I would have needed to get this shot.  It was much easier just to combine the two different exposures.

Patio exposed for inside
Patio exposed for inside
Patio exposed for outside
Patio exposed for outside

Here is the final composite.  It looks pretty much like what you would see with your eyes if you were standing there.

Patio with beach view
Patio with beach view

Here is a shot that I was very lucky to get.  I was attending my niece’s wedding rehearsal when I happened to step outside and see the beautiful sky.  I didn’t have my tripod with me so I knew I had to get everything with one exposure.  I exposed for the sky and hoped for the best.  The shot needed quite a bit of work.  In addition to the color correction I had to light all the windows and doors of the church as well as remove a person standing on the steps of the church – he is highlighted in the white rectangle below.

Church before color correction
Church before color correction

The picture turned out to be beautiful!  Everyone asks me if I put the sky in using Photoshop but I didn’t.  I put all the lights for the doors and windows in using Photoshop.  No one asks me about that so I think I did a convincing job.  The only way I could manipulate the image this much was to shoot it using the camera’s raw format.

St. Patricks Church - Twin Mountain, NH
St. Patricks Church – Twin Mountain, NH

 

This photo is just a sky replacement but it makes a big difference.  Here is the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas as I originally shot it – no clouds.

Mandalay Bay Hotel - Las Vegas without clouds
Mandalay Bay Hotel – Las Vegas without clouds

 

Here it is with the sky replaced.  Over the years I have collected hundreds of different sky shots at all different hours of the day and at different locations throughout the U.S. so I probably have the perfect sky for nearly any shot.

 

Mandalay Bay Hotel - Las Vegas
Mandalay Bay Hotel – Las Vegas with clouds added

From the above examples you can see the importance of knowing how to color correct and composite images.  Also, it wouldn’t have been possible to manipulate the images as much as I did if I had shot them using the camera’s .jpg format instead of the camera’s raw image format.