Editing with Curves

While writing all of these vacation recaps, I continually found myself frustrated by the color quality of my photos.

"Why isn't the ocean bluer in this picture!?!? It was so BLUE in real life!" I would wail to no one in particular.

So, I pulled out my Photoshop CS4 book, and I started researching color correcting. Great scott! I should have learned this years ago!!!

Here is the very first picture that I color corrected (in it's original version):

Pretty, right???

But that's not what it LOOKED like!!! It was soooo much brighter, sooo much bluer, so much more everything!  So with a few slight adjustments using curves I was able to recreate colors much truer to what they actually looked like.  Here is the edited photo:

That's more like it! Do you see the difference? Scroll back up and look at the original again.  Now the edit. Do you agree that it looks better? Do you believe me when I say that the second image is what it REALLY looked like?!?

Here's one more example, before editing and after.

The edits are definitely subtle, which makes sense, considering that they weren't bad pictures in the original form.  Basically I just tried to remove that whitish-colored "film" that seemed to make all of the original photos look bland and washed out.  I like to think that I was successful, but do you agree?  In the color-corrected version, I feel like the strip of aqua blue water that is located where the sky meets the water really "pops" more than it did in the original.

I'm going to need to start spending more time on editing my photos before posting them, especially ones that I know how particularly beautiful colors which are being washed out by light. It's time consuming, so not all photos are going to get edited, but I think that the small improvement is enough to make it worth it for some of the better pictures.

And finally, a question for any other blogger/blogspot users - Do you know how to layout pictures side-by-side? I couldn't seem to figure that out.


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