before | after

I am mildly obsessed with before and after shots. I have also come to the conclusion that with photoshop a ho-hum photo with no excitement can become magical. I love photoshop, I spend a lot of time there editing pictures. Even if it means that they will be trashed and thrown away. I re-edit photos over and over again. Trying different combinations and different varieties of actions. 

I am taking my brothers senior pictures. Which may sounds like a smashing good idea but it is like pulling teeth. I have actually offered this kid 20 bucks to let me take his picture so I have something to play with and edit. I was on my way home this afternoon and the light was magical. Giving it a try I asked my baby brother if he would allow a few photos to be taken.. To my surprise (I almost fell over) he said yes. So I dragged an extra chair, a stool (cause lets be real, this kid is a million times taller than me & no one likes up the nose shots) & headed to the car. My unsafe ways of screaming "STOP, HERE! Let's take some here!" only resulted in a few eye rolls and a whopping 55 images this evening. I was over the moon. 

I settled into my normal post processing setup. From my recent family shoot, I had a system. I would apply a lightning action (twice), boost contrast (once), wham bam (once), then warm sweetness (once) and a banish cyan (once). This worked like an absolute charm. Every photo had the same setup and it applied beautifully to each and every photograph. The photographs taken today? not so much. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way to have a system. You can have certain actions that are your go to actions. But the light, mood, and everything in between can manipulate the actions differently in every single shot. 

The point to this rambling is the photo below. The sequence listed above did not work for these photos. I ran one, yes one actions. & I even had to bring the opacity down. Every shoot is going to be different & I love that. I love that each photo brings a new learning experience and ability to exercise my love of the camera and the post processing system :) 


The SOOC (straight out of the camera) & the edit! :)


& all big and pretty on it's own! :)