Welcome to day 6 of 31 Days of Before & After Shots! This photo comes from our (in)courage authors’ retreat in Hilton Head last month. The shot held such potential with the subject matter, footprints, reflections in the sand, and of course the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately the sunlight was almost gone, the sky growing gray.

Day 6 - Before

Day 6 - After

The Edits:

  1. Crop (I moved in closer and also moved the horizon line from near the center of the photograph to one-third from the top—I’m all about the rule of thirds!)
  2. Use the Make It Better – Auto Tone preset, a free download on Sean McGrath Free and Premium Lightroom Presets page. This boosts color saturation and contrast.
  3. Tweak exposure (brightness).
  4. For the sky, decrease exposure and increase saturation and clarity (I use a graduated filter in Lightroom—see the graduated filter tool circled below).
  5. Increase contrast and clarity in the sand (once again, I used a graduated filter for this).
  6. Add a light vignette (darken the edges).

I would love to know what software you use to edit your photos. Feel free to tell me in the comments or email it to me if you’re an email subscriber.

Find Day 1 and links to the whole series here. Be sure to subscribe for email updates either at the end of this post or over on the right above my picture to receive new posts in your inbox each day.

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

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

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