Before and After……

My gardens are finished for this year, with a few straggling hollyhock blooms and die-hard daisies lending an intermittent spot of color to the landscape. While waiting for the full glory of Autumn I look to my archives for inspiration, photos I have yet to edit. Here are two shots of a crab apple spray, taken in mid-April this year. I decided to include the ‘before’ image this time, to give you an idea of the editing process.

It helps if there’s not a lot of background to eliminate; over time and repetition (not to mention trial and error and error and error), I’ve developed my own ‘formula’ for dealing with that. Every photographer has his or her own preferences and as long as you arrive at the desired end, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to go about it. I used to moan about the fact that there were only round editing tools for square images….until the day I discovered the airbrush function. I’ve never taken any classes; I’m self-taught, so things that might seem obvious to a more experienced photographer/skilled editor are like huge ‘A-HA’ moments for me. Airbrush is my new best friend! I usually play with the color values, too, and the light/dark ratio. As you can see from the original shot versus the finished one, I started with a fairly light image….and ended with a darker, more dramatic presentation. Although there’s background, it’s indistinct to begin with. Think about the mood you want your shot to convey and then experiment until you find a combination that works for you.

If photography is about patience, editing is patience squared. It takes a little time to find your ‘sweet spot’ so….keep shooting, keep editing….and above all, have fun! I promise you, it’s well worth the effort.

Crabapple Blooms, E67, Crop      Tulips, Lupine, Crabapple Blooms APR 19 2015, Late Afternoon 081

Crabapple Blooms, E67, Crop; Version II, Watermark      Tulips, Lupine, Crabapple Blooms APR 19 2015, Late Afternoon 081



  1. Your work always inspires and often makes me smile. I am glad you have found your ‘sweet spot’ and am looking forward to much more of you!

    • You’re right, Joy–they both have a beauty of their own. I’m glad you liked them both–I thought it would be fun to post the original with the editing photo, for a change. A ‘behind the scenes,’ as it were. I so enjoy reading your blog and your lovely photos! Hugs, Celia

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