How I Edited One Of My Favorite Photos

How I Edited One Of My Favorite Photos
The Steps


How I Edited One Of My Favorite Photos In 5 Simple Steps

Despite how some of my Images might look, I really do very little in the way of post processing. In this post, I thought I might share the process I used to edit one of my favorite recent images. This is how I edited my photo. My decisions may seem odd at times but it’s because I like to play around a lot. I don’t have a set way of doing things and that’s half the fun for me.

This is also a self-reflective exercise for myself, I hope that by writing out my steps I might come to understand my processing techniques and improve upon them.

Step 1

This is what this shot looked right out of the camera. F/22, you really can tell that I rushed so set up this shot.

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Step 1

Canon 7D



ISO 100

5 sec

Using Adobe Camera Raw I added some lens correction and that was it for this step.

Step 2

In this step, I added some sharpening with a high pass filter and overlay blending mode.

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Step 2 

I then found that the image was a little bit bright for my liking so I adjusted the exposure by -0.75 stops.





Step 3

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Step 3

Next, I then add a contrast adjustment layer, increasing the contrast just a tiny amount and bumped up the brightness to rescue some of the detail I lost when lowering the exposure.

Weirdly It doesn’t look much different at all at this point but the stage is set for things to get interesting now.




Step 4

Time to add a levels layer. I pulled the blues out of the shadows to add that late-night, underground feeling you get when you

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Step 4

think about the subway, and tunnels and lonely train stations. I added back some red to the numbers on the side of the train as well as the TTC logo half way down. Pulling out the blue colors really turned those reds so dark they became rather less red and more brown looking.

I think a lot of people might stop here, but I needed to really make this photo ‘POP’. So I have one more change to make.



Final Step

The final step is absolutely the most important and the most difficult. This is where I added a curves layer to really play with the

Toronto Subway, TTC, Spadina, Spadina subway, subway, train, train station
Spadina Station

bump up the contrast of the overall image. It’s what adds all the depth. The train really looks as if it is disappearing into the tunnel as it pulls away from the platform. It pulls all the texture on the train and it brings the inside of the train outside, suddenly the ads that run along the panels against its ceiling pop and are really quite readable.

The mood is brooding, and dark, and just what I was going for.



In Conclusion

This is how I edited one of my favorite images.

It was one of my first attempts to be more sophisticated in my toning. I wanted to create a cinematic feeling with this shot and I think this ranks pretty well as a first attempt.

Clearly, this wasn’t an exhaustive list of my process, but it is a decent overview of the process that I went through in order to get this final product. I did neglect to mention that in order to create this cinematic look I did make use of a creative crop in order to not only get a wider aspect but to improve the balance of the image.

Please let me know what you think, is there anything you would have done differently?

How much do you love it?