Photo Editing

Malibu Rock. Before & After.

I grabbed my 5D and I headed for the beach. It has almost become second nature for me now. It is my escape from reality. My time to just hang out and take pictures. As much as you can relax and take pictures… it happens during this time.

Not true. Grey skies. Still I took pictures half out of habit and routine the other half because there is always the photographer in me saying “you never know… you just never know.”

After going through all of my grey beach pictures and wishing, hell, almost seeing that the sun was there I fired up Aperture and tried to come up with some sort of solution. It turns out after messing with levels and curves (along with basic adjustments) I came up with a look that I really enjoyed. The photos took on a whole new character and they looked as if that is how they were supposed to be all along.

The above photo is my favorite from that day. What started as me standing there, taking a picture of this random rock because I like pelicans turned out to be this moment captured in time.


First, once I realized that I could get a great look out of this the wheels started spinning. Why did I love this photo so much? What made it so special? I realized that it was so thoughtful and so frozen in that exact moment. There were no blue skies, no lens flares, no blue water with crashing waves… it just… was. Then I realized that half of the birds had their head buried so I took them out being as it was an easy background. I ended up loving it and getting rid of all but one.

Long story short. Heres what I learned.

Everyone has their “grey photo”. Whether it’s a blown out sky or a dark one. Maybe its birds that are burying their heads like they are on Antarctica or kids who won’t look at the camera.  The photo, after taken, is at your mercy – at your discretion. Sometimes you can get lucky and make it work, sometimes not. It’s easy to get discouraged when a photo doesn’t pop up on to your computer screen they way you want it to but its amazing when it leaves looking better than you thought it ever would.

Here are some more from that day. I thought about uploading screen shots of my settings so if you are interested let me know. As of now, it felt better to just give more examples. And please feel free to share your stories and photos with me and everyone else. Its always good to grab inspiration and tricks from where ever possible.

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