My husband often says he likes the original photos before I work them up. What he really means is that he likes the ones where I’ve done some work, but not too much. Raw photos are dull as dishwater and usually need some work. There are also plenty of folks who feel “straight out of camera” is the only way to go. Like it’s some kind of sin to crop or remove a sign or other unwanted thing. I used to be one of those people. I did not like HDR or anything I considered “overworked”. Now I love it!
I started out using film. It was more of a what you get is what you got world. Sure there were ways to cut, paste, burn, dodge, tone, etc. But what a pain in the ass most of it was. Also, the chemicals. Ick. I know people who still use film. I don’t miss it. Digital has given me a whole new way to express myself with photography.
Here are some straight out of camera shots (raw), before I straighten, lighten, or fix color. Then the basic versions, after I do those things. And a few of the ones where I “overworked” them. I love them, but some people don’t enjoy them quite the way I do.
Feel free to share your own before and after. I would love to see them! Any feedback is also welcome!
Straight out of the camera, this image is dull and a little dark
This is more colorful and has a little more impact.
An old road side store in rural Tennessee. It’s old, rotting, falling apart, but the flag still stands.
It’s dark and drab. Sometimes when you are traveling, you get one chance. I had been out on a bright
So much more colorful and inviting. A small cafe sits in the courtyard at the end of this tunnel in Budapest.
This is one of my favorite photos ever. But it started out dark and drab and oh so crooked.
What a difference a little work makes! An open window over Market Square. A young woman takes a selfie.
I like the black and white, but I still prefer the color version of this one.
The before isn’t terrible, but there are spots in the sky. It’s a little dull.
Doesn’t this look better? The Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, glows in the golden light of the setting sun.
This fine. But it feels dull and dark. Boring
The Howard J. Baker Federal Courthouse has an arched entry and a beautiful clock tower and cupola.
The glow is there, but there are a few distracting elements and it just needs a little extra oomph.
I love this photo! I love this version. It glows, it’s warm, it’s inviting.
The same glow but not as warm and inviting. It feels like an old documentary photo.
It’s crooked! The gold glows, but the windows are blown out and details get lost. It looks like a snapshot
This feels painterly and soft. It glows and the window detail is there. I love this version!
A little crooked and cool for my taste.
I love the finish on this. It really brings out the detail in the scrollwork.
The colors are uneven. Is it warm, is it cool? I almost didn’t work it at all.
Black and white or toning is a good way to handle uneven lighting, especially in dark places.
It’s fine. But I wanted a different feel for this group of photos.
The back porch is overgrown with weeds, as the cover threatens to fall in.
I don’t mind the original version of this one.
The side doors stand open, hanging from the hinges, threatening to fall off at any time.