3. I was fortunate to get to test MCP’s new Fusion set for Elements & Photoshop. I used her One Click Color. This is a great action for making all those tweaks that would normally take quite a bit of time. I adjusted some layers and turned some off until I got the look I wanted.
5. To soften up under the eyes, I flattened all layers and then duplicated the layer. I sampled the skin color near her eyes and then painted over the shadows. I then reduced the opacity of the layer until the look was natural
6. I sharpened the eyes using Unsharp Mask.
7. The photo seemed off balance, so I expanded the canvas at the top and used the healing brush to add “grass”.
8. I used Florabella’s Vintage Urban action and reduced the opacity
9. The photo had gotten rather bright, so I used the Brightness/Contrast sliders to adjust the brightness more to my liking.
10. Finally, I resized the photo and used Unsharp Mask to sharpen for the web.
Here are the quick directions for the fixes I made in Photoshop Elements 8:
1. RAW editor
4. Cleaned up hair in eyes (clone stamp/healing brush)
5. Adjusted brightness contrast
1. Even though I have the full RAW editor in Photoshop Elements since it’s included with the Mac version, I have decided to only use functions in RAW that can be accessed from any Elements program. I made some slight adjustments in the RAW editor:
3. I used Noiseware lightly on the photo.
4. Next, I selected the background with the magic wand, copied and pasted it into a new layer, changed it to a motion blur (angle -8, distance 475) and then used a layer’s mask to remove any blur from the subjects.
5. Julie’s baby’s hands were rather red, so I used a hue adjustment layer, chose red, sampled from the thumb, and made my adjustments. I then duplicated the hue adjustment layer, reduced red from the dad’s face, and reduced the opacity of that layer. (His didn’t need as much as the hands.) My layers looked like this:
8. My typical unsharp mask settings were used:
9. Dad’s face was still a bit soft, so I selected around it and used unsharp mask settings 80-3.2-0.
10. Finally, I used a gradient map called “foreground to background”, changed the blending mode to “soft light”, and reduced the opacity to 34%. The photo was finished off by cropping to 5×7. Now that I’m looking at the final, if I had the time, one more adjustment I would make is to dodge the hair along the back of the baby’s head so that it doesn’t blend in with the black stripe behind her as much.
This photo was taken in RAW format. RAW is ideal for editing because drastic changes can be made in the RAW editor.
Here is the photo in the RAW editor:
Adjustments made in exposure and the help of the recovery slider are needed to bring back details to the sky and the subject’s face.
The RAW settings were changed to the following:
Fill Light: 8
I then opened the photo in Elements. The photographer was showing in the reflection of the truck’s bumper. I used the clone stamp to remove the photographer from the photo and the blur tool overtop helped to smooth over the changes.
Next, I adjusted the levels to brighten up the photo (black 15, midtone 1.13, white 247). I didn’t want to lose the blue sky, so I used a black brush on the layer’s mask to bring the blue back in to the photo.
The subject’s face was rather red, so I created a hue adjustment layer. I chose the red channel and used the dropper on the subject’s face. I then slid the hue to +3 and lightness to +5.
The photo seemed to still have a green overcast, so I created another level’s adjustment. This time I used the white dropper on the whitest portion of the photo and the black dropper on the darkest portion. This did the trick.
In most photos where I have done quite a few adjustments in the lighting of the photo, I use Imagenomic’s Noiseware. My version is a purchased plug-in for Elements. Imagenomic also has a free Community version that works as a seperate program. Imagenomic has an incredible discount for teachers and students on a bundle of their three most popular plug-ins. (Wish I would have known this when I bought it!) Noiseware have become indispensable in my editing workflow, and I sure wouldn’t mind trying out their other great tools.
I felt like the sky was still a little drab, so I created a blank layer and colored over the sky in various shades of vibrant blue. I changed the layer’s blending mode to “Saturation” and reduced the opacity to 50%. I also used a free action to create a layer’s mask. This allowed me to use the brush tool to control where the blue showed up on the photo. (Unlike Photoshop, Elements does not have the ability to create layer’s mask without the aid of an action or a tricky manipulation of layers.)
Next, I flattened all the layers. I then duplicated the flattened layer. On the top layer, I changed the blending mode to soft light and reduced the opacity to 50%. This made the colors much richer.
To sharpen the photo, I went to the “Enhance” Menu and chose “Unsharp Mask”. The first time I used the settings 50 – 1.4 – 0. Then to adjust the contrast, I went to “Unsharp Mask” again and used the settings 5 – 250 – 0.
This photo needed a touch of warmth. I could have fiddled with the hue again, but I have a favorite action called “Sunshine” that gives photos just the right touch. It is free, and available to download through “The Pioneer Woman”. After running the action, I changed the blending mode to “Soft Light” and reduced the opacity to 47%.
My final adjustment was to bring just a bit more light to the subject’s face. I adjusted levels again (14 – 1.20 – 241) and used a layer’s mask to bring back all of the photo except on him.
I have been so behind on getting edits done lately! I didn’t want to pass up on Amy’s daughter, though. Who can resist the braided hair and cute yellow bows. My poor daughter doesn’t know what she’s missing out on!
2. Unsharp mask 5-250-0
3. Unsharp mask 50-5-0
4. Pioneer Woman Define Sharpen Action – reduce opacity to 40%
(Steps 2-4 entail much more sharpening than I would normally do. This photo was very blurry, though. Even though I haven’t truly made it sharp, it helps to sharpen it up as much as possible to trick the eye.)
5. Duplicate layer – use healing brush under eyes – reduce opacity to 60%
6. Selected around eyes – toned down reds with a hue adjustment layer
7. Selected eyes (irises) – adjusted levels (to lighten them up.
8. Used Pioneer Woman’s action – Boost – Used Zing layer only – reduced opacity to 38%
9. Reduced contrast to -22
10. Used Florabella Milk & Honey action – changed blending mode to soft light – 100%
11. Used Florabella Sunlight action – reduced opacity to 14%
12. Used the burn tool on the background.
Here’s the before:
And here’s the after: