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how do you edit??

it's that time again!
a chance to peek in and see how other edit. it's a great way to learn a new trick or tip.
there is no right or wrong way to edit...edit is all about your style and what you bring to your photography. i think its so much fun to see what other would do to a photo.

today some great ones!!
you will see their shot straight off the camera, the edits that they made and then the final product.

first up is michelle of michelle kane photograhy


Sometimes it's just a little color jolt, contrast and warming that's needed to take an image from cool and dull to just right without editing it within an inch of its life. I edited this completely with actions from my upcoming HeARTy Action Collections.

1. Imperial @ 66%: Creates a rich and vibrant yet crisp deep color. It was masked off the skin slightly to keep it from getting too dark. The action group was also masked off parts of the jeans where the highlights hit. There is a built in red reducer layer in this action that was also used to mask over the arms that got too reddish in color.

2. Bland to Brilliant @ 28%: Creates clarity and contrast with a slight brightening pop to the image. It's a great action to give oomph without going overboard. If you've used a rich action like Imperial or used darkening blending modes like multiply and mask it off skin, the skin often times looks really dull in comparison. A good, simple contrast and brightening boost is often needed to punch the skin back up.

3. Light + Shade + Color Jolt: Used the Light + Shade layer to paint with white where I wanted to brighten (dodge) the highlights…. on his pants and slight pop on his face to brighten a tiny bit. The Color Jolt layer was painted on to boost the rich blue of the gate and nowhere else. (The clothes were plenty saturated.) This is a fabulous "flatten-free" action that allows you to dodge, burn and saturate color without flattening the image like Photoshop's regular dodge/burn/sponge tools require.

4. Beautiful Warmth @ 86%: This tonal action gives a nice golden warmth. I use it ALL the time. It was masked off the skin and jeans slightly to keep them from getting too warm. It takes the coolness right out and gives the feeling that the image was shot in much warmer light. Love that!

5. No Frills Vignette @ 85%: Masked off the subject where it came in too closely to him.

That's it. Edit took about 4 minutes to complete. You can see more before and after edits using my soon to be released actions on Michelle's Facebook page.


the next photo edit is from kristin of kristin rachelle photography


1. Opened in LR, adjusted white balance, and opened in CS5
2. Did an over-all midtones bump and increased the shadows on the RGB curve masking back the dark part of her hair.
3. Curves layer, brought up the reds and greens in the midtones and blues in the shadows.
4. Ran Portraiture at 25% and erased back her hair, eyes, and mouth.
5. Lightened under eye circles with clone tool set to lighten at 30% opacity with a soft brush.
6. Color balance layer +5 reds +5 yellows
7. Soft light layer at 20% erasing back her hair.


next up is a photo edit from melody or melody white studios


I shot this image of one of my rocken Senior girls back in October and have always LOVED it!
This was shot with my Canon 5D using my 50mm 1.2 @ 1/640 at f 1.2 ISO 500

My edit was REALLY easy on this one (trust me lol)
First I did basic adjustments in Lightroom, looking to get a flat photo mostly for skin tones and exposure, then I imported it into Photoshop for the main editing.
Once in Lightroom I ran a "Soft Light" filter and just masked it off the face.
I followed that by running Portraiture and Noiseware and that was it:) Simple right!


the next photo edit is from jessica of jessica feely photography


- Open up in ACR
-Adjust WB (make warmer)

-Open in CS5
-Add Contrast Boost (Adjust Panel)
-Add Edge Sharpening
-TRA Warm it up
-Smooth out skin
- Covert to web


and lastly, a photo edit by shannon of thousand words photography :) yep, me.


open in ACR and bump curves up just a touch.
open in photoshop
bump contrast up (+8)
i wanted to bring out all the color a bit so i ran a color pop at 15% (erased off skin)
slightly burned the edges at 14%


thank you to all the photographers!
there will be another round of edits coming soon!
be sure to leave some feedback and i know all of the photographers
are happy to help, so post your questions if you have any!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! Love all the befores just as much as the afters! :) Eagerly awaiting the release of Michelle Kane's new HeARTy Actions!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing! What a talented bunch of ladies!

  3. Thanks for the post! :) So fun to play along :)

  4. Kimberly B.2/01/2011

    They are all so beautiful. I love the high edits a lot, but there is something wonderful about nailing the photo in camera like a lot of you did.
    Thank you for sharing. I hope there will be more of these.

  5. Chelsea2/01/2011

    LOVE these!!!!

  6. Love these! Thanks for the editing tips.... the simpler the editing the happier I am!

  7. I love to post before and afters on my site. Next time I would love to join!!

  8. This was so much fun~
    Thanks for asking me to join in this round:)

  9. Thanks so much for posting this info. As a recent convert of digital photography I really appreciate all the tips. I also love that there were just a few before & after posts with tips - more would be overwhelming. I know what LR, CS5, and PS are, but not the other.

  10. I do my initial edits w/ my Macbook Pro in I-PHOTO. Then I move to CS5. I read one time where
    "everyone knows not to use the Mac for edits" & I have to ask WHY???? Am I missing something? I love the fact that I can do so much w/o going anywhere else. I have not noticed any bad results. Was that just one person's opinion? Is there something I should know? Feel free to visit my blog or website & let me know your thoughts on my edits:

  11. I used to hate editing. Now I love it almost as much as taking the picture! :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. Love reading these! one question for 1000 words, you "ran a color pop", I'm wondering is this an action? and do you use the burn tool for your edges? I like your light touch with editing.

  13. @kara- yes, the color pop was an action from lifecameraactions.com
    yep, i used the burn tool. only at 14% and just did it very lightly with it at a big size for even coverage.
    thank you!!!


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