Who’s ready to see 10 handpicked photos with the before and after editing comparison, as well as description on how I acquired every edit? Am I hearing “Me, me”? Great, then you’re in the right place! If you didn’t come here from my Instagram, but want to know what’s going on – tap here to open up my Instagram page and see all the photos that I share. This blog post is an insight on how I end up with the photos in my Instagram.
For my edits I usually use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Occasionally I also use Topaz Sharpen AI or Topaz Denoise AI to cure the imperfections of the photos. If you haven’t yet read my blog post on how to recover and fix bad photos, you can tap on the link I added to the text. I have described multiple tools and techniques that I use in my editing process to fix blurry, noisy, badly framed photos, as well as to remove distractions in my photos.
But enough about all that. Let’s get started on the 10 edits, shall we?
The 10 before and after editing photos I chose to show you
You can use the slider to reveal the before and after of each of these photos. The photos are interactive so that you would be able to compare the photos more easily! Let my edits inspire you to try something similar in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and PicsArt (not used in these edits, but can do many things that Photoshop can do). Feel free to visit my Instagram to find all of these photos already posted.
I don’t think I have ever shared a photo of these flowers in my gallery. I have shared yellow Fritillarias, but not these purple ones. First time for everything 🙂
For this edit I started in Lightroom, where I made most of the adjustments. As a starter I used a preset which includes the Camera calibration setting. It’s available in Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop only, so I have them saved as presets for my mobile. That helped me to change the greens to oranges, and the purples to blues. I’ve graded the highlights more orange, as well as I’ve changed the yellow to more orange to acquire such vivid orange background. The blues have been desaturated and brightened to accent the beautiful pattern on these flowers. I’ve played with other settings as well, and then I transferred the photo to Adobe Photoshop.
Using Adobe Photoshop I removed some distractions (the bright area on the top, as well as the leaf on the right side under the flower). Content aware fill is a great tool for that. If the transitions are harsh, I usually finish the area with spot healing brush tool. I have also evened out the background in the lower part of the photo to make it less distracting. Not to have the need to crop the photo in as much, I expanded the right side to have it wider. As a finishing touch I added some bokeh overlays to compliment the already existing bokeh in the lower part of the photo.
Starting with Lightroom, I warmed up the greens to get more yellow/orange tone. Then I desaturated most of the colors by using the HSL tool. Clarity, dehaze and vignette tools helped me to draw the attention on the flowers more. To end the process in Lightroom, I used selective editing to accent the background and the flowers more.
In Adobe Photoshop I tweaked the tones a little bit more in the Camera RAW filter through the calibration settings. If only they would be available in Lightroom CC.. Who’s with me? Then I removed the distractions from the background. The top of the grass felt too distracting to me, as well as the notch in the bokeh bubble. Expanding the frame helped me to have the 4:5 crop without being too close. Some more soft background accents around the flower and the edit is finished.
Did you suspect that the original has no foreground flowers? *The magic of editing* 😉
I started with choosing a profile “Modern 08” in Lightroom, which helped me acquire the tone of the yellow and blue I wanted. Changing the temperature to colder helped me tune the whole background to a cold green/blue hue. I like how it accented the flower. The yellow then was altered to more orange tones (I’m guilty for doing it to a lot of my yellow photos). Adding dehaze and Vignette accented the flower in the center much better. To add more depth to the flower, I used selective editing and brightened the center of the flower.
Now that I more or less had the tones that I wanted, I switched to Photoshop. I removed the flower on the right from the scenery. But since the photo now felt too empty, I decided to use the flower to make my own overlay for this scenery. I cropped out the flower with the object selection tool and copied it to a new layer. Then I converted the layer to a smart object and added Gaussian blur on it. Such layer was duplicated multiple times until I ended up with 4 layers, each having a different intensity of the Gaussian blur. I placed them around the left and bottom area to add an effect of having foreground flowers in front of the frame.
This dreamy scenery was achieved in Lightroom and Photoshop (just like every other edit in this blog. Maybe I should stop mentioning this? Or maybe not!). In Lightroom I used the curves tool to uplift the shadows and color the shadows to a more blue hue. Increasing the temperature added a warmer tone in the background. I changed the yellows to orange, desaturated the greens, lightened up the blues and changed them to pink. I accented the flowers with a vignette and finally used selective editing to accent parts of the flowers and background more.
Since healing and cloning tools don’t stand close to what I can do in Photoshop, that’s what I did next. Noticed the distracting branch disappearing? Content aware fill is the best tool to remove distractions in photos. Then I changed the tones more to my liking with a “Selective color” adjustment layer. Another way how I changed the background tones is with a layer that uses “Color dodge” as a blending mode. One more magical bokeh overlay later, and the edit is finished.
Most of this edit was done in Adobe Lightroom. Before I describe what I did, you can tap here to open up the edit in Lightroom and see all the steps yourself.
I often start with a preset that has Camera calibration saved as a setting (I have multiple such settings with different calibration settings). After uplifting the shadows and darker parts of the photo, I used an “S-curve” line in the curve settings for both red, green and blue to add more contrast to all the colors. Increasing the warmth made the green more yellow, and reducing the saturation made the blues more faded and dreamy. I made the yellow more orange, desaturated the greens and blues more, and accented the details with the clarity, texture and dehaze settings. Vignette draws more attention to the center of the frame, and so does radial gradient when used on the bumblebee and brightened up.
Later in Adobe Photoshop I blurred the background on top, added a soft haze all around the bumblebee and finally added the light on the top right corner.
