Friday, January 21, 2011

make it fabulous!

I've been wanting to describe how I edit for a while...for any of you out there who wonder how I get to my final product...there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes once I stop shooting and you go home from your session.

I'm usually so excited to see the images that I browse through them on the LCD screen on my camera before I even make it home! Then once I'm home, I upload them to my hard drive and then I select my favorite images to edit.

I don't always get it exactly right IN CAMERA, so thankfully I have an amazing tool for post-processing called Photoshop CS5. :) I also shoot in RAW which allows me a bit more wiggle room as well.

So, every Friday I am going to post a "Make It Fabulous" image from start to finish to show you how I edit. I am NOT a photoshop expert, however, I have learned a lot in the past few years and would love to be help any of you if I can! I learned a TON from all of the friendly photogs out there who take the time to share their knowledge online...and I hope that I can give back, even just a little bit!

So, here's how I took this underexposed (but still beautiful!) image to it's final edit:

1. In Camera Raw I adjust a few of the sliders...

exposure: +0.50
fill light: 10
blacks: 5
brightness: +45
contrast: +50
clarity: +15
vibrance: +12

I also warmed up the temperature a little bit.

2. Next, I open the image in Photoshop. I usually adjust my levels first. Go to the Image menu, then choose Adjustments, then Levels. Here I just very slightly lightened the midtones and darkened the the shadows.

3. I use a lot of Totally Rad Actions so from now on I will just refer to them as TRA + the name of the action.  TRA Yin/Yang -- Yin=lighter, Yang=darker. I used Yin with a soft brush on a very low opacity (about 10) under her eyes and then even lower at about 2 over her entire face and neck. Then I used Yang at about 25% opacity to darken the grass/weeds around her so that she would pop out a bit more as the focus in the image.

4. TRA ProRetouch -- I try really hard not to make people look like they have plastic skin or alien-sharp I use pro-retouch sparingly. I put it on about 10% opacity and used it to smooth out her skin and then used the eye bump to highlight ONLY the highlighted areas in the iris of her eye...I think this gives the eyes just enough light to make them sparkle!

5. I'm done! Sharpen and save!!! At this point I will usually convert to black and white when I'm editing a, here's the black and white + a hint of sepia...

Are there any shooting or editing tips you'd like to hear about?  I will do my best to answer any and all questions you have!  Or at least point you in the right direction!

xoxo!  Happy Friday!

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