How beautiful is this family?
And their little guy, stealing the show at the pier.
How beautiful is this family?
And their little guy, stealing the show at the pier.
It’s fix-it Friday time, with I heart faces.
We start out with this SOOC:
First, I decide on a crop. I went with 8x12, that’s just my personal preference.
It’s underexposed and blue/cyan. So before anything, I need to correct those things. I first start with exposure, because I know exposure affects white balance. I used my own action for brightening, but you could do this by hand by doing a screen light layer or a levels layer.
Next, I corrected the WB again with my own action, but just by adding yellow and red, you can warm up this picture significantly.
Next, I wanted to add some brightness and pop, so I ran my popper action and warmer action again.
The haze makes the photo look soft. Some people like that. I can’t handle photo’s not being sharp. I like them SHARP. :)
There are a few things in the scene that need to be cleaned up/removed. There is some kind of ugly electric box or something there in the left corner. I chose my patch tool and loosely selected it. Then from layer > new fill layer > solid color and dropper clicked a color nearby.
This doesn’t fix the situation, clearly.
Now I flatten. Select > reselect. Choose my patch tool. And drag it just to the right.
The patch tool blends the selected area with the new area your dragging to. It is important to do the solid fill color layer for this reason. If I had just selected the electrical box, used the patch tool and dragged it to the adjacent area, it would have tried to blend the electrical box with the bushes. That’s counterproductive and would have taken several steps of trying to patch, clone, patch clone. By doing that simple fill layer, I am blending 2 areas that are very close in nature (having dropper clicked a color nearby.) Here it is after the first time patching:
Not perfect, but really close! I’m going to go in there and do touch ups with the patch tool and clone tool. (I absolutely love the patch tool!). I’m going to remove that light post by the same method. Each removal took me less than a minute. So many people spend their time attached to the clone stamp, when the patch tool, used correctly is far more accurate and easy!
The colors are all a little bit too busy for me. I do love the golden sunlight, but his shirt plus all the background stuff makes me feel like this would be stronger in black and white. So I ran Pioneer Woman’s B&W action, which is just a gradient map with edge burning and a curves layer. I deleted her “light” layer, duplicated both the vignette and the curves.
The curves isn’t perfect. It never will be, when you run an action. Every picture is unique in it’s light and needs. So I opened it up and tweaked it to what worked for this picture. To open up the dialog, just click on the yin yang symbol on the curves layer.
And here is my before and after!
If you have any questions, let me know! :)
I heart faces is celebrating teens this week. I haven’t worked too much with teens, though I’d like to. I’m going to enter this picture that I took at a meetup of local photographers about a year ago. This couple was gorgeous and their interaction together was really lovely.
In other news, I spruced up my pricing page, which can be found here. Please let me know if your seeing correct formatting and all that good stuff. It’s hard to design on my own monitor and not know if other people are seeing what I’m seeing, so I really appreciate your feedback!
And I just have 2 pictures that I have to share. This little girl is going to break some hearts.
I think she’s giving me the evil eye here, but she was really smiley all day long. I just loved the light in this shot and how it framed her hair! And from the same day, my boy and the neighbors doing what they love…
How great is summertime?
Time for another fix-it Friday, with I Heart Faces.
This was the SOOC for todays photo:
My first steps are to crop in closer, simple unsharp mask and noiseware.
Before I start jumping into color issues, I want to make sure I have my exposure right. Exposure affects White Balance, and White Balance affects exposure. It’s important to work with the two in harmony. I don’t want my eye to be tricked right now into thinking that I see some red, maybe orange color issues going on. So I’m going to fix my exposure first, by running my own action called “Make it Brighter". My action simple adjusts midtones and brightens the overall picture. I adjusted the opacity to about 50%.
It’s pretty amazing how those red and orange issues aren’t there anymore. I don’t have to touch color at all, which is wonderful. I am now finding the crop to be a little to wide, so i cropped down to get her eyes in the ROT.
There is a lot of distracting background elements. I feel like it could be stronger in black and white because that red and orange background would fade back. For this shot, I used Pioneer Woman’s B&W Beauty action, which is simply a gradient map with a curves bump, so easy to do by hand if your so inclined. The action’s curve bump didn’t give me enough contrast:
That’s too much middle gray for me. Other’s might like this conversion and could stop there. I selected the curves adjustment layer, which is titled “Bump”, and right clicked on it and duplicated it.
A full duplication was TOO much contrast, so I lowered the opacity of that layer to 62%. I don’t want to blow the red channel in her face. Her cheeks are getting “hot” so I double checked that they weren’t over 245 (my comfort level). 255 is completely blown, so if you see any of those spots, back up and remove the curve.
If you don’t know how to check for hot spots, go under window>info and the info tab above will pop open. Then in your tool bar, choose your eye dropper tool and just hover over the areas you believe to be blown. The RGB values will come up in the Info tab. There are various schools of thought on what is too bright, what prints well, what doesn’t etc. So all I can offer here is my own opinion which is- I try not to get my skin tone values anywhere past 245, and definitely not past 250.
Next, I thought the shadows in the back could be pushed farther back to keep our eye on the cute subject. So I used my burn tool, a huge soft brush, at 4% and chose “shadows”. I lightly went over the picture, probably less than 5 seconds altogether.
I still feel like the background lacks some contrast. So I duped my flattened layer, and on my background copy I chose “Soft light” from the blending mode.
Clearly, this will blow out her skin. So I went down my Layers menu, chose Layer Mask > Reveal All. This puts that little white thumbnail next to my picture. On that thumbnail, I chose my paintbrush, chose black, and “painted” back in the face. It actually is removing the soft light from the face, but keeping it in all the other areas of the photo, which is what I wanted. So, now I’m done!
If you have any questions, please let me know, I’ll be happy to answer them.
Shooting a newborn is harder than it looks. Or maybe it looks hard, I don’t know. I’m not God. But I came up with five reasons that every newborn photographer needs a partner.
1- Newborns are squirmy. It takes one person to rub their back, shush them, and give them a bottle, while your partner works at running the white noise machine, cleaning up the pee, and blocking the sunlight.
2- Partners work cohesively to come up with fresh ideas and pick up where the other drops off.
4- Because catching the quiet moment between mom and her new baby wouldn’t have happened if your partner didn’t say “Can you reach down and give her a kiss?”
5- Because catching the smile is teamwork.
Thank you to Jennalle Dunn for collaborating with me. We are now offering sessions at both her home studio in Peabody and my home studio in Georgetown at a significantly reduced price. A new page will be up shortly regarding this amazing offer. Thank you again, Jennalle, and thank you to baby Zoe and her beautiful mom!
This post also happens to fall in the Iheartfaces challenge theme this week, of all things baby!
Here is the picture I wish to enter for the contest:
It’s time for another fix-it-Friday, hosted by I Heart Faces, and I will be (attempting to) improve the given photo using Adobe Photoshop and giving a very basic, easy tutorial to follow along with.
My first thought on this photo was ‘I dislike that tilt.’ However, the tilt is so severe that rotating the picture wouldn’t really work. So I’m going to only rotate it about 10 degrees, even though Photoshop told met that to correct the tilt, I would need to rotate about 42 degrees!
So there it is, tilted 10 degrees. I’m going to go with an 8x12 crop for this shot, and try to put Mom’s eye in the upper right intersection in the rule of thirds, while avoiding having to stretch too much of the canvas.
So you can see above, I am going to lose some of the sky, and I’m going to need to add some foreground, but Mom’s eye is hitting that intersection in the ROT’s perfectly, which is what I wanted.
So now I need to fill in some of that canvas. For the top portion, I used my rectangle tool and selected a square piece of the sky. Then CNTRL T, and free transformed it. The bottom portion is tougher. The first thing I did was select the pink canvas with my magic wand, and did a solid color fill layer by going to Layer>New Fill Layer> Solid Color and eye dropper clicked on nearby grass for a close by color.
Next, I’m going to use my patch tool to get an approximation of what should be in that area (because the patch tool certainly won’t make this seamless).
And here it is after a few patches.
Not perfect, so I’m going to go in and use my clone tool and patch tool at 100% zoom and fix it up. Certainly, this is more work than I’m used to… Always better to get it right SOOC. But some people like tilts, and this works for them. Just not for me! Anyway. Here it is after a 5min cloning/patching job. I don’t claim to be an expert at this stuff, though!
So, on to the editing. The skin is cool, so gotta warm it up via my own action, which uses curves on both red and yellow channels.
They are underexposed, so I made them brighter and popped the colors a bit, using my own actions again. This one is called popper.
Mostly, my action just brightens and pops the color a bit. Nothing drastic. I feel like I want it pushed a bit more, so I duplicated popper.
Set the opacity down about 65% for that second popper, and masked back his shirt, as it had turned purple with the color pop. Its looking bright and cheery to me now!
The blown sky in the background is taking up an entire quadrant of my scene. I’d prefer it to have a little color. I duped my flattened background layer, and chose my gradient tool. This tool is excellent for getting color into a sky, in a non-photoshopped looking way. I start by duping my background layer with CNTRL J. Then I chose the gradient tool, and now need to choose the color that I want my sky to be.
I want a blue sky. So I went up to the top tool box and clicked on the gradient map.
After you click on that, you will come up with this dialog:
Double click on the the little triangle/box I indicated in the picture above. Choose a nice blue that you like. Your picture will then look like it is shown above, with your picture gone and replaced by a blue and white gradient.
To get your foreground back with your subjects, click OK. Then on your gradient layer, drop down from your blending modes and choose “multiply”. Also, drop your opacity down to about 10-14%, or to taste. Now you have a hint of a blue sky there!
It looks a little washed out to me, so I did a levels layer and brightened the mid-tones and brought in the shadows and highlights.
Finally, I used my burn tool, selected mid-tones and did a quick burn at 4%. And here is my before and after!
As always, let me know if you have any questions, leave me a comment, I’d be happy to answer them.