So these photos are really meant to be part of my Australia post from yesterday, which wasn't meant to be 'published' until today, but Blogger got ahead of me so - ahem - please feel free to scan back to those photos to understand where I was and what I was up to when they were taken.
Central Australia has been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. It's perhaps somewhat ironic that I had to be living away from Australia and visiting as a tourist to make it to Alice, but there you go. After a very luxurious week in South Australia with my family we flew into Alice Springs hired a 4WD and drove across the MacDonnell Ranges, down to Kings Canyon and then across to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta. The distances were huge and it was hot. But incredibly beautiful.
And now because I'm feeling brave about posting 'me' on my blog, here's a couple of images to show you that even a little bit of editing can make a world of difference to how you feel about a photo. Below is the unedited (SOOC) version of the photo above of Matthias and I at the top of Kings Canyon. It was close to 40 degrees (104F) and we'd just walked up the ridge to get to the top of the Canyon. We'd also "slept" under the stars the night before (our one attempt at camping) but got completely spooked by the Dingoes walking around the campsite, not to mention the mosquitoes, crickets and other flying insects who decided to pay us a visit. Safe to say we were not feeling particularly photogenic. To top it all off the camera has 'exposed' for the cloudy sky and not us. Pretty huh?
I can't exactly remember what I did, but I slightly over-exposed the photo and then adjusted our skin tones a little using a curves adjustment. I then worked on removing some of the red blotchiness from our skin and the bags under our eyes - in hindsight I actually think I went a little far on this, but anyway - still learning. I think I then added some yellowish tones to the photo to warm the overall photo up, by which point I had something that looked like this.
The sky is now completely blown-out, so I just added back the original sky - it's still white, but it was slightly overcast and in the final picture you can just see the blue peeking through the clouds.