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Photo Editing: Revisiting an old image

This photo of one of my nieces is one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken. I think it captures some of her adventurousness, defiance, and curiosity. We’ve definitely butted heads a few times, but that’s because I can be stubborn and curmudgeonly. She’s going to do great things. We were on a family trip to Alaska, which was incredible, mainly because I don’t see the extended clan enough.

Overall, there’s a lot wrong with the photo, or things I would have liked to do differently. But I was pretty far away, and I knew the moment wouldn’t last long enough for me to walk closer and get a composition that included more sense of space. Next time.

I re-visited the image in Lightroom to see if I could make some edits that would bring the photo closer to how I remember seeing it. I went through several attempts, but I don’t think I was able to improve the image. The original photo is first. There might be a couple of small edits to it, but it’s essentially the original RAW photo. The next three images include all sorts of experimenting with tone curves, color grading, exposure modifications, etc. I think the last image is good, but I still think I prefer the original.

Sophie Alaska original edit (1 of 1).jpg
Sophie Alaska color correct grade (1 of 1).jpg
Sophie Alaska color correct grade (1 of 1)-2.jpg
Sophie Alaska color correct grade (1 of 1)-3.jpg

Addendum: I watched a Peter McKinnon video recently where he walked through editing some viewers’ submitted photos. In one video he completely changed the color of a jacket. With freelance photojournalism, one of my mottos is to not go anywhere near Photoshop. You can make a few exposure/shadows/highlights adjustments to images, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. Still, I wanted to learn how to do it. Unfortunately, that Peter McKinnon moves at warp speed, so I found another site to walk me through it. Here’s the change (please keep in mind that it’s not meant to be a good, actual edit. I just wanted to see if I could do it.)

Important Note: An exercise in changing the color of a jacket. Not intended to be a high quality edit.

Important Note: An exercise in changing the color of a jacket. Not intended to be a high quality edit.

Scott BComment