Happy Chaos »

I’m a working (outside of the home) mom whose loves are God, my husband and children, passion is teaching, and obsession is technology. Very soon, I’ll be joining a cohort to get my Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. My family is very tight-knit with a dad who is now an ordained minister, a mom who is an R.N., two older sisters (Angie and Janine) and two younger brothers (Jeff and Jon). My husband, Mark, and I live in a continually-in-the-process-of-remodeling century home with our children, Nathan (5), Ben (3), and Jordyn (1). We are doing our best raising these gifts from God to love the Lord and seek to do His will. My given name is Andrea, but somewhere along the line, it got switched to Drew on my side of the family. My husband’s side of the family, church friends and coworkers only know me as Andrea. Since I have been making quite a few bloggy friends through I ♥ Faces, it seemed like it would be helpful to give a little info about me. Hope you enjoyed the quick peek into the “Life of Drew”.

Have you ever taken a great shot only to discover that there is a big problem? Take, for example, the photo below.  My sister took this at a birthday party and didn’t notice that the candlelight reflected right onto one of the faces.  Angie tried everything to get rid of the light spot…or so she thought.  One of the great things about photographing people is that they are symmetrical.  As long as a face isn’t too angled in one direction, there can be hope for a photo.  I solved the problem in this photo by selecting the right side of the mouth, flipping it, and laying it over top of the left side of the mouth.  It took some adjustments in color (since the left side of her face is more shaded than the right), but I got the photo to where it was hard to tell that there was ever a problem.


Way back for our first Constructive Feedback Friday, Catherine Halsey submitted the photo below.  She had captured her son in a beautiful, reflective moment.  What was driving her crazy was that because one side of her son’s face was shaded, his eye was much darker than the other side.  I finally came up with a solution.  One of the eyes is good, so Catherine copied and pasted it on to the other side.  Voila!

(Put your cursor over the photo to see the change.)


I’m using an unedited version of a previous fix-it Friday that we did.  When I first looked at the photo, I noticed cruddy side of the nose and realized I’d be doing quite a bit of healing brush to try to fix it up.  Then my past experiences came back and I realized that there was a good nostril in the photo.  Again, I selected the good side with the magic wand, flipped it and then overlayed it over the right nostril.


(Put your cursor over the photo to see the change.)


Since there are some issues with matching up colors when you do this, I thought I’d share a video showing how I adjusted the photo so that the changes blended in well.

But it’s not a RAW file!  How did you edit it in RAW?  Also, how do you get that red to show up for parts that are overexposed?

  • The magic is in how you open the file.  JPEGS can be opened and edited in the RAW editor.  Don’t assume, though, that the fixes will be as good as it would be if you were using a real RAW file.  There is a difference.  Never mind that…the point is that some major changes can be made in the RAW editor even if you don’t have a RAW file.

  • When opening your photo, have Elements already open.  Go to File—Open As—Highlight your photo—From the drop-down menu, choose “Camera Raw”—Open.

  • To make the red appear to show overexposed areas, just click on the white arrow in the histogram (top right corner of the RAW editor).  Don’t want to see it anymore?  Click the white arrow again.  (By the way, the exposure and recovery sliders help get rid of the overexposed areas.)

  • Susan - Thanks so much. This is all greek to me now, I'm so new to all of this. But I love they way you did this video.ReplyCancel

  • TidyMom - I have PSE 5 and I don't see Camera Raw – I did File-Open As- highlighed my file- drop down menu, does not have camera raw…..any suggestions? or maybe I can't do this in PSE 5?ReplyCancel

  • TidyMom - just realized you had a video….I was looking in the wrong place…I do have that option – but when I chose to open that was, it gives me a program error……oh well..ReplyCancel

 Unsharp mask for eyes?  Unsharp mask for the photo?

  • First, let me start off that the settings shared here are just general rules of thumb.  Photos differ greatly on the amount of sharpening they need.  As you try these settings, adjust them as needed.
  • I sharpen the eyes differently than I do the rest of the photo.  For eyes, I select around the eyes with the magnetic lasso.  My unsharp mask settings are usually 75-100 with 3.6 radius and 0 threshold.  Got this straight from the Pioneer Woman herself! :)  I couldn’t remember the exact magnetic lasso settings, so I just guessed in the video.

  • For general sharpening, I usually use 150%, radius 1, threshold 0.  Got this from Ms. Booshay.   Just remember…you want it to be subtle but add just a little bit of crispness.

  • And, how about a video?  (None of my videos have sound.  My sound card appears to have gone kaput on my computer.)  For more details about the eyes and a narrated video, go here.

Great photo sharpening (defog) action
Enhancing action for the eyes

    How did you get those grid lines to appear? (Some of you might be wondering why in the world I would want the grid lines.) 

    • Here’s an example:

    combine exposures

    • When I edit photos, I almost always have this grid showing.  It doesn’t save on top of the photo or print if I forget to take it off.  It’s basically a guide that I leave up so that I can get a feel for whether I’m following the “Rule of Thirds” when cropping my photo.  A little disclaimer:  The Rule of Thirds doesn’t always have to be followed.  It’s one of those rules that can be broken.  Typically, though, photos are more appealing if they intersect with the lines.  In this original photo, the photographer naturally followed this rule.

    • Okay, here’s how you do it in Elements.  Edit—Preferences—Grid   Then use the following settings:  Gridline every 33.33 percent/Subdivisions 1–OK.  If you decide that you don’t want the grid showing go to View-Grid.  You can here to hide and unhide it.

    • How about a video for you visual people out there?