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Before and After * In Color and Black and White

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Before and After * In Color and Black and White

I often get asked “what do your “straight out of camera shots” look like.  So here is one I took in a dark basement using my 580ex flash.  I dragged the shutter and this was the result out of the camera.  The exposure was good and it did not look too flashy.  But it lacked that crisp, sharp look.  Also – the button on the shirt was distracting to me.

So 1st I ran “Color Burst” from the “Complete Workflow Action Set” – I adjusted to taste.  Then I ran “Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness.”  I darkened the background and lightened up her face for a creamier, brighter skin.  I flattened.  Then I ran the “Eye Doctor” action set. Then I used the clone tool to minimize the button.  Looking at it now I still need to do a touch more work on that – but just did it fast for this example.  And lastly I cropped.  And for showing here added my frame and sharpened for web.

Next I decided this might look pretty as a black and white.  So I used “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the “Quickie Collection.” It is BEST to convert to black and white over a fully edited color shot in my opinion.  The results are more contrasty, sharper and crisp.  No more muddy images…  I would love to here which you prefer, SOOC, color or black and white – and why. Oh – and you may notice the crop is slightly different on the 2.  Which crop do you prefer?

Please leave a comment and let me know.

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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  1. December 6, 2008 at 11:44 pm —

    I have to say the B&W. I think the crop is perfect and of course the coloring is perfect. Did you get the lightness on the face in the touch of light/touch of dark action you have. I am totally amazed by your talent. Love your website and blog. Debating on what to order first. Will definitely have to order the magic templates first soon….. Lots of people use them and they are AMAZING!!

  2. December 7, 2008 at 1:15 am —

    The B&W one is AMAZING! I love the color one, too, but I LOOOVE the B&W one! I like the crop on that one better, too! It’s close up, but not too close. What a beautiful image – this child’s mom has got to be THRILLED! 🙂

  3. December 9, 2008 at 1:09 am —

    Both are stunning, but I prefer the b&w because to me the eyes are the true focus of attention – no distractions by colors around them.
    Gorgeous portrait work, Jodi!

  4. December 13, 2008 at 3:03 pm —

    I have a question….can you give a little more explanation on how you do the eyes? Even using the “Eye Doctor” action, I can’t make mine come out like that. As a general guideline, what size/opacity brush do you use because I’m thinking that might be my problem.

  5. December 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm —

    well size depends on resolution of the file. But I use one that just covers the catchlight on the catchlight. One that covers the whole eye for the sharpening. Small one if using the pupil/lash layer. And one the size of 1/2 the iris on the iris. make sense?

    Also – the main thing with eyes is what you start with. you need catchlights – even faint are ok – to make them pop. You need the eyes sharp to make them tack sharp, etc…

  6. December 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm —

    I prefer the crop on the b/w, but the edited color image. I LOVE LOVE LOVE b/w but sometimes feel like the eyes lose some depth when they are that prominent in the shot. Love your work – thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

  7. May 9, 2009 at 12:50 am —

    Wow!!! The edits are both GORGEOUS, but I really prefer the black and white on this one! It is STUNNING!!!! I’m so glad to see you added a SOOC shot. I’ve been wondering what your shots look like before editing. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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Before and After * In Color and Black and White