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 8:02 pm —

    I love both of the images she has the most amazing eyes, the color of her eyes is of course more apparent in the color, but I think I prefer the B&W I am partial to black and white. Keep those images coming. Pam

  2. brock
    December 6, 2008 at 6:25 pm —

    Awsome! I liked the 2nd and BW images. I struggle capturing the sparkle in the eyes without the catch that the flash creates. Do you have a tutorial on this?

  3. December 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm —

    It’s amazing– beacuse the SOOC shot looks great just the way it is. You don’t realize from looking at the SOOC shot, how much more wonderful it can be until you feast your eyes on what you’ve edited. The post production shots are fabulous! I really like the way the black and white photo makes her eyes pop and truly become the focus of the image! 🙂 The crop on both the black and white and color image are good.

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog! Thank you for keeping it so intersting and fun to be a part of!

  4. Lydia
    December 6, 2008 at 5:30 pm —

    B&W and love the tight crop it makes all the difference.

  5. LaurieF
    December 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm —

    I think the color one is perfect. She has the most gorgeous brown eyes that get lost in the b&w. Beautiful little girl…

  6. Chi-Girl
    December 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm —

    I like them both – however, prefer the color b/c of the creaminess of her skin in contrast to her gorgeous brown eyes, and the crispness of the feel overall. The background colors are often distracting to the subject, but aren’t in this case. The crop is great in both — hard to pick just one. I forget if you have actions for PSE and am still debating on updating to PSE 7.0 (from 6.o) or a much more $$$ upgrade to a full photoshop….any thoughts? THanks for your tips – and I’d also love more detail on your adjustments (although I’m sure it’s harder to describe how you tweak each photo). Colleen

  7. December 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm —

    Jodi, I love the cropped one, because it focuses more on the eyes and they are beautiful and I love the color and bw but probably the bw, because of the awesome contrast. Very awesome.

  8. December 6, 2008 at 12:53 pm —

    They’re both great. I like a tight crop, but the bottom image is enough of a tight crop as well. For my own annoying need to know more, I get disappointed when you say “adjusted to taste”. As we all pretty much agree here that these are adjusted to all our taste level, can you be a little more specific? Also, I always struggle with skin tones and you don’t seem to have that issue. Can you talk about that too? (Am I being too greedy?) Love the bw, I have MCP Take My Color Away and it’s good too, but I’ll have to save up for this one. Have seen bw where the skin is creamy (another favorite photog) and I would love to learn more about getting that look as well. One more thing I would do (you did enough on the button!) is remove the stray hair from her face, the one over her left eye at least. Otherwise, WOW; great looking kid and beautiful image. Thank you, as always, for sharing!

  9. December 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm —

    I think the crop on the b&w looks better but her eyes seem to be lost on the b&w. For that reason and several other smaller reasons, I like the color better.

  10. Andie
    December 6, 2008 at 11:36 am —

    Jodi – i love when you show us your secrets! I LOVE the B/W version and crop. How is the complete action set coming along for PSE – Mac version. I want, i want, i want!!!!

  11. December 6, 2008 at 11:25 am —

    just found the metadata! thank you. btw, i prefer the crop in the b/w! it’s more relaxed. (does that make sense?!)

  12. December 6, 2008 at 11:16 am —

    i prefer the color to the b/w beacause of the beautiful color of her skin and eyes. perfect exposure! if your exif data has been stripped, would you kindly share it? dragging the shutter is something i am trying to master and this shot does it so well. thanks in advance!

  13. December 6, 2008 at 10:33 am —

    I love the crop on #1. I love both the color & the b/w, but really I think I like the color better because of her beautiful eyes.

  14. December 6, 2008 at 9:49 am —

    I love the B&W….I think because of how she is posing. Both look great though 🙂

  15. December 6, 2008 at 7:35 am —

    B&W for me. The purity of her subtle expression is more captivating. Her eyes are much more the center of my focus. She`s adorable in both though. Beautiful image.

  16. Kate
    December 6, 2008 at 12:20 am —

    All are beautiful. What a {VERY} pretty little girl. When I use my flash, I don’t get great catch lights. Is there a secret? Also, I was wondering if you had a tutorial on web sizing and sharpening. Love your website. Love your actions. I can’t seem to get enough of both!
    Thanks for all you share!

  17. Shell
    December 6, 2008 at 12:06 am —

    I like them all & wish my images could come just a tinsy bit close to these lol. But I prefer #2 the colors & closeness of the crop just draw me into it.

  18. Jennie
    December 6, 2008 at 12:00 am —

    I prefer the b/w and I like the crop better. The color is too much “in your face”. I like the wider crop. It’s still intimate but not distracting on how close it is. Beautiful work!

  19. December 5, 2008 at 11:41 pm —

    I love the crop of the b/w – I just like how her face doesn’t fill the entire frame. I think I prefer the color picture though – I don’t know why but it seems to me that sometimes there is too much lost in b/w images (I know that’s kind of the point) – but for me noses are important and it seems that the bridge of the nose often gets lost with high contrast b/w images… just my opinion though – I love the shot and can’t believe it’s with your flash!

  20. Whitney
    December 5, 2008 at 11:32 pm —

    I prefer the crop on the b/w – just seems a little more “artsy” or something……and definitely the b/w vs the other two – IMO 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog full of amazing tips!

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Before and After * In Color and Black and White