If you have ever wondered what the photographs I capture look like straight from the camera, then this is the perfect post.  The ‘Before and After’ posts will be just that, the original unedited image and the final finished image. I plan on doing these from time to time to show the edits I make to the images that are in my various galleries.  To start off with I use Adobe Lightroom for all of my editing and for my racing images. I have never used Photoshop to edit of my photos…yet. 🙂 I know that Lightroom (LR) is technically labeled as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom; however, I am referring to Photoshop (PS) as in the full, standalone product. Lightroom allows you to save adjustments as presets so you can select the preset and the adjustments are applied to your selected photograph with just one click.  Out of the hundreds of presets I have I only use about 30 of them on my racing photographs, they are a tremendous time saver for my workflow.  Even with these presets I try to capture the image as close to the mental image I have in my minds eye and not rely on presets to save or make my photo.  I have heard many great photographers over the years say ‘get it right in the camera.’ In other words, get the shot the way you want it in the camera so you spend less time post-processing. That is what I strive to do.  The more I slow down, think, and plan before I capture any images the happier I am with them and I thank myself later when editing.

My first ‘Before and After’ (B&A) post is a basic edit of Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio.  As you can see, I didn’t edit the image much at all; no crop or major adjustments. The main tweaks were completed with the contrast, blacks, shadows and clarity sliders.

B&A-1a

The next image is from the Pirelli World Challenge GT class at Mid-Ohio.  I made more drastic changes to get this image where I wanted it with the largest changes in the highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance, and blacks sliders.

B&A-1b

If you enjoyed this post, leave me some feedback. I’d enjoy reading your thoughts.
-amc

Written by Andy

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