Had a few people on flickr asking about simple editing techniques on my shots, so thought I'd do a really quick run through. When it comes to my post production I don't do to much. Simple manipulation if i want to remove something then a little contrast and colour tweaking.
The original image had a few bits and pieces I didn't like and wanted to take out. After 2 minutes of cloning and using a little "content aware", I'd managed to get rid of the telephone line in the right of the image and a few other bits and pieces.
The image is exposed perfectly, but is very flat in terms of colour and contrast. I find contrast to be very important in terms of the intent of the image. For example, high contrast doesn't work if you want a natural soft image. There is plenty of different ways to control separate aspects of your images in photoshop. I simply tweak the contrast and colours through channel mixer, selective colour and curves. Make sure your doing all these tweaks in separate layers. This allows you to use layer masks and implement the effects to specific areas of the image.
When the image is looking about right after these tweaks, all thats left is to prepare the image for print or web. I always like to sharpen my images very slightly. I do this with a little high pass filter changed to overlay. Then play with the opacity until you get the right look.
The image below shows all my filter and whether they include layer masks...
Using layer masks is key to producing a well controlled image. Many traditional photographers believe it to be cheating, but it's all tricks you can do in the dark room.
Do all your tweaks and adjustments on separate layers. You don't want to at a later date find you've done something wrong then be unable to change it.
Don't fall into the trap of, "Oh I can fix that in Photoshop". You'll never improve your photography that way.
It's easy to go to far with tweaking. Theres nothing worse than an image over processed.
Check out more of my work at www.benbrownphoto.com