I thought I’d do a little before and after post to give you an idea of what goes into enhancing your photographs. A little technical context first: most photographers shoot images RAW. Photographing in RAW format produces high-quality image files because no information is compressed or lost. The other benefit is you can correct any problems that would be unrecoverable if you set your camera to a format like JPG, which does compress your image data, eliminating some of it in the process. Make sense?
It’s important to have decent gear. But regardless of what equipment you’re using, images shot RAW come out of the camera looking flat and dull, and kind of yucky. This first image of my dog Chloe at her favourite leash-free area is straight out of camera with no adjustments. See how blah it looks? And there’s some kind of blur in the lower right corner, likely from some tall grass, that needs to be fixed.
And then with some enhancement magic …
Some of my adjustments on this photo of Chloe include tweaking the temperature by warming up the glow of the sun peaking through the trees. I also corrected the bottom right corner and added contrast to make the blacks blacker and the whites brighter. I increased the overall vibrancy and then selectively brushed in some saturation to make the colours pop. I finished by adding some sharpening. Because this was a leash-free area, I didn’t have to remove a leash, which is also part of my workflow 99 per cent of the time (safety first!).
I use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to carefully edit 20-25 images for each client, and often there are several unique combinations of adjustments that need to be applied to individual files, since I try to find a variety of backgrounds and settings, and the light can change.
It’s so important to me that your photographs look amazing – these are your memories, they should look amazing!
Image creation doesn’t end when I put my camera away. It continues long after your photography session and requires several hours at my keyboard to make your pictures look the way they should. This is all part of the Happy Tails experience – I want your images to look their very best!
Questions or comments about the process? Feel free to leave a note!