Photography: Before and Afters

Ever since I purchased my Pentax K110d digital SLR I have become, not OBSESSED, but interested in photography, and how I can get the most out of my entry-level body. (the camera, not my own body, just in case you were confused..) I want to show you how you can get your SOOC (straight out of camera) shots to look a little more well-shot and have a little more of that professional look. I said a little, because most of my shots aren't magazine quality, but I luck out sometimes..

I started out with Photoshop Elements which helped me edit photos a little more specifically than I ever did, and it allowed me the freedom to play around. I watched tutorials online and they were always so helpful, but everyone was always using the professional version of Photoshop, CS3, or the newer CS4. Well finally I gained access to a copy through my school, and I've been able to play around with "actions" and more of the manual functions of the program. With the photos I am showing you today I will be using Pioneer Woman's FREE actions found here as well as editing on my own to complete the look. Her whole photography section has helped me TONNES, so if you're at the point where you want to start learning more, read her articles, they rock!

So here are some of my before and afters from yesterday's excursion to the PNE. It's BC's state fair, kinda... Animals, rides, bad food.. you know.. Click on any pic to see it larger, although some of them are still VERY large..

*edited to add: I included one more edit of the photo because I wasn't happy with it, and "B" commented that I should have lightened just under the hat. The one on the right is where I used that technique.. I used a bunch of different actions on this one to slightly lighten up his face under his hat, and alter the colours a little. Then I cropped it, and played with the colour of the sno cone so it actually showed it's greeniness.

This photo is dark. Too dark for my taste. 
So I lightened it, and applied an action that made it look a little vintage.
I was trying to capture the "perfect" shot of the carosel that showed 
its art and antique nature. 
I think is a slight improvement. Although I wish I had an original photo with more contrast....
On my wedding pictures the photographer got the sky to really pop, so I wanted to try that.
It's not a HUGE difference, but the sky is now BLUE, where before it was greyish. 
This was a photo I just plain screwed up. 
Right before this we were in a dark room so I had all my settings set for that!
THEN I didn't check my shots till AFTER Phoenix was done with the game. 
So I had to FIX this shot. Sometimes Photoshop is good for that too. Fixing. A lot..
 So this one turned out not bad! I colour-burned it, darkened it, fixed the levels...
Almost everything that could be done to save this shot was done... 
Now I will show you a couple of shots that haven't been altered in any way to show you that sometimes the photos are perfect as is. 

These are a couple of shots of my brother's army band.
It wasn't nearly as dark at it appears, but I was fiddling with the ISO, aperture and such 
to get this silhouette look.
So if you have the patience/desire, play around with your photos! It's fun, and sometimes you get great results. Other times, well.... there's always the "revert" button!! lol

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