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31 Days of Before & After Shots

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Welcome! I’m joining Nester for another 31 Days series during the month of October and my topic is 31 Days of Before & After Shots.

Some of my favorite photos have humble beginnings. Many are very average before edits, which might be as simple as cropping or converting to black and white. Most photographers will only show their best work, but I’m going to share both the original and final image and the steps I took to get from one to the other.

I use Lightroom 4 (my favorite software program, ever), but I’ll try to describe the edits in a way that makes sense no matter what program you use. I’ll post links to specific presets I’ve downloaded from other sites, however, to help you Lightroom users. (If you decide to dive in and try Lightroom, you can start downloading Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 in minutes. Try a 30-day free trial or purchase for $149 or $79 with an education discount—perfect for students, teachers, or homeschoolers.)

Use the email subscription form at the bottom of this post or over on the right above my picture have each day’s post delivered directly to your inbox! Please check your email immediately and click the link in the follow-up email you’ll receive from FeedBurner to confirm your subscription.

Just to make things even more fun, I’ll give away Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 later this month!

I’ll link up all 31 days posts right here. (I have other non-31 Days posts scheduled this month, so some days there will be two.) If you’re writing a 31 Days series, please leave it in the comments.

Links to all 31 Days of Before & After Shots:

  • Day 1 (this post)
  • Day 2 (B&W portrait with skin edits)
  • Day 3 (circle of feet, warmed up)
  • Day 4 (retro Coca-Cola cooler with vintage processing)
  • Day 5 (Scott Kelby B&W concert shot)
  • Day 6 (Hilton Head beach shot)
  • Day 7 (B&W moment captured)
  • Day 8 (high key)
  • Day 9 (cropping away distractions)
  • Day 10 (removing distractions/vintage processing)
  • Day 11 (vintage car in sepia)
  • Day 12 (Veterans’ Day)
  • Day 13 (vintage processed beach shot)
  • Day 14 (Michael Hyatt B&W – tell your story with processing)
  • Day 15 (breaking the rules and my Adobe story)
  • Day 16 (foxglove)
  • Day 17 (B&W baby portrait)
  • Day 18 (old barrel in Cades’ Cove – a favorite shot)
  • Day 19 (skin editing)
  • Day 20 (reducing clarity)
  • Day 21 (field of flags)
  • Day 22  (composite snow image)
  • Day 23 (B&W headshots and how to use them for an event)
  • Day 24 (nostalgic effect portrait)
  • Day 25 (broken wheel)
  • Day 26 (Snapseed)
  • Day 27 (grunge effect with texture overlay)
  • Day 28 (crop to get the image you want)
  • Day 29 (the onion)
  • Day 30 (editing skin)
  • Day 31 (Coca-Cola sign)

[Click here to read my first two 31 Days series, 31 Days of Encouragement and 31 Days of Real Life.]

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

Disclosure: Affiliate links used.
 

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  • Spring September 30, 2012, 9:47 pm

    I am looking forward to this series! I just got my first “real camera” last spring, and have a lot to learn! :)
    Spring´s last [post] ..31 Days of Embracing Autumn: So Long Seasonal Affective Disorder

    • Dawn September 30, 2012, 11:59 pm

      Awesome, Spring—I hope this series helps! Thanks for visiting. :)

  • Rita Joy October 1, 2012, 12:50 am

    Oh, yeah! I’m so excited about this series. I have so much to learn in this area… I’m floundering around trying to learn Photoshop. Is Lightroom similar? Either way, I will eagerly come each day to learn from you. (Your blog is so sweet and welcoming, by the way.) I’m looking forward to getting to know you more.
    Rita Joy´s last [post] ..31 Ways to Make Home Uniquely You

    • Dawn October 1, 2012, 1:58 pm

      Rita Joy, I think Lightroom is much easier. I do 95% of editing in LR and then take the rest into Photoshop (usually if I want to do something big like add text or remove something larger in the picture). Welcome!

  • Jessica B October 1, 2012, 10:17 am

    I have had photoshop on my computer for a year now and still don’t know how to use it. Sad yes I know. Looking forward to seeing your tips! I am participating in 31 days as well.
    http://www.jlfbarnes.blogspot.com/2012/09/31-days-of-everyday-photos.html
    Jessica B´s last [post] ..Photo 1 {31 Days}

    • Dawn October 1, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Jessica B, I’m glad you’re here! I remember the days when I just opened Photoshop, became overwhelmed, and shut it again for another couple of weeks. :)

  • Dianne - Bunny Trails October 1, 2012, 10:27 am

    What a fun 31 Days subject, Dawn! Looking forward to it.
    Dianne – Bunny Trails´s last [post] ..My Desk

    • Dawn October 1, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Dianne, it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. If you have any kind of photo suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

  • Amy @ Woodlawn Lane October 1, 2012, 10:57 am

    I am so looking forward to following your series! I have had my dslr for a year and a half now, but have just recently started editing photos on PSE and LR 4, I LOVE looking at before and after photos!

    • Dawn October 1, 2012, 2:17 pm

      Amy, it sounds like you’ve got the software, so that’s a good start!

  • Odile October 1, 2012, 5:02 pm

    I love taking pictures!!!

  • Cheri October 2, 2012, 12:07 pm

    I’ve been my family’s resident “shutter bug” for a long while now, but I’ve only just recently begun doing any sort of editing. Typically, I just use picmonkey, because it’s easy and free! Years ago, my husband brought home an older version of PS, which was totally overwhelming for me. That was a few PCs ago, so I’m not even sure it’s compatible anymore, but I should see if it’s still around. I’ve worked in Pixlr a time or two, and it’s still seems pretty complicated. I’m looking forward to learning a few things this month.

    (I’m working on 31 Days of the Small Screen)
    Cheri´s last [post] ..October Challenges

  • Jennifer October 2, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Oh my gosh thank you for this!! I’m trying to self teach elements and I’m so slow at it so I usually give up and use Picassa (oh for shame ;).
    Looking forward to following along.
    Jennifer
    ’31 days of pinspiration’
    Jennifer´s last [post] ..Day 2 – Crock Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup (gluten free)

  • Tonya October 2, 2012, 9:05 pm

    Hi Dawn! My 31 Day Challenge is 31 Days of Journaling Prompts.
    http://frogdiva.com/2012/09/26/31-days-of-journaling-prompts/

    I had to start easy on my first year of the challenge :) I look forward to learning more about photography editing through October with you.
    Tonya´s last [post] ..31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Balance

  • jane@flightplatformliving October 6, 2012, 2:52 am

    yay got my first camera in feb and have never edited!

    • Dawn October 6, 2012, 12:08 pm

      Jane, welcome to the world of editing! :)

  • jane@flightplatformliving October 6, 2012, 2:54 am

    following along now, lovely to find you from 31!
    jane@flightplatformliving´s last [post] ..31!

  • Tracey October 8, 2012, 8:47 am

    Dawn ~ You are a blessing! Thank you for sharing!! XOXO