Before & After: inaugral edition

  • Camera: Nikon D60
  • Lens: 55-200mm
  • Settings: Auto
  • Editing: Picnik
  • Effects: cropped (using Rule of Thirds), resized, adjusted color saturation (+), increased sharpness, added watermark

The only changes I made to the original image was to resize for posting and add a watermark.

I have Aperture 3 photo-editing software installed on my MacBook, where I do the vast majority of my photo storage and editing, but have still not learned how to use it. My bad, since it seems to be fairly straightforward. That’s my new challenge in the coming months, to finally run through the tutorial and start using that editing tool.

At one time, I had the pro version of Picnik – having won a promotional free month, but found that I didn’t use the advanced features enough to justify keeping the paid edition. Sometimes I also simply use the editing tools in iPhoto, but I can’t add a watermark with that program.

While anyone can still steal your photos if they are watermarked, it makes it difficult to claim for their own if your name is plastered across the image. I started adding a copyright to my photos sometime in late 2009. It’s also a good way to keep track of when you originally took the photos.

If you’re playing along, please click on the Mr. Linky and add the URL of your Before & After post (not your homepage address). Then, come back to check out the other participants and offer critiques on their photos. Please remember to be polite and respectful.

The rules:

  • The link up opens on Saturday – feel free to add your posts throughout the week
  • Add a link to Before & After in your post, along with the button (code info can be found under the navigation bar link)
  • Leave a comment on my post
  • When possible, include the following information in your post regarding your photos:
    • Camera used
    • Camera settings
    • Lens used
    • Editing software used
    • Editing effects
  • Visit other participants and leave comments, reply to other critiques – keep the conversation going
  • Remember, these are critiques not criticisms. Be helpful, give advice or suggestions, don’t only be negative, or hurtful.
  • Questions for other participants related to camera settings, techniques, editing, etc… may be included in posts. If other participants can help, please add answers or recommendations in your comments
  • No vulgar or violent images – the definition is left to my discretion. I will delete any link I feel violates this rule
  • Any link that goes to a homepage and not the post permalink, or is obviously spam, will also be deleted
  • Keep comments on topic; no personal attacks or otherwise trollish behavior

Posted by

I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

12 thoughts on “Before & After: inaugral edition

  1. Interestingly, I like the before shot better for two reasons: it gives me the sense of where that sign and creature are and the shadow as his little head sticking out.


  2. I like this shot- especially the after affect, which is strange because I don’t know if I have ever intentionally cropped most of an image out. Personally, I have always felt like it was an unspoken rule to keep the entire focal point (which I’m guessing for you was the lizard)in the shot or it’s not “a good shot”. In this case, I am totally wrong because I love your after more than the original picture! 🙂


    1. With this, I got in as close as I could with the zoom lens, but was afraid to get much closer and scare the lizard away. When possible I do frame shots more in-camera, but I’ve never had an issue with cropping… and sometimes cropping most of the shot out.


  3. The most effective bit of editing for me is the cropping. Bring the sign and lizard closer gives the photo life. I’m not sure if the additional color/detail is the result of the increased saturation or sharpness, but it would have been interesting to see the interim with only one or the other applied. I find that when I do either of those edits, I frequently end up backing them off again because the photo starts to look “photoshopped.” I don’t think yours looks that way, except in comparison to the unedited version. The added detail in the lizard is great, the sign color less so. But the overall finished product works.


  4. I don’t know if my camera allows me to up the sharpness or not, I will have to look. Over the past month, I have started experimenting with the over/under exposure settings to try to control overexposure of bright whites.


    1. I have seen in my camera menu where I can do more to re-set shooting options, but need to work on manual settings more. When I was in college, I took a journalism photography class and learned all about that. But, I’ve forgotten almost every thing. I’m thinking about taking some courses at our local community college.


  5. I’ve read in many a DSLR tutorial and pro that we should set our sharpness to +2 or +3 as a default. I see that you’ve tweaked it up in post editing but I’m wondering if you set yours a little higher as well? Basically that’s a general question out there to you and anyone out to anyone who reads 🙂


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