Post-processing is something I haven’t really talked about on the blog yet, but it’s a critical part of my workflow. In general, I try not to do too much post-processing to my photos, so that they’ll stay looking natural.
The image I’m going to go over today is one of my favorites. These two boys were so much fun to shoot. They rarely stayed in one place long enough for me to get a shot, but for this particular moment they happened to decide—on their own—to show off their new superhero status. How much more cuteness can you get?
This image was shot indoors with fluorescent lighting. Below is the image straight out of the camera. For all the steps I’m showing today, I’ve done a standard sharpening which I apply to all blog images.
I always shoot in RAW so that I have flexibility with adjusting the white balance. Some photographers adjust the white balance in-camera, but I always shoot with auto white balance and adjust images in Camera RAW if necessary. I found that when I tried to adjust the white balance in-camera, too often I forgot to change the settings when I changed environments, so using auto white balance was just easier. With the fluorescent lighting giving the photo a yellowish cast, I did a simple white balance adjustment on the RAW image before converting it to a jpg.
Next, I brightened the boys’ eyes a bit in Photoshop using a layer mask, painting over just the areas I wanted to brighten. It’s a small thing, but it really draws emphasis on the eyes.
Finally, I added a little extra sharpness, contrast, and saturation. It’s subtle, but it gives the image that extra pop. And here’s the final result!