Some befores and afters from desert elopement

Desert elopement editing examples

Staring the new wedding editing season with a useful post!


During the past year, we have edited over 250 weddings, but for now, we will be talking about the images we have shot and edited for ourselves. This time we didn't strive of making any particular color or achieving precise film color emulation, and the main goals were to:

  • playing around the harsh midday sun in the first part of the session,
  • keep the skin tones as we saw them in person,
  • add some mood to the images, to compensate for the boring contrast of the cheap zoom lens that was used to shoot the series (all the techniques and the color profiles are listed at the end of the post)
  • work on the color consistency and contrast of the skin, background, and the couple outfits.

For the start, there are some before/after sliders that you can play - it's always fun, isn't it?! :)


P.S. the before/after photos are presented without cropping or retouching - just the color editing. The slight change in composition size on some images is due to the lens correction being turned on.


 You can check the overall color consistency in the final series below. I purposely mixed the images from different angles of shooting (direct light, backlight, reflections from the sand, and different sun positions in order to show how similar the colors are and accurate the series is).

After color correction, we also decided to change the image ratio from standard to 3/4 to add some film vibe (and of course to make it easier to post the images on Instagram). Btw, even if you do not shoot on film, but are trying to emulate the colors, the 3x4 cropping ratio is a decent way to add to your photos a film-like feel. (don't thank me, try it out sometime). To take advantage of this advice as correctly as possible it is better to set the frame ratio to 3x4 inside the camera before shooting (many mirrorless cameras have this option), so you can feel the right composition when you press the shutter button because using a different ratio at the moment of editing can limit the volume of images and they will seem too dense to the viewers.

I want to say that working with desert colors was an unexpectedly tricky task. I mean, not only because moving through barchans of sand requires excellent physical training, but om post-production too,  cause the desert is one big yellowish spot that cannot give the right reflexes so skin hues and shades of white are very difficult to maintain, and keep right in such conditions!

The second part

Despite the fact that the sun has moved and the images are more voluminous and interesting editing this part was a bit more complicated because:

  • in addition to the goals I mentioned above, the white outfit of the couple was added to the spot of our attention, which had to be kept relatively true to color. (By the way, pay attention - some samples are underexposed here on purpose, to keep the whites from over-exposure)
  • the sun began to lean towards sunset rapidly and the white balance began to change noticeably at first and then go crazy and this had to be carefully corrected during the editing process. 

 A couple more before/after samples!

The final result!
By clicking on each image you can open the photo in full size. 

And yes, I forgot to mention that we also decided to play with the grain settings a bit to give the series a little more sandy charm :)

Hope this post was interesting!

If you have any questions or clarifications, don't hesitate to reach us back using the links on our social media.

Gear: Sony Alpha a7 III + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 DI III VXD (G1) for Sony + Lens Polarizing Filter

Color profile: The Archetype Profiles Pro400H normal Frontier (with some custom tweaks)