Here’s a fun image I made recently, and I thought it would be worth describing the processing process a little.

This is the original image, straight-out-of-camera.

I always shoot in Raw+Jpg, so I usually like to take the Raw image into Adobe Camera Raw for some quick processing (usually less than 5 mins, though this one admittedly took longer).  This is what I got after running it through Camera Raw:

Notable things that were done in Camera Raw (which comes with Photoshop):

  • Cropped it tighter
  • Shifted Temperature towards Blue and Tint towards Green more.
  • Raised Exposure a touch and added quite a bit of Fill Light.
  • Added a bit of Blacks and a lot of Contrast to counteract the “fakeness” that Fill Light can create.
  • Almost maxed out Clarity, and added quite a bit of Vibrance.
  • In the Hue shift section, pushed Greens all the way towards the blue end, and pushed Aquas most of the way towards the blue end.
  • In the Saturation tab, saturated Reds, Oranges, Blues & Magentas quite a bit, and desaturated Greens and Aquas quite a bit.
  • Added a little bit of a vignette in the Post Crop Vignetting section.

Then I took the resulting image into Photoshop, because there were some last things that were easier for me to do there.  This is the final image:

Some of the things done in Photoshop:

  • Straightened the image a bit by pulling the top right corner up a bit.
  • Noise removal (using the Noise Ninja plugin, though I could have done a similar job with Camera Raw’s noise removal.)
  • Cleaned up the stain on the concrete with the clone tool.
  • Copied image over it self in Hard Light mode (at about 50% opacity)  to add some more bold contrast to the colors.
  • Did a high pass filter on the image (making it mostly gray with subtle edges) and put that on top in Hard Light mode to add some extra sharpening.

So just for better comparison, here are the before and after images one more time:

You can definitely get away with a more processed look with objects like this than you can with typical pictures of people.  Let me know what you think – is it too processed, or does it work well for you?