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Before-And-After Feature: Seeing The Potential

It's been a while since I've written in my blog, so I thought I'd might share some of my latest work with you.

I'm not going to go into detail about the retouching process (I can't reveal all my secrets), but I will let you know a little bit about my thoughs around the editing.

It's all about seeing the potential in a photo. When I first look at a series after a finished photoshoot, there are many photos I want to delete and never see again. But based on experience, you might see something different in those photos later on. So I keep them. The first photo that inspired this blog is a photo of the Pinto gelding Tommy Z, shot in June this year. You might say that it's overexposed, and I might agree. I will also agree that the following photos are not my finest photography moments, but rather some of my finer retouching moments :))

The upper photo is straight out of camera (so are all the other 'before'-photos in this blog).

At first glance, this is a photo for the recycle bin. But with a wonderful tool in Paintshop called "Fade Correction" something a little magical happens and the photo becomes something you want to work on :)

There is absolutely no manipulation going on in this photo except for removing the girls hand. Then sun was there, so was the glare. Just had to use the right tools to make them beautiful.

The golden hour is sometimes even shorter than an hour, and sometimes you're not finished when the sun has set. The photos loses some of their warmth and light. But hey; nothing is perfect - and with the right tools and some patience you can re-create some of that golden magic. Some may say it's cheating, but you have to remember; the camera cannot see what the human eye sees, and most of the time I try to make my photos look like what I saw right there.

The photo to the right is definately more right :) That is what my eyes saw that evening.

Photography and children are two challenging things to combine. Allthough Linnea was exceptionally easy to work with, the pony (Hannah) didn't like the bugs and was somewhat impatient at times :) We took a break on the grass, giving Hannah the time to calm down and have something to eat. I can be quite the little monster myself on an empty stomach :p However, in this example I'll show you a little trick. I often experience that the horse and the girl are a bit "out-of-sync" posing wise. So I've simply combined two photos to make a new one. If you look a bit closer, you can see that I've used Hannah from one photo and Linnea from another.

Who said cheating was bad!?

White horses at dusk is most likely going to give you the blues.. Rey is actually not blue, so I had to clean him up a bit in post-processing. Simply use the magic wand and select the horse, choose hue/saturation/lightness and dim the blue and cyan tones.

Clean, white horsey :)

Here is another example at the same scenario, but with the features of this horse, he becomes "dirty" instead. So you have to clean a little bit here too;

And why not take off the bridle aswell.

These are a few examples of photos that didn't turn out all that well straight out of camera and that needed a little TLC. I will follow up with a new blog featuring photos that are close to unedited. I always aim to do the best I can when I take the photo so that there is a minimal amount of work to be done afterwards. But remember to look for the potential in photos that at first glance look useless. It's important to have some fun when retouching - it really improves your skills! I hope you like the blog (and maybe also found it a bit helpful).

Thank you so much for reading!

My very best wishes;

Anette Augestad

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