Our clients will often ask us what the difference between a “raw image” and a “custom image” that’s ready for print/web/email is. So now, in fabulous Technicolor, allow me to demonstrate for you the entire working process from FART to ART.
BELOW is one of my most very favoritest processes and I’m going to show it to you. LET’S GET STARTED!!! WEEEEE!!!!!!
This is an SOOTC (that’s robot talk for “Straight. Out. Of. The. Camera). It means the image is just as it appeared when I took it – no muse, no magic. It’s okay (I think) but it can be so MUCH better. Too flat, lifeless and no *ZING*. You can tell I’m a pro by all the professional jargon I use.
Let’s teach this photog to be all it can be.
So the first thing I would do on an image like this is run a great little action called “Fresh and Colorful” from the Pioneer Woman actions set*. This will boost the contrast and color saturation. I recommend using actions sparingly and only on an image by image basis.
*An “action” is a pre-set in Photoshop that you click and boom-biggity-boom-boom it runs a bunch of different filters over your image. That said, you still have to tweak different features – there is no magic “fix-it” button. This is not Staples.
The above action gives us THIS effect. It was a little much though so I pulled back the opacity t0 30%.
Next I added a warming filter. It makes the skin look nice and…….well…….warm.
I usually don’t do the following step, but for this particular image I decided to add a Saturation layer as well as darken the luminosity of the green channel so that the grass was darker and then desaturated the yellow channel so that the grass was green (not army fatigue green, but grass green).
Now we’re getting pretty close to the final image. There’s just a few finishing touches…
First I’ll apply the Quick Edge Burn (also from The Pioneer Woman actions set) and then again lower the opacity so that it doesn’t look like we’re shooting through a telescope.
Finally, I finish it off with a slight curve to lighten and boost the contrast JUST a bit.
SO THAT’S THAT!!! Not too bad.
Here’s a quick look at the before and after.
BEFORE: raw image (OR, as we’ve all learned: SOOTC)
And AFTER: custom image
ZING! Pretty snazy.
So why all the fuss? Sure they look better but is it really THAT big of a deal?
To us that is a resounding…………….well, duh.
Every one of our images that we send out into the world, whether it be via print, email, Facebook or singing telegram is a direct business card and represents our company in it’s entirety. We want to be sure that an image is top notch before it heads out. If IT looks half cocked, so do we. And we don’t wanna look half cocked. We don’t even like saying the WORD half cocked. It’s embarrassing.
You only get one chance to make a first impression.