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Dash of Inspiration: Before and After

April 14, 2014

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

Before and After

As many of you are doing, I too have been busy giving my old cards a boost and in many cases that means a complete overhaul for the photograph itself. Since I’ve already shared in previous posts about the tools available and what I use, I’m sticking to some more before and after images in this post. The hope is to offer more inspiration for you to not only improve all those old, bland images, but also to encourage you to begin to see the difference between photographs that are greeting card worthy and those which are blandly, not.

In the American River example here, I used a variety of tools from Topaz Labs, Nik Software and Perfect Photo Suite 7 to create the final imagery. Always bringing the image back into Photoshop CS-5 for ultimate control over  the strength of the modifications within various areas of the image. Notice too, that I cloned out some of the distracting dead branches on the right. The original image has muddy contrast, is unexciting and would likely be declined as unmarketable. The ‘after’ image has the WOW factor and therefore will draw potential customers to the cards I use my improved image on.

Image_04142014_1 - April 14

In the Autumn Lane image, once again the original would have no doubt been declined for poor lighting, lack of sharpness, and considering the lack of autumn color required in polished fall imagery, it may have been declined as non-competitive. However, using the same tools as I mentioned above, I was able to bring those rich hues out in the leaves, lighten the image to give it more punch, give the sky a deeper hue and sharpen it a bit creating a very inviting autumn image that may draw the customer to my card.

Image_04142014_2 - april 14

Lastly, ocean, beach and sunset scenes are a dime a dozen folks. If you don’t make them truly eye-catching or unique they can not … will not be competitive in the marketplace. Below, the original image lacks contrast and has muted tones which in this image are boring with no subject to make the image interesting. The original image is likely to be declined, if for no other reason than No Thank You, meaning it can not compete with the other cards in the category.  Again, using the same tools, I PULLED the color and tonal values out the image. Using masks,  I darkened the mountains and lightened the palm frond without touching the rest of the image. Now I have an image that with a bit more work will stand out in the marketplace.

Image_04142014_3 - april 14

Worth a review of the tools I’ve referred to in this post: Getting the Most out of Photographs

So, until next week … Learn … Create … Inspire!

 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2014 10:20 pm

    Excellent examples Doreen, thank you! The difference is made, or lost, in the details.

  2. April 21, 2014 1:38 pm

    Wow, I missed this! Beautiful before and afters.

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