Just like the previous edit, also this was started with a calibration setting. “Modern 04” profile made the tones cooler and brighter. I have made some magic with the tone curves that changed the colors a lot. The shadows have gained green and magenta color, and the highlights – a little bit of blue. Adding warmth and magenta tint as well as using color grading helped me get the tone of the lilacs that you see in the final image. Since after the adjustments the yellow was too vivid, I have reduced the saturation of a yellow color through the color mix tool. I finalized the Lightroom edit with some selective editing radial gradients to brighten up the center lilacs and tone the surrounding area differently.
As you can see, the scenery has gained some foreground accents, which have been added through Photoshop. I selected, cropped and blurred the lilacs from this photo. After combining those with some adjustments and placing them on the sides, the scenery has more depth. I used a layer with “Color dodge” blending mode to color the background to more warm tones and brighten it up. A magical floating dust overlay adds just the spark that I wanted to finish the edit.
Photographing anemones in a tiny jar was my goal for this Spring as I saw other users simply nailing this scenery. If you remember from my post, I used a tinfoil and a light source for this bokehlicious background.
Since I took this photo with my 50mm lens at f/1.8 setting, I took multiple shots and focus stacked them in Photoshop. Then I switched to Lightroom:
A profile “Modern 08” was the perfect choice to get that blue hue of the flowers. A cooler temperature got rid of all the yellow in the background. I got the hue of the blue I wanted, using color mix tool by lightening up the purples and changing them to more blue tone. With the help of linear gradient (selective editing) I reduced the “dehaze” setting and lightened up all of the surrounding scenery to add that dreamy look to the photo.
I used Adobe Photoshop to remove the distracting branch near the cone, as well as add some more bokeh in the background in spots where I did not capture it that well.
So many have been a fan of this dreamy purple lilac and butterfly photo and edit. So let me tell you how I edited it!
I started (and did all the main edits) in Lightroom. Uplifted shadows (can be done through curves tool) is a must for a moody edit like this. Reducing temperature and changing tint to more magenta color helped me to extract the right tone of purple on the lilacs. I reduced the saturation of the green tone through the color mix. As you can see, there is not much of a green color in the final photo. Adding dehaze throughout the whole photo made the purple in the background pop more. And by now you must have already know the step to draw the accent to the butterfly more, right? By adding vignette! If you still don’t, hold down your finger and select the white area to reveal the setting 😉
Only few edits were done in Photoshop. I enhanced the tone of the purple through the camera calibration settings in the camera raw filter and removed the yellow hue from the butterfly wings.
This beautiful tulip scenery was captured with the low Sun – at 20:30 in the evening. The Sun shined just enough to give this scenery the soft bokeh.
The edit was done in Lightroom and Photoshop. In Lightroom I brightened up the photo, lifted up the shadows and made the scenery more warm. I also changed the hue of the flowers to more pink.
Then in Photoshop I masked the centered flower in a separate layer so that my adjustments don’t affect the flower. After content aware filling the area where the flower was – I blurred the background flowers. I left the bokeh untouched so that the bokeh bubbles stay sharp.
A little bit of light coming from top brightens up the scenery. Then I used an overlay I created for the yellow tulip I showed you 6 photos back. I placed it on the bottom – to serve as the idea of having other flowers in front of the scenery. Initially it was yellow, but I changed it to purple to match the flower. I then added some bokeh overlays on some places and matched them with backgrounds color. To add the magical vibe, I added floating particles overlay over the photo.
I finished the edit with some color changes in the photo, using a layer with blend mode set to “Color dodge”. I’ve recently beloved using it, and it worked so well for this photo!
Should I even say that this was the most voted photo to be included in my Before&After blog? Well, I am now, in case you did not vote for it 😉
Since the depth of field was so shallow, I could not get both the petals and the center of the flower sharp, I snapped two photos and combined them through focus stacking in Photoshop.
I started the edit with a camera calibration preset to get the right tone of the orange for the flower center. The profile “Modern 04” brightened and toned the petals just enough for me. Reducing the temperature introduced cooler tones in the background. But what got the blue tone for real was a radial gradient with reduced temperature. But with this, the edit has only just started, and got continued in Adobe Photoshop for some real magic.
Now that I had the daisy flower on a blue background, I had to make the background less distracting and more complementary to the flower. I started by blurring the background on more distracting spots (the lower flower). As well as I also removed the distracting flower on the bottom to have more clear scenery. Then I added a bokeh overlay with radial blur applied to get a swirly bokeh effect around the flower. But I made it very minimal not to have it too distracting. I also blurred the top flower with more intensive blurring effect than the bottom one, to have an effect of it being closer to the camera.
To add more flowers in the background, I used the object selection tool, selected and copied the daisy to a new layer. I made that into a smart object (to be able to change the blur effect) and blurred it via the gaussian blur. With multiple such layers scattered around the scenery, each having different blurring intensity and opacity, I acquired a more busy scenery, as if this was shot in a meadow full of flowers. I finalized the edit with some light on top and bottom of the photo to accent the main flower more.
With this blog post and my before and after editing comparisons I hope to inspire you. Inspire you to try and include Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom in your editing software list, if you don’t already. If you already use these programs then my aim is to teach you new settings to play around with for an even more magical and enchanted sceneries for your floral and macro photos.
If you are unsure of where the described settings are in each of the programs, you can feel free to message me on Instagram – I will gladly help you 🙂
In case you haven’t seen my other before and after blog posts, feel free to check those out. Tap on the part name to open up each blog post – Part 8, Part 7, Part 6, Part 5, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, Part 1.