The moment was perfect. We were on vacation, walking with friends on the beach at sunset in Southampton. It was one of those wonderful moments when the sun cast everything in a perfect golden light. But in my rush to capture this scene, I grabbed my camera and snapped the shot, forgetting some basic principles of photography. The resulting shot doesn’t do justice to the moment–the lighting is all off. The foreground is too dark and the color in the background looks pale, washed out. A classic oops moment.
So now post processing comes to the rescue. In Photoshop, the first step is to bump up the contrast and use the dodge tool to lighten up the foreground. This adds more detail and depth to the shot. As you can see, some grasses and a lone yellow flower come into view.
As a next step, I use the burn tool to deepen some of the shadows in the sand and use the color adjustment tool to bring out the blue of the sky.
And now, here we have it. The final shot with the light adjusted and the color much closer to that original golden moment on the beach.
Do you agree that the final shot is a lot prettier and more aesthetically pleasing than the original?
For those of you who are plunging into the dark and cold winter months, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the next beach vacation. I am! Where do you want to go? What are your favorite beaches